SAN JOSE, Calif. A group of eleven companies and two U.S. national laboratories is forming a consortium to define a standard Linux implementation of the Infiniband interconnect.
The Open Infiniband Alliance expects its first-generation set of standard Infiniband software drivers will be available later this year will be used primarily in high-end technical computing applications. A follow-on in about 18 months is targeted at large commercial database clusters.
"This is one of the most significant things to happen with Infiniband since its inception," said Jim Pappas, director of initiatives market for Intel Corp.'s server group, and a member of OpenIB. "We are going to choose not to differentiate products with proprietary software stacks but have a common open software approach," he added.
The group includes major computer and storage makers Dell, Engenio Inc. (formerly LSI Logic's RAID systems group), IBM, Network Appliance and Sun Microsystems as well as Infiniband chip and systems makers Infinicon, Mellanox, Topspin and Voltaire. Lawrence Livermore and Sandia National Labs, big users of Infiniband clusters, are also participating.
OpenIB will complement the work of the Infiniband Trade Association that oversees the development of the core Infiniband spec but is forbidden by its charter from developing Infiniband software or application programming interfaces. OpenIB will announce its schedule for delivering the software before October, Pappas said.