after AFAs -
what's the next box?|
how fast can your SSD
reasons for fading out DRAM
where are we
heading with memory intensive systems?
consequences of the 2017 memory shortages
and risk reward ratios with big memory "flash as RAM"
|Gen-Z 1.0 now available to
Editor:- February 13, 2018 - The Gen-Z Consortium today
that the Gen-Z Core Specification 1.0 is publicly available on its website. Its
memory media independence and high bandwidth coupled with low latency is
intended to enable advanced workloads and technologies for end-to-end secure
connectivity from node level to rack scale.
Editor's comments:- Gen-Z
follows in the multidecade footsteps of
Infiniband and then
recently PCIe memory fabrics - but Gen-Z was born with with confident
expectations that because of SCM DIMM wars andthe memoryfication of the
enterprise there is a real business potential that
could become the mainstream instead of sitting in the side lines of HPC.
rev 1.0 specification is a 980 plus page pdf - which I haven't read through yet
- but which shows definite promise of a being a thought provoking page turner.
what I've seen so far the thinking looks like a modern, secure and media
agnostic way to request or respond to byte and block addressable (or
addressed by default as the next component) data packets between a huge
scalable population of components which can be memory devices, processors or
U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs uses RAID Inc. in 5PB SDS
Editor:- December 7, 2016 - A customer news story from RAID Inc. -
of Veterans Affairs Selects RAID Inc. for Multi-Petabyte Microsoft Storage
- includes the useful ratio metric that "400TB of flash-accelerated
hot tier storage" were used to support 5PB of cold tier data in an
fault tolerant array which supports over 460,000 devices in more than 280
Nimbus re-emerges from stealth with 1PB / U raw HA SSD
August 9, 2016 - Nimbus
Data Systems has emerged from its self imposed exit into
mode with the
of a new range of Ethernet/FC/Infiniband attached rackmount SSDs based
on its new
OS with GA in Q4 2016.
Entry level products start in a 2U box with
50TB raw capacity for under $50K and for larger configurations Nimbus says its
ExaFlash offers an effective price point as low as
effective gigabyte (including all software and hardware).
density boxes in this product line - D-series models - will have 4.5 PB raw
capacity in 4U (12 PB effective).
AccelStor adds 16G FC to 1U AFA range
19, 2016 - AccelStor
announced its has
added dual port 16Gbps FC connectivity to its
rackmount SSD product line which was previously available with
InfiniBand or 10GbE
Themis ships rugged mobile datacenter platform
November 17, 2015 - Themis Computer
immediate availability of a rugged
rackmount SSD system - called
integrates scalable SDS architecture software from Atlantis Computing
with 4 ruggedized, 8 hot pluggable SSD drive, RES-XR5-1U rack mounted servers
(MIL-STD-461), with a high-speed, 12-port Mellanox Infiniband switch to run
virtualized applications for rugged mobile datacenter applications.
HGST's IB fabric leverages PCM
Editor:- August 11,
2015 - The 3 strongest contenders for ultra-low latency rack to rack memory
fabric have been
FC SAN (traditionally
popular in traditional business sites),
in HPC and research sites) and (emerging
recently in product form since 2014 - due to the widespread penetration of
PCIe SSDs) -
Until recently the memories in these solutions were
predominantly mainstream RAM
or flash or
Now after more than a
decade of crying wolf
by alternative non volatile memories - there are indications from several SSD
companies that the gaps in the market represented by the application spectrum
(latency combined with capavity and cost) are seen as big enough business
opportunities to justify the introduction of new memory types.
into this category - a thoughtful preview article re new PCM IB fabric from
discussed in this recent article -
To Display PCM Fabric at FMS 2015 on Tom's IT Pro
Diablo's MCS supported by more slots in new Lenovo servers
May 6, 2015 - Diablo
that Lenovo's new 8U
X6 servers now support upto 32 eXFlash DIMMs (memory channel SSDs)
|A3CUBE shows shape of R/W
in remote shared memory fabric|
Editor:- April 14, 2015 - There was
a disproportionately high amount of reader interest in A3CUBE in
A3CUBE was one of those rare companies which entered the
Top SSD Companies list
within a single quarter of exiting stealth mode or launching their first
product. At that time they hadn't shipped any production products so we had to
make some guesses about how the architecture would work with different R/W
any remote memory caching system there are always some types of R/W activities
which work better than others and now we can get an idea of the headroom in
A3CUBE's remote PCIe shared memory from a new slidedeck released by the company
Foundation - all NVMe solution some benchmarks) which is based on a 4 server
In this 13 slide presentation - the most
interesting for me was #12 - which shows random writes. A3CUBE says "This
test measures the performance of writing a file with accesses being made to
random locations within the file."
