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InfiniBand to Transcend HPC

It's been a busy week in the InfiniBand arena, with a slew of product announcements and a bold prediction from analyst firm IDC for major growth in the interconnect technology over the next four years.

Vendors are certainly jumping on this bandwagon, with HP, Cisco, Mellanox, and Woven Systems all making InfiniBand announcements in the last couple of days. (See HP Teams With Cisco, Mellanox Boasts 10-Gbit/s Ethernet, Mellanox Ships Ethernet Adapter, and Woven Unveils 10GigE Fabric Switch.)

This continues the growing momentum behind InfiniBand, a low latency interconnect touted as ideal for storage networking. (See InfiniBand Goes Mainstream and Voltaire Nabs Cash Amid Speculation.) The technology was also the fastest growing interconnect on the most recent Top 500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers, and now appears poised to break out of its high performance computing (HPC) niche.

In a report this week, analyst firm IDC highlights the growing adoption of "HPC-like" applications in the oil, gas, and financial sectors as helping drive this trend. "I would agree that it's taking off in high performance computing and those applications that really demand a low latency environment," says Cindy Borovick, program director for data center networks at IDC, and co-author of the report.

Specifically, the analyst cites "highly computational" applications used to perform complex financial calculations, such as the Monte Carlo simulations run by Wall Street firms. (See Wall Street Virtually Guarded, Cisco Joins 20-Gig InfiniBand Party, IBM's Power Play, and Microsoft Pitches Linux Cluster Buster.)

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