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Doubting InfiniBand's Legs

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I came across an interesting article on internetnews.com by Henry Newman. It seems that Newman is having second thoughts about InfiniBand. With new breeds of Ethernet, such as FCoE and iWarp, soon to be available at a premium, albeit at slightly longer latency, can InfiniBand survive as much more than a niche product for highly specialized environments?

 

If you look at such technologies as Fibre-on and HiPPi, they don't tend to crash and burn in a fiery spectacle. Rather, they tend to fade away quietly as the larger vendors spin them off in favor of higher market share and better profit margins.

 

In short, Newman takes issue with a recent IDC report that had InfiniBand gaining larger converts in the high-powered computing field. Why would anyone want to establish a separate storage networking environment with Fibre Channel or InfiniBand when they can simply upgrade their existing Ethernet to 10 Gb?

 

At this year's Interop, NetEffect showed its 10 Gb iWarp adapter processing more than 2 million packets per second while consuming less than 6 watts.

 

For vendors, it comes down to a choice between trying to sell an entirely new network, or simply improving the old one.

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