The throughput range is
typically 700MB/s to 8GB/s. The low end is more impressive than it first appears
- when you consider that it's a 4KB record changed within a remote 64KB file.
You don't need to worry about the endurance of our FlashSystems - says IBM
October 7, 2014 - Worried about
"None of the thousands of
products (fast rackmount SSDs) which IBM has shipped has ever
worn out yet! - says Erik
Eyberg, Flash Strategy & Business Development at IBM - in his new
storage reliability: Aligning technology and marketing. "And our
metrics suggest that will remain true in almost all cases for many, many years
(certainly well beyond any normal and expected data center life cycle)"
goes on to explain that's the reason IBM can now officially cover flash
storage media wear-out as part of its standard IBM FlashSystem warranty and
maintenance policies - without changing the prices for these services.
his blog has a
to a white paper about the reliability architecture underlying this product
(although it's behind a sign-up wall - which seems counter productive to me.)
comments:- Don't expect all other flash array vendors to follow suit (with
no cost endurance guarantees) - because this product range from IBM is based on
design rules and memory reliability architectures experience in FC SAN
compatible enterprise SSD racks which have evolved since the 1st generation
RamSan from TMS (in
2000). And for more than a decade
using other popular enterprise storage interfaces.
Holly Frost - who founded
Texas Memory Systems - and who was the CEO when TMS was acquired - told me a
revealing story about TMS's policies concerning the reliability of their SSD
systems and customer care procedures.
This conversation took place
in December 2011
- when the company was launching its first high availability SSD - which
became the basis of IBM's FlashSystem.
It still makes interesting
reading today. You can see it in
this article -
in the right hand column - scroll down to the box titled - "no single point
of failure - except..."
Violin is brand leader in InfiniBand SSDs
July 17, 2014 - Violin
Memory was voted the SSD brand leader in InfiniBand SSDs in a new
today by IT Brand
Pulse. See also:-
SSD market analysts,
trust SSD market data?
OCZ's SAS SSDs in InfiniBand benchmark configuration
June 12, 2013 -
details of a benchmark demonstration it did this week showing its
on Windows Server 2012 in a system which uses OCZ's
Talos 2R SSDs (2.5"
SAS SSDs) working with
Path I/O acceleration software and RAID controllers - getting over 10GB/s
throughput to a remote file system while consuming under 5% of CPU overhead.
Whiptail expands ambitions up and down the SSD needs spectrum
Editor:- June 7, 2013 - Whiptail recently
imminent availability of its
INFINITY high end controller architecture. A 30 node INFINITY cluster -
consisting 6 x 72TB INVICTAs - can provide a 360TB, 4 million IOPS,
The company also announced details of a new entry level
($20K floor price) fast-enough 1U
iSCSI SSD - which is
aimed at the branch office environment. The WT-1100 offers 100K IOPS with
upto 4TB capacity and will be available via resellers and systems integrators.
sharpen your SSD R/W grid latency weapons to 5µS
May 9, 2012 - Kove
has published some
record latency numbers for its fast
RAM SSD - the XPD L2 -
which has achieved continuous and sustained 5 microsecond random storage read
and write when connected via 40Gb/s
from Mellanox .
Kove's system has good
which the company says - is not subject to periodic performance jitter or "periodicity".
Even under constantly changing disk utilization, it delivers uniform,
predictable, and deterministic performance.
"The Kove XPD L2... allows high performance applications to use
storage as a weapon rather than accept it as a handicap," said Kove's
Overton. "We are pleased to set a new bar height for storage
how fast can your SSD run backwards?
