CEO: Don't Discount InfiniBand

Mellanox CEO Eyal Waldman takes issue with low IB forecasts

April 9, 2008

2 Min Read
Network Computing logo

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Mellanox CEO Eyal Waldman says InfiniBand will be the data center interconnect of choice alongside Ethernet in years to come. And his company today proposed that the industry consider creating an InfiniBand-over-Ethernet technology.

Waldman called an early-morning meeting with Byte and Switch at SNW today to "clarify" what he perceives as inconsistent and erroneous ideas about InfiniBand propagated by yours truly.

Fueled by the need for faster throughput and the rise of clustered computing, enterprises will try to eliminate a dedicated storage network in favor of a common Ethernet path that also supports InfiniBand for performance reasons, Waldman said. Fibre Channel's proponents know this; they're just not willing to admit it openly, in his view.

"If I were them, I'd say the same thing to preserve my profits and margins on FC, but you have to look at their actions. They are all working toward eliminating a dedicated storage network," Waldman said.

Waldman also takes issue with forecasts that underplay the growth of InfiniBand. From 2003 to 2007, he says, InfiniBand's presence in the Top 500 Supercomputing sites grew from 5 to 125 sites. He says Mellanox has shipped more than 220,000 InfiniBand adapter "end points" worldwide.Mellanox's ConnectX adapters are set up to use common channels for either Ethernet or InfiniBand, since the cabling for both protocols is now the same, Waldman said. Sometime this year, the supplier will offer OEMs adapters capable of autonegotiating between the two.

Waldman sees FCoE is a key steppingstone in the conversion of data centers to an InfiniBand/Ethernet interconnect. Mellanox supports FCoE in ConnectX and plans to participate in a multivendor FCoE demonstration this afternoon here at the show. (Stay tuned for updates.)

Waldman also promotes another spec: InfiniBand over Ethernet. At the International Sonoma Workshop of the OpenFabrics Alliance in Sonoma, Calif., Mellanox will today issue a proposal that the group consider an effort to undertake a common strategy for "IBoE."Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Mellanox Technologies Ltd.

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights