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Woven Weaves 10-Gig

Stealth-mode startup Woven Systems is developing a massively scaleable 10-Gbit/s switch to compete with InfiniBand. The startup plans to launch its first product next year.

Woven Systems is taking aim at enterprise networks and clusters, says Harry Quackenboss, Woven Systems CEO. The product will include Layer 2 hardware and software that can be scaled up to “very large configurations,” linking servers and storage. This “will offer a port count and a cost-per-port similar to InfiniBand,” Quackeboss tells NDCF.

A number of InfiniBand vendors already offer 288-port switches, although Quackenboss says Woven is also planning to emulate InfiniBand’s ability to link a number of switches together to provide “thousands of ports.”

With its low latency and high bandwidth, InfiniBand has mainly been used as an interconnect for high-performance computing. However, the technology is now in the spotlight following Cisco Systems Inc.’s (Nasdaq: CSCO) $250 million acquisition of Topspin Communications Inc. and a raft of announcements from other vendors (see Cisco Takes On Topspin, Voltaire Strikes Up $15M Series E, and IBM's Cluster Bluster).

But Quackenboss says that deploying Woven’s technology, rather than InfiniBand, could save users a great deal of hassle. That's because Woven's switch will link directly to standard Gigabit Ethernet gear, supporting applications such as Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) clusters. “It doesn’t require gateways and convertors to connect it to the rest of the data center network. It doesn't require any additional training,” he says.

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