20, 2012 - StorageSearch.com
today published a new article which looks at the
11 key symmetries in
Whether you're a
investor in SSDs -
this new conceptual framework will help you to comparatively evaluate any SSD
compared to competitive offerings. It's helpful whether you're looking at raw
SSD IP and controller chips right up to the most complex
SSDs are complex devices and there's a lot of mysterious
behavior which isn't fully revealed by
vendor's product datasheets and whitepapers. Underlying all the important
aspects of SSD behavior are asymmetries which arise from the intrinsic
technologies and architecture inside the SSD.
Which symmetries are
most important in an SSD? - That depends on your application. But knowing
that these symmetries exist, what they are, and judging how your selected SSD
compares will give you new insights into SSD
no such thing as - the perfect SSD - existing in the market today - but
the SSD symmetry list helps you to understand where any SSD in any memory
technology stands relative to the ideal. And it explains why deviations from the
ideal can matter.
The new article unifies all SSD architectures and
technologies in a simple to understand way. Now that I've spent
20 years thinking about
it - it all seems really obvious now. This is the most important article
about SSDs that I've written in the past few years. I couldn't have written
it before. I hope you like it.
...click to read
PS - I'll be using the new symmetry terminology
from now on in news stories and in SSD company profiles - so you'll soon get
used to it - just as you've got used to lots of other
Intel buys InfiniBand line from QLogic
January 24, 2012 - Intel
an agreement to acquire the
40Gbps (pdf) related product lines, IP and business assets of QLogic.
comments:- if you're not familiar with
InfiniBand - it was
originally proposed in 2000 as a standard for remote CPU R/W with small packet
sizes and ultra low latency to support arrays of CPUs over many cards and racks.
In the early days - InfiniBand evangelists and some storage analysts believed
the standard would go into the commercial server mainstream.
what happened was that fatter multi-core CPU chips, and faster GbE wiped out
the volume market need for IB technology - because they could do the same job
cheaper and incrementally for smaller clusters of CPUs. So the IB market
nowadays is mainly a niche market for scientific research and high performance
Some of the
fastest SSD benchmarks
have been recorded in IB environments. And at one time (before 2008) I thought
that IB might be a significant and natural upward path for high performance
SSDs. However, PCIe SSD
systems also support remote array connections - so IB's role remains that of
occupying the narrow turf of clustering hundreds to thousands more CPUs than
Intel or others can pack into a single chip.
Another way to think about
it is this. You can't have viable HPC without SSD. But you can have a healthy
SSD market where HPC is a small niche.
There's no doubt that SSDs are
an enabling technology which make it realistic for CPU designers to think
about what they could do with hundreds of cores on a single chip and over 1,000
cores on a single server card. I discussed that blue sky concept with
processor designers nearly 10 years ago. But does the mainstream market need
data driven factories of the future - the answer is yes. But that could be
another 5 years in the future - because there are still closely related
standards to firm up - such as Hybrid
Memory Cubes. And
shows that new standards
take years to get into the market. In the meantime - if you're not in the HPC
market - but still need very fast CPU performance - keep an eye on what the
leading PCIe SSD makers do - and you won't go far wrong.
SSD system beats $ / GB in record setting benchmark
May 10, 2011 - Texas
Memory Systems today
record-setting audited SPC-1
and SPC-2 performance results produced by its flagship rackmount flash SSD
- the RamSan-630.
of the new results includes a first appearance of an
in SPC-2 category. Whereas the
is for a fibre-channel system.
Editor's comments:- as I said in
an article 3
years ago - results which simply show that an SSD is faster than a
traditional over provisioned hard disk system rarely deserve news mention
status - no matter how high the ratio.
What TMS says is different about
these results - is that its SLC flash SSD system also cost less per gigabyte
than the previous record holder's HDD based system.
Kove launches 20 Gigabytes/s RAM SSD
November 22, 2010 -
demonstrated a 4U InfiniBand
& FC compatible
terabyte class RAM SSD
product line (with under 25 µS latency) called
Xpress Disk - which can sustain
20GB/s throughput via 6x InfiniBand ports and 600,000 read IOPS and 500,000
Editor's comments:- despite costing an order of
magnitude more - the market for
RAM SSDs hasn't been
killed by flash.
