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Ethernet Alliance Members Expand Support of Converged Data Center Fabrics with iWARP Initiative

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Ethernet Alliance today announced a new initiative focused on the advancement and market education of Internet Wide-Area RDMA Protocol (iWARP). iWARP brings low-latency fabric services to the world of Ethernet data centers. With rapid deployment of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) technology in the data center underway and the availability of cost-effective, dense 10GbE switches, iWARP is poised for significant penetration of the data center.

"Our members identified a need in the market to develop a comprehensive community that will support and assist data center Ethernet users with a cohesive story and strategy around existing and emerging standards," said Brad Booth, chair of the board, Ethernet Alliance. "The Ethernet Alliance is pleased to provide a forum where our members can collaborate on the advancement of iWARP to address IT professionals' low-latency and HPC needs."

"Microsoft firmly believes the work being done by the Ethernet Alliance is key to educating IT managers on the many benefits of the iWARP protocol," said Ryan Waite, Product Unit Manager, Windows HPC Server at Microsoft. "This work comes at the same time as iWARP hits an important inflection point in conjunction with the volume adoption of 10GbE."

The iWARP specification was developed by the RDMA Consortium and is a standard maintained by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The iWARP protocol permits low-latency transmission over TCP and is implemented on top of IP networks. Several vendors have remote data memory access (RDMA) network interface cards (rNICs) supporting iWARP in production, and iWARP is supported by existing Ethernet switches. The iWARP software stack was developed and is maintained through the open-source efforts of the Open Fabric Alliance. It can be deployed in production today on Linux and Windows HPC Server 2008.

The Ethernet in the Data Center subcommittee - chartered to be a reference and resource for IT professionals for both existing and emerging data center-focused Ethernet technologies - will manage work on the iWARP initiative. In addition to assisting iWARP users and developers, members will work collaboratively to provide public technology demonstrations, the first of which can be seen in the Ethernet Alliance booth (# 1259) at SC09. They will also produce white papers, educational material and a technology roadmap for iWARP, enabling Ethernet to remain the best choice for IT professionals to meet their growing data center networking requirements.

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