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IBM SoftLayer Adds InfiniBand Support for Bare-Metal HPC

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

IBM is adding InfiniBand support for SoftLayer's bare-metal infrastructure solutions. SoftLayer, an IBM-owned infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider, wants to target high performance computing (HPC) needs while remaining in the cloud. HPC and big data applications are growing every day, and they include such areas as financial services, genomics and a number of engineering fields. Read: IBM Adds Power Systems to Put Watson in the Cloud

"Bringing InfiniBand capability to the cloud is driven by the growing need for extremely high levels of speed and performance for scenarios such as HPC and big data," says Philbert Shih, managing director for Structure Research.

Access to InfiniBand networking technology provides SoftLayer IaaS users with up to 56Gbps in transfer speeds, which is "the equivalent of transferring data from more than 30,000 Blu-ray discs in a single day," according to IBM. An InfiniBand architecture option adds a lot of power to an already flexible IaaS service.

The SoftLayer bare-metal catalog is extensive, with over one hundred bare-metal racks available. These range anywhere from $149/month for the Xeon 3460 with 2GB RAM, a 2.80GHz Xeon 3460 Quad-Core CPU and support for two storage drives, to $1,359/month for the Xeon 4650 with 32GB RAM (512GB max) four 2.70GHz Xeon 4650 Octo-Core CPUs and support for 24 storage drives.

Further support for the bare-metal servers comes from IBM's cloud services IaaS suite, which includes virtual servers, security services and data backups, among other things. According to IBM, provisioning any bare-metal server takes between two and four hours.

"This type of offering will help enable engineers and scientists to build, compute, and analyze simulations in real time leveraging hundreds of compute nodes," says Shih. "Being able to share and analyze data at this speed will only accelerate cloud adoption from this use case, while making HPC more accessible across a wide variety of industries."

InfiniBand for SoftLayer bare-metal servers should be available some time in Q3 2014. For more information on SoftLayer bare-metal offerings or IBM IaaS cloud services visit their respective product and information pages.

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