On the contrary - all the vendors of high end RAM SSDs that I've
spoken to in the past year say they have been pleasantly suprised to see demand
for this type of product growing. The reason? - When a bunch of flash SSD
accelerated servers hits a storage performance bottleneck - the only way to go
faster is to interpose RAM SSDs. And unlike
the old days
when the first terabyte RAM SSDs became commercially available (2003) - users
today are already amenable to the concept of SSD acceleration.
SSDs ensure smooth running in Penguin's new IceBreaker
November 15, 2010 -
a new family of fast 160TB DAS
RAID storage systems which
the company says provides the performance and scalability of 40Gbps
it's designed for high workflow apps like scientific modeling - which don't
need the "frills" (and cost) associated with similar capacity
comments:- I asked the question - does
solid state storage feature
in any significant way in the new product architecture? If so - at what
level and managed how? To see what they said - see
Penguin's profile page
QLogic reports new InfiniBand switch record
November 9, 2010 - QLogic
announced that its
and switches have achieved cluster message rate performance of over
million messages per second - a new
The system configuration was a 14 node cluster with 2
InfiniBand option doubles speed of RamSan-630 (3U SLC SSD)
October 4, 2010 -Texas
Memory Systems today
Quad Data Rate InfiniBand
card interface option for its
RamSan-630 3U SSD - which
effectively doubles the
IOPS to 1
Million (compared to the performance previously obtainable with the
Fusion-io SSDs deployed in nuclear safety program
June 15, 2010 - today it was
that Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
has deployed over 100TB of Fusion-io's dual
320GB enterprise MLC ioMemory modules deployed in ioSAN carrier cards that
connect over Infiniband
in a testbed
project to develop high-performance simulation computing capabilities
needed to ensure the safety, security and reliability of the nation's aging
nuclear deterrent without underground testing.
With the addition of Fusion-Powered I/O, the Hyperion testbed will
deliver over 40 million IOPS and 320GB/s of bandwidth from just 80 1U
appliances (2 racks) compared to 43 racks and more power if implemented in an
HDD based system.
"This project demonstrates how flash that performs like memory, rather than
disk, can scale to the highest levels of performance," said Neil Carson,
CTO of Fusion-io. "Equally important, it demonstrates that it is possible
to accomplish this with a fraction of the infrastructure. Our customers are
already capitalizing on the ioMemory's ability to let them do far more with far
less, and Lawrence Livermore has just taken it to the next level."
TMS ships 10TB 500K IOPS 3U SLC SSD
8, 2010 - Texas
Memory Systems today
availability of the
3U SLC SSD with 4
to 10TB capacity, 500,000
8GB/s bandwidth, and R/W latency of 250 / 80 microseconds in a 450W power
Levi Norman, Director of Marketing and OEM for Texas Memory
Systems explained the rationale behind the new product - "We developed
it in response to observing how customers were struggling to boost performance
without adding to their data center footprint. The explosive growth in IT and
storage over the years is resulting in many data centers reaching their limits
for space and power draw."
QLogic Ships 40Gbps InfiniBand Switches
June 8, 2009 - QLogic
today announced general availability of its
Series 40Gb/sec QDR InfiniBand switches.
"With 864 ports and
bandwidth of 51 terabits per second, the QLogic 12000 series is the highest
capacity general purpose QDR InfiniBand switch on the market today," said
David Vellante, co-founder of Wikibon.org. "The
huge bandwidth of this solution brings HPC customers better scale-out
performance, lower latencies, simpler management and reduced costs."
also:- SAN switches,
New Module Aims at "must-have 100 terabytes SSD"
Editor:- April 21, 2009 - Texas Memory Systems
announced the RamSan-620
- a 2U rackmount SLC Flash SSD with 2TB to 5TB capacity and 2 to 8
Throughput is 3GB/s. R/W latency is 250µS and 80µS respectively.
Transactional performance is 250,000 random IOPS. Power consumption is 325W.
Multiple RamSan-620s can scale to higher capacities. Upto 100TB can fit in a
single 40U rack.
