Blade Network Technologies (News - Alert) recently published a white paper explaining why they think this could be the year of 10 Gigabit Ethernet in HPC. Company officials point to research showing that by 2012, the market is expected to reach $15.6 billion.
Blade officials said some of the factors holding up adoption are the price of switches, switch scaling and simple PHY confusion, as well as the proof of performance. On the positive side, they noted that prices are dropping fast, and some server vendors are including 10 Gigabit Ethernet as a standard server feature now, as well as several NIC (News - Alert) vendors proving mature and stable for HPC. In this context they mentioned the Chelsio 10GbE adapter for standard rack servers and the Chelsio 10GbE adapter for IBM (News - Alert) BladeCenter-H servers.
10 Gigabit Ethernet offers the same familiar operating environment, Blade officials say, as well as ease of use, debug, and management, a path to 40 and 100 Gig Ethernet and 10x bandwidth and 8x better latency vs. Gig Ethernet.
Pointing out that switch ports used to cost more than servers, company officials note that 10 Gig E switches now list for under $500 per port, a dramatic improvement. Listing some of the points of their featured servers, they mentioned the load distribution across the core using OSPF ECMP, a separate IP subnet for each enclosure, separate VLAN and IP subnet for each RackSwitch, full network path redundancy – not just link level, no Spanning Tree and a 2.3 to 1 oversubscription.
About a month ago TMCnet reported that Blade Network announced that its VMready capable Ethernet switches can now manage thousands of Virtual Machines or VMs across massively scalable data center networks.
VMready is a product that enables the network to be Virtual Machine aware, Singh wrote, adding that the network can be configured and managed for 1000s of virtual ports or v-ports, rather than just a few physical ports:
“With VMready, as VMs migrate across physical hosts, so do their network attributes. VMready allows managing virtual machines as they can be added, moved and removed while retaining the same ACLs, QoS and VLAN attributes. VMready allows for a 'define once, use many' configuration that evolves as the server and network topologies evolve.”
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin