Mellanox (News - Alert) technologies announced on Monday the unveiling of two new Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) solutions in its MetroX line. The new systems provide IT departments the ability to connect between data centers, as close as several hundred meters or as far away as 100km.
The Sunnyvale, CA (News - Alert)-based company makes network hardware that supports InfiniBand and RDMA. It develops interconnect solutions that provide high-performance and low-latency computing, and heavily promotes the technology. Mellanox' customers include Airbus, Comcast, IBM, HP, Oracle (10 percent owner of Mellanox), Chevron (News - Alert) and Viacom.
Oracle uses Mellanox' Infiniband technology in some of its own solutions, like the Exadata and Exalogic database appliances, and Oracle (News - Alert) Cloud.
RDMA technology is especially helpful in disaster recovery with MetroX, since, by definition, it bypasses OS functions. Database recovery time that used to take several days now only takes a few hours. More activity is done in memory than on slower performing disk accesses.
The following additions to the MetroX line of high-performance interconnect solutions include the MetroDX TX6000 and MetroX TX6200.
The TX6000 is designed for data center connectivity between two locations relatively close together. It has 18 ports running at a speed of 40Gb/s and a maximum range of 1km.
The TX6200 is for distant data centers. It has two ports running 10/40Gb/s at a distance of 100km.
Mellanox' announcement is great news for some IT departments encompassing multiple sites, as its solutions featuring RDMA and InfiniBand technologies make geographical location less important, but there is still a long way to go.
With the TX6200 covering a maximum distance of 100km (or about 62 miles), it would provide no benefit to data centers farther apart than that – a situation often the case with many companies.
Performance statistics are frequently based on 'perfect world' conditions. If that's the case with the TX6200, then its realistic performance limitation would be somewhat less. You would not want to run many cars at 8000 RPM for very long, even though the engine has the ability to run at that speed and the tachometer can display it.
Under the right circumstances, however, Mellanox' solutions can be a huge benefit to enterprise data centers. If a fire struck a corporation's primary data center, but the company had a backup center 20 miles away, restoring a database quickly using Mellanox' high-speed technologies would have the company running back to normal very quickly.
It speaks highly about Mellanox and their InfiniBand interconnect solutions that so many high-profile corporations use the technology. While it has distance limitations, it’s probably still very useful for many organizations. If the technology continues to make big gains, disaster recovery will be a lot easier for companies spread out over longer distances.
Edited by Braden Becker