"The IT community is looking for ways to increase
storage efficiency while boosting productivity," said Greg Schulz, founding
analyst at StorageIO
and author of "The Green and
Virtual Data Center".. "It is time to stop moving around I/O or
other bottlenecks and start enabling storage efficiency via performance
optimised storage that does more work, in a smaller footprint (power, cooling,
floor-space, economic) while boosting productivity. Anyone can attach
flash SSD to a
computer or storage system; however the real trick and business benefit is when
a storage system or applications server can fully utilise the technology without
introduction of, or moving I/O and performance bottlenecks elsewhere. The
RamSan-620 is an example of a new breed of storage solutions that have been
optimised to leverage the capabilities of flash SSD while preserving application
QoS and service level objectives."
there has been a lot of debate in the
fastest lanes of
the SSD accelerator market about whether it's better for users to deploy this
technology inside the server box (as
PCIe cards) - or
outside the box (on the SAN).
This is reminiscent of the old
vs RISC processor debates of the mid 1980s.
Entertaining as it is
to analyze these polarized approaches I explained in my
2009 - Year of SSD
Market Confusion and
articles why I believe that users will, in fact, do both.
Systems has in the past told me, that whenever they launch a new rackmount SSD
they have some customers who just fill up a complete cabinet with the new model
and use that as their basic unit of solid state storage until the next new
model comes around. They'll only need 6.5kW for the 100TB SSD enabled by
this model - and they'll get the transactional performance of 10,000
Fusion-io Unveils InfiniBand flash SSD
San Diego, Calif. -
September 8, 2008 - Fusion-io unveiled the ioSAN - a 10GbE or
Infiniband attached flash SSD on PCIe form factor.
standards-based, memory-speed protocol over either 10GigE or 40GBps QDR
ioSAN shares ioMemory capacity between servers. With latencies of less than 2
microseconds, the ioSAN incorporates an integrated network interface that can
dynamically alternate between 10Gb/s Ethernet or 40Gb/s quad data rate
InfiniBand. The built-in network interface makes it easy to create networked
storage across servers with increased performance and flexibility, and with zero
footprint. This networked storage is extremely easy to integrate and manage
within existing server infrastructure. Prior to general availability of the
ioSAN, Fusion-io is inviting innovative and visionary companies to join them as
they launch their 3rd party development program at the beginning of next year.
this development, everything you thought you knew about
storage networking is no
longer true," said David Flynn, CTO of Fusion-io. "The ioSAN fuses SSD
with storage networking, combining the best of direct-attached and storage
networking with the best of SSD and traditional storage. With this revolutionary
advancement, Fusion-io has commoditized high-performance network storage in the
same way that companies like NVIDIA and ATI commoditized high-performance
graphics processing. Fantastic applications of this technology are now beginning
comments:- Fusion-io's full press release text says this is "the
world's first networked enterprise SSD."
That's not strictly
correct because fiber-channel
SSDs have been available from many oems for over a decade. And it's not the
first "ethernet NAS SSD" either. We ran an ad here in 2002 for
it's not the first "enterprise NAS SSD". In April 2008
Nimbus Data Systems
announced an SSD acceleration option for its
series of multi-protocol 10GbE IP storage systems.
And it's not
the first InfiniBand SSD either. That was
Texas Memory Systems
What is special about Fusion-io's new product is that
it could become the first high performance native NAS SSD to cross the chasm
between PR-ware and success in the market. Although high speed NAS SSDs have
been announced before on these storage news pages by various companies in years
gone by none of them left a deep impression in the market. The reason? - the
benefits of SSD acceleration were not cost effective when channeled through
slow ethernet networks. The low cost of Fusion-io's flash array coupled with
its high speed and 10GbE interface could place this product in new
territory in the SSD roadmap.
DataDirect Networks Expands Japanese Operations
- July 1, 2008 - DataDirect Networks, Inc. today announced it is
investing 0.5 billion yen (approx $5 million) to expand its sales and support
operations throughout Japan.
This investment will fuel the
company's expansion in these key sectors and enable it to accelerate its growth
trajectory in the world's 2nd largest economy.
Analog TV broadcasting will end in Japan in July 2011, and the
Association for the Promotion of Digital Broadcasting Japan recently announced
that as of March, more than 32 million digital terrestrial television sets are
already in use. With the transition to 100% digital environments, DataDirect
Networks Japan is partnering with major broadcasters, post production and
digital intermediate facilities to ensure a seamless transition to all digital
Networks profile, Storage
Resellers in Japan
LSI and QLogic Cross Certify InfiniBand Products
Calif - February 12, 2008 - QLogic Corp. and LSI Corp today
announced that the 2 companies will be working together to cross-certify their
InfiniBand based products.
