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Mellanox Adds 40GbE NIC Design To Open Compute Project

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Mellanox has released the world's first 40 Gigabit Ethernet Network Interface Card (NIC) based on Open Compute Project (OCP) specifications, just in time for the Open Compute Summit, which starts today in San Jose, California.

According to Mellanox, the NIC was designed to Open Compute Project specifications and is now being offered by the company as a contribution to the project. The proposed OCP-based 40GbE NIC is an offshoot of Mellanox's current line of 40Gb ConnectX-3 Pro interface cards.

"Mellanox has been active in the OCP Network Project and has contributed to the open hardware and software model to help achieve OCP's vision for true open standards and faster pace in network technology innovation," said Kevin Deierling, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. "We're pleased to continue our collaborations with Facebook in delivering 40GbE NIC technology to OCP to deliver unmatched performance and rich feature-sets that enable superior data center productivity and efficiency." The ConnectX-3 Pro OCP-based 40GbE NICThe ConnectX-3 Pro OCP-based 40GbE NIC

The ConnectX-3 Pro OCP-based 40GbE NIC has Remote Direct Memory Access (which allows one computer to directly place information into the memory of another computer) (RDMA) over Converged Ethernet (RoCE). To support virtual machines in data centers, the ConnectX-3 40GbE NIC supports overlay network architecture through advanced NVGRE (Network Virtualization using Generic Routing Encapsulation) and VXLAN (Virtual Extensible LAN, network virtualization technology to deal with scalability issues) hardware offload engines. 

"Mellanox has played an important role in a number of OCP projects, including our new networking project," said Frank Frankovsky, president and chairman of the Open Compute Project Foundation. "We're pleased to see them propose the 40GbE OCP-based NIC as a contribution to OCP and look forward to collaborating with them further as we work to make open hardware a reality."

Mellanox offered its SwitchX-2 top-of-rack switch to the Open Compute Project in November 2013 after the Open Compute Project extended its charter to include networking hardware.

The Open Compute Project was started by Facebook in 2011 as a way to standardize and lower data center hardware costs. The project specifications and designs are available for anyone to review, use, or improve on. The Project's goal is to develop a collaborative dialog with peers in order to design an efficient and low-cost computing infrastructure.

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Bill Oliver has worked in IT as a techie, trainer, manager, and in business roles supporting IT for 20+ years.  For the past 12 years his focus has been on the business side of IT Contracts, Software Licensing, and all things related to IT Purchasing.

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