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New Infiniband Architecture Specification Offers Improved Scalability And Management

By - Source: IBTA

The InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA) announced Release 1.3 of Volume 1 of the InfiniBand Architecture Specification. The InfiniBand network communications link protocol offers very high throughput and very low latency, making it ideal for high-performance computing applications and enterprise data centers. The new standard specifies improvements in both scalability and management.

"Interconnect technologies must keep pace with the increasing size and complexity of compute clusters," said Rupert Dance, editor of the specification. "With high performance compute clusters and data centers becoming larger and more powerful, the newest release of Volume 1 presents a standardized platform for networking equipment that will support the industry’s push towards Exascale."

The InfiniBand specification outlines requirements for switches, routers, host channel adapters and target channel adapters for I/O devices along with an architecture for management of InfiniBand fabric. Volume 2 of the specification refers to the InfiniBand physical architecture.

Release 1.3 of the Volume 1 InfiniBand Architecture Specification provides several improvements, including deeper visibility into switch hierarchy, improved diagnostics allowing for faster response times to connectivity problems, enhanced network statistics, and added counters for Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) to improve network management. These features will allow network administrators to more easily install, maintain, and optimize very large InfiniBand clusters.

The new specification is the product of a collaboration of 100 representatives from over 60 companies. The IBTA is lead by a steering committee made up of representatives from Cray, Emulex, HP, IBM, Intel, Mellanox Technologies, Microsoft, Oracle and QLogic.