LSI is actively involved in the QLogic
HPCtrack Program in which
collaborate to optimize the performance of multi-vendor solutions.
DataDirect Scales to X00 Gigabytes/ Second
Calif - November 14, 2007 - DataDirect Networks Inc. today announced
that the company's 8th generation S2A appliance will enable CFS/SUN's
Lustre I/O to reach several hundred gigabytes / second.
DataDirect Networks manufactures the fastest, highest capacity, most scalable
Lustre-based storage systems on the planet. Lustre, taken from the words "Linux"
and "cluster," is a distributed file system used for large scale
cluster computing. The file system, which was
Sun Microsystems in
October, was designed to scale to tens of thousands of nodes that are attached
to petabytes of storage. The main advantage of the file system is that it does
not compromise a storage system's speed or security.
built into the latest S2A appliance include support for
8Gbps Fibre Channel and
DDR host connections. The system leverages the
serial attached SCSI
protocol to communicate to the drives it manages, providing a future-proof
roadmap to the latest disk drive technologies, speeds and capacities. ...Data Direct Networks
Violin will Demo InfiniBand Memory Array
NJ - October 24, 2007 - Violin Memory, Inc. will exhibit the
Violin 1010 Memory Appliance at SC07 in Reno, NV next month.
The Violin1010 will be network attached to the SCinet
during the show. The network technologies and partners to enable this attachment
will be announced at the tradeshow. ...Violin Memory profile,
Voltaire Reports 194% Revenue Growth
- August 8, 2007 - Voltaire Ltd. today announced financial results for
the 3 month period ended June 30, 2007.
Revenue increased by 194% to $11.7 million compared to Q206.
"This has been another strong quarter for Voltaire"
said Ronnie Kenneth, Chairman and CEO. "During the quarter we shipped our
new 20Gbps switch platform and continued to penetrate growth-oriented vertical
Mellanox Announces InfiniBand Market Milestone
21, 2007 - Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. today announced that it has
shipped over 2 million InfiniBand (10 and 20Gb/s) ports to OEMs.
than 6 years after STORAGEsearch.com
launched a dedicated directory page for
May 2001 most
users have forgotten just how much this technology was once hyped.
example IDC was once
quoted as saying "75% of all servers shipped in 2004 will be
shipped with InfiniBand connectivity." In fact that estimate was 100x
too high. The need for InfiniBand functionality didn't go away - instead it
was mostly implemented by on chip memory to memory access in multi-core
processors. 10GbE also took a swipe out of the inter blade connection market. So
today, InfiniBand is a small niche market instead of being the dominant
technology which was once foretold.
Mellanox Demos 40Gb/s Connectivity Over
CA April 16, 2007 Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. announced
the demonstration of a 40Gb/s InfiniBand server-to-server connection over a
copper cable using advanced versions of the recently announced ConnectX IB Host
These are the first I/O adapters to support the
increased performance of PCI Express 2.0 a doubling of bus speeds
expected to be integrated in server and storage platforms over the next year.
"This 40Gb/s demonstration is strong evidence that
continue to provide connectivity performance leadership for the industry's most
demanding computing and storage applications, and it's software compatible with
the InfiniBand installed base," said Shai Cohen, Mellanox's VP of
operations and engineering at Technologies.
InfiniBand Storage Powers Moviemakers
Los Angeles, CA
- March 27, 2007 - DataDirect Networks announced today that Academy
Award winning Ascent Media Creative Services has selected its
technology (incorporated in SGI's RM660 and Infinite 6700) as the
primary storage solution supporting 4K, 2K and HD post production and digital
and Infinite 6700
systems are based on DataDirect Networks'
Storage Appliance technology and is an ideal storage solution for creative
environments. The S2A technology, with up to 3GB/s of sustained real-time
throughput and up to 960TB of storage capacity, can easily scale to handle the
bandwidth and capacity intensive requirements needed in the digital intermediate
space, empowering true real-time collaborative workflow in digital
Direct Networks profile, ...SGI
profile, SSDs in tv and
|Megabyte knew how to go fast over
a short distance|
the Rise of the InfiniBand Market |
|This timeline tracks key InfiniBand
events and market milestones, as they were recorded here on
- June 2000
- first mention of InfiniBand. Hubert Yoshida, Vice President of Data Network
Solutions at Hitachi Data Systems " ...As very large-capacity disk drives
come to market for future generations of storage subsystems, these disk drives
themselves may become bottlenecks to system performance... Adopting dual-ported
Fibre Channel interface technology is the way to get faster back-end performance
out of systems using the large disk drives... Infiniband standards, which are
now being defined, bring the concept of switching into the processors to replace
the shared PCI bus."
