Dell, IBM, Sun Step Up for InfiniBand
The trio plans to build InfiniBand capabilities into future hardware and software products.InfiniBand, the high-speed interconnect technology that started out with a lot of promise but struggled through a difficult 2002, is getting some much-needed public support from major industry players. Dell Computer Corp., IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc. on Thursday are reiterating plans to build InfiniBand capabilities into future hardware and software products. InfiniBanda channel-based, switched fabric architecturewas at one time touted as replacing other interconnect technologies, such as PCI on the desktop. However, the growth of such technologies as PCI-X and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and storage connectivity technologies, such as Fibre Channel and iSCSI, has changed the landscape.
Now InfiniBand, which has beaten the other technologies to the 10G-bps speed mark, is being viewed more as a complementary technology in the data center, able to be used in conjunction with Ethernet and Fibre Channel. The technology is particularly gaining attention in clustering and high-performance computing scenarios, where its high bandwidth and low latency are crucial. It also has the benefit of being a standard, where most other interconnect technologies in that space are proprietary.