Voltaire Says New High-Performance Switch Will Double Connectivity Speed for IBM BladeCenter

Voltaire Ltd., a provider of network solutions for data centers, announced that it is designing a next-generation, high-performance 40 Gb/s InfiniBand switch module for IBM BladeCenter. The new custom switch will deliver 100% faster InfiniBand connectivity to accelerate performance of applications running on BladeCenter, the vendor said.

The new switch, Voltaire says, will better support the performance requirements of enterprise applications for virtualization and enterprise resource planning and, because of its increased bandwidth and I/O throughput, will simplify large-scale HPC deployments. The solution is also more energy efficient than current 10 Gigabit Ethernet blade systems, the vendor adds.

Blade servers have been seeing explosive growth in recent