- January 2001
- Intel announced it was shipping samples of its InfiniBand silicon and
software products, critical components that will help implement the InfiniBand
I/O industry specification and enable a key advance in Internet servers.
2001 - Mellanox Technologies introduced its InfiniBridge family of
devices supporting the new InfiniBand architecture which includes Switches,
Host Channel Adapters (HCAs), and Target Channel Adapters
2001 - first STORAGEsearch editor article mentioning InfiniBand. Re:
Does a SAN need to include fibre-channel? - "To my way of thinking, circa
2001, "SAN" now encompasses the idea of any kind of significant
storage system which can connect over some distance to a network, whether that
connection is by fibre-channel, ethernet, the internet, or in the future
InfiniBand... I think the SAN market today is like the PC market before
Microsoft, and the networking market before Cisco. Nobody really knows who is
going to create the standards which are going to be the winners."
- April 2001
- DAFS - a new file access protocol, specifically designed to take advantage
of standard memory-to-memory interconnect technologies such as InfiniBand in
high-performance clustered data center environments - was 75% defined.
- April 2001
became the first of many hopeful InfiniBand focused startups - and raised $20
million in financing from top-tier venture capitalists. "IDC predicts the
InfiniBand switch port opportunity will exceed $1 billion by 2004."
- May 2001
- STORAGEsearch started a dedicated directory for
page). "Infiniband was one of the top 5 words or phrases searched using the
on-site search-engine during the month preceding."
- June 2001 -
InfiniCon Systems published first of a series of educational articles about
- June 2001
- InfiniSwitch quoted a market projection "Research from IDC estimates
that more than 75% of all servers shipped in 2004 will be shipped with
InfiniBand connectivity." - Most of IDC's projections about storage
interface technologies at that time were much too optimistic. This resulted in
many startup companies going bust in later years - because the markets in
InfiniBand (and iSCSI -
the other big analyst hyped subject) weren't big enough to feed them.
- August 2001
- Intel announced several interoperability demos including the world's largest
InfiniBand fabric to date, which featured 24 vendors and over 100 InfiniBand
2001 - InfiniCon Systems announced that it will work with IBM to
integrate IBM's InfiniBand chip technology - known as InfiniBlue - into
sharable I/O solutions to be offered by InfiniCon Systems.
2002 - Voltaire demonstrated its TCP Termination product architecture -
which connected InfiniBand to existing IP networks
- March 2002
- we started seeing the first of the InfiniBand startups go bust. The
assets of Essential Communications were acquired by
in March 28, 2002
- Overland Data, Inc announced a strategic alliance with InfiniCon Systems to
collaborate on InfiniBand-based solutions for Overland's Neo series tape
- May 2002 - On its first anniversary - the InfiniBand directory on
STORAGEsearch.com was ranked #24 out of the pages viewed by readers. Just below
disk to disk backup.
2002 - view this InfiniBand page and news back in time.
2002 - InfiniCon Systems announced general availability of its InfinIO
7000 Shared I/O Systems - the first commercially available I/O system based on
InfiniBand using 10Gbps channel speed.
- May 2003 - On its second anniversary - the InfiniBand directory on
STORAGEsearch.com was ranked #39 out of the pages viewed by readers. In the
SATA was #1.
- May 2003
- first vendor independent InfiniBand training workshops launched by CATC
- August 2003
- InfiniCon Systems announced that its InfinIO family of products - leveraging
InfiniBand architecture - using the industry-standard IP-over-InfiniBand
(IPoIB) protocol, applications drove data in excess of 350MB/second for a single
link, compared to an average of 65MB/second for a Gigabit Ethernet link.
