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InfiniBand Steals the Show

The word on the floor at the Intel Developer Forum in San Jose, Calif., this week is InfiniBand. If you havent got it, you’re not coming in. Close to 200 out of the 230 companies registered with the InfiniBand Trade Association are packing the corridors to exhibit their wares.

Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) itself has been hurriedly spinning out InfiniBand chips for a 100-node network demonstration taking place in its booth over the course of the week. “The aim of the demonstration is to show servers, switches and storage devices networked together via an InfiniBand fabric,” says Jim Pappas, director of initiatives marketing at Intel. “And it works,” he says.

The chip giant will also announce an InfiniBand test development kit for hardware vendors and a software lab in Utah, available to vendors creating applications for InfiniBand networks. “This is the major initiative for us in the data center -- InfiniBand is it,” says Pappas.

The 100-node demo includes InfiniBand switches from QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC) and InfiniSwitch Corp. and network management software from BMC Software and Prisa Networks.

Fighting it out on the Infiniband management software side are Lane15 Software and VIEO Inc. Then there are servers from IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL), and Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ). EMC Corp.’s (NYSE: EMC) Symmetrix storage array is also involved in the demo, as are other connectivity pieces from Adaptec and LSI Logic Corp. (NYSE: LSI).