InfiniBand specialist Voltaire has unveiled a 20-Gbit/s switch device, which it's promoting as a way for users to cut their power and cooling costs. (See Voltaire Delivers Next-Gen Switches, The Big Chill, and Summer Storage Survival.)
Today the vendor took the wraps off the ISR 2012, a 288-port, 16U-high chassis, containing up to 12 switch blades built on silicon from Mellanox. Voltaire claims the ISR 2012 can slash power and cooling costs over 10-Gbit/s Ethernet switches. (See 10-Gig Trends Up, Mellanox Boasts 10-Gbit/s Ethernet, and Brocade Busts Out 10-Gbit/s Plans.)
Because of the high port density on the ISR 2012, Voltaire claims the switch uses just a fraction of the power compared to separate, smaller, 10-Gbit/s Ethernet switches. "We require 10 to 15 percent the amount of power and cooling for a similar configuration that would use 10-Gig," says Patrick Guay, the vendor's senior vice president of marketing.
Power is an increasingly hot topic in enterprise data centers, prompting a flurry of activity from vendors looking to capitalize on users' spiraling energy costs. (See Big Blue Launches Big Green, Copan Pushes Power Savings, Storewiz Joins Green Grid, and Verari Speeds Off With $20M.)
Taneja Group analyst Arun Taneja told Byte and Switch that there is truth in Voltaire's power claims. "10-Gig Ethernet switches are power hogs," he says. "By the nature of Ethernet, they consume significantly higher power, they have much higher latencies, and they require more cooling."