2003 - SBS Technologies introduced the IB4X-PMC-2 Host Channel Adapter -
the first InfiniBand HCA to be provided on a PCI mezzanine card (PMC).
2004 - Mellanox announced that more than 200,000 InfiniBand ports
have been shipped to its customers.
- March 2004
- Topspin Communications announced the industry's first intelligent Boot over
- May 2004 - On its third anniversary - the InfiniBand directory on
STORAGEsearch.com was ranked #36 out of the pages viewed by readers. In the same
month solid state disks was
Also in May 2004 wannabe InfiniBand startup Banderacom
(which had exited the InfiniBand market due to its small size and poor
prospects) renamed itself and re-emerged as
NetEffect - with $22
million to pursue the high-performance, multi-gigabit Ethernet market.
- June 2004
- IWILL selected Mellanox's InfiniHost host channel adapter to provide 10Gb/s
Landed on Motherboard connections for the DK8S2-IB server platform - the
world's first server with 10Gb/s network connectivity shipped standard with
2004 - Infiniband was identified as one of the storage market "Dogs
Which Didn't Bark" in STORAGEsearch.com's end of year review.
- May 2005 - On its fourth anniversary - the InfiniBand directory on
STORAGEsearch.com was ranked #31 out of the pages viewed by readers. In the same
month NAS was #1.
- June 2005
- Voltaire announced $15 million in further financing taking its total to $65
million investment. STORAGEsearch commented on InfiniBand's slower than
predicted adoption in the market. "The original benefit of a faster
storage connection has got more fuzzy as other technologies have also speeded
up. It's also possible that new technologies like multi-core processors in which
CPUs share access to the same memory bus inside the same chip have eroded some
of the multiprocessing benefits which InfiniBand's proponents originally had in
- October 2005 - InfiniBand is 33rd most popular subject viewed by
- June 2006
InfiniBand-based switching solution and software stack to support Microsoft
Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 (Microsoft's official new entry into the
world of HPC).
- October 2006 - InfiniBand is 28th most popular subject viewed by
More recent events in InfiniBand
history can be seen in the left hand column of this page.
- November 2006 - InfiniBand (re)entered the top 20 storage searches
by STORAGEsearch.com readers - at #18
history and SSD news.
1st business decade |
InfiniBand, first mentioned here on
June 2000, was a
graveyard for many startups which came into being to support this technology in
the first 3 to 4 years of this interface's market life.
idea behind InfiniBand was that it would offer an industry standard alternative
to the many high speed proprietary busses which server manufacturers used to
cluster their most powerful servers.
The technology delivers 10 to
RAM access with very low
recession in 2001-2003
slowed down the pace of new server developments and provided a disincentive for
manufacturers to end of life their most profitable products.
factors have reduced the potential market size for InfiniBand.
The availability of processor chips with multiple central processing units on
the same chip has reduced the need for motherboard to motherboard memory access
of the type provided by a factor of 2, 4 or 8 - for different chip
(2) - The availability of 10Gbps Ethernet, and the
imminent 20GbE, provides a workable alternative in many blade to blade and box
to box interconnect applications which would have looked like natural slots for
InfiniBand when it was first proposed.
How Big is the InfiniBand
In September 2006 the
Trade Association estimated that over 500 end-user sites had deployed
InfiniBand products in production applications.
says it expects the IB market in 2011 to be worth around $800 million (adapters
datacenter of the
future InfiniBand may be used commonly alongside
PCIe SSDs. (Although
some users are doing that already today - it's a rarity - and mostly occurs in
scientific modeling applications - rather than commercial database processing).
get the best results from the low latency - which InfiniBand offers for
repeated remote writes - requires
RAM SSDs or
fat flash SSDs
(which have large RAM caches). Without a RAM cache - much of the performance
benefits of InfiniBand in write intensive apps would be wasted - or costly to
the SSD Buyers Guide
Storage Architecture Guide
this way to the Petabyte
the InfiniBand Ecosystem?
Through the Infiniband Buzz
The new way of looking
at Enterprise SSDs
Established Itself in the Market?
FAQs - 40Gbps / $800 million market
I/O Infrastructure with InfiniBand
- editor mentions on StorageSearch.com