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Ohio Opts for iWarp

A research center whose mission is to be "Ohio's answer to high performance computing (HPC) and networking" will use 1-Gbit/s iWarp adapters from Ammasso Inc. for faster data retrieval.

Hang on: Isn't iWarp (Internet Wide Area RDMA Protocol) synonymous with 10-Gbit/s data rates? Not this time. The state-funded Ohio Supercomputer Center has put 41 Ammasso 1-Gbit/s Ethernet iWarp adapters in its data center precisely because Ammasso isn't pushing the faster speed.

"Ten-gig switches are really expensive. Ammasso has 1-gig cards out there now," says OSC researcher Dennis Dalessandro. Each of the Ammasso 1100 adapters costs about $495.

Dalessandro wants iWarp now. He and colleagues at OSC's Springfield, Ohio, location -- whose mission includes providing "blue-collar supercomputing" info for state colleges and businesses -- will use the adapters to test connections between clusters and remote hosts.

The Springfield site includes a 33-node Apple Xserve G5 cluster (which in turn is linked to two Cray supercomputers). A 1-Gbit/s Ethernet WAN service links the cluster to OSC's remote-site hosts in Columbus [ed. note: and it doesn't get much more remote than Columbus]. Storage attached to the cluster comprises 150 Tbytes of Fibre Channel gear from IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and DataDirect Networks Inc..

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