Voltaire Unveils 324-Port, 40-Gig InfiniBand Switch

Designed for large data centers, Grid Director 4700 promises low latency and high performance

February 10, 2009

2 Min Read
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Voltaire introduced a 40-Gbit/s InfiniBand switch and new management software today that together are designed to boost performance, reduce latency, and improve management in high-performance data centers.

The company announced the Voltaire Grid Director 4700, which includes 324 ports of 40-Gbit/s InfiniBand connectivity that can be increased to 648 ports using "double-density fabric boards," which the company says can be used to create a stackable architecture for larger configurations. The company says the switch offers latency of less than 100 nanoseconds between ports on the same line and less than 300 nanoseconds port-to-port. Voltaire began shipping a 36-port version in December and plans to begin shipping the larger switch in the second quarter.

The new Unified Fabric Manager is designed to improve performance in large-scale InfiniBand server and storage infrastructures by grouping similar or related applications on a single fabric. Voltaire claims the management software can improve latency by 10 times, in part by matching fabric resource allocation and configurations to specific application requirements.

Voltaire's UFM works with orchestration and scheduler tools to allocate resources and segregate applications to specific servers to avoid congestion and interference on the network, said Asaf Somekh, the company's vice president of marketing. "UFM create two classes of service, one for inter-process [server] communications and one for storage by creating virtual traffic lanes. And we can see what is going on with the monitoring tools so we can apply policies and improve performance," he said in an interview. The management software also works with the company's 20 Gbit/s switches as well as the new 4Grid Director 4700 switch.

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing in Pune, India, has been testing the smaller version of the switch and reports improved application performance, Goldi Misra, head of the High-Performance Computing Solutions Group at the center, said in a statement: "A high-port count switch leveraging 40 Gb/s InfiniBand such as the Grid Director 4700 will give us increased bandwidth and throughput to capitalize on the processing power of multi-core servers and scale up to thousands of nodes."

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