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Cisco Joins 20-Gig InfiniBand Party

Cisco's newly launched 20-Gbit/s InfiniBand switches come a bit behind the competition, but the vendor thinks the improved management tools it's throwing into the mix will bring InfiniBand into the data center. (See Cisco Doubles Up InfiniBand.)

Unveiled today, the Cisco SFS 7000D Double Data Rate (DDR) switches bump up the bandwidth of InfiniBand from 10 to 20 Gbit/s. Cisco says it will begin shipping 24-, 144-, and 288-port DDR switches in August.

Voltaire and SilverStorm Technologies are already shipping DDR switches. (See Voltaire Doubles Up, Voltaire Delivers 20 Gbit/s, and Livermore Clusters Voltaire.) There's a reason Cisco is behind. It got into InfiniBand by acquiring Topspin, which did not manufacture switches with more than 96 ports. (See Cisco Takes On Topspin.) So Cisco gets its larger switches through an OEM deal with SilverStorm.

Krish Ramakrishnan, VP of Cisco's server switching and virtualization division, says the increased bandwidth is only part of Cisco's strategy for moving InfiniBand beyond a high-performance computing (HPC) interconnect and into the data center.

Cisco modeled its InfiniBand switch management software after its Ethernet management applications. CiscoWorks LAN Management Solution (LMS) now supports InfiniBand, so administrators can manage Ethernet and InfiniBand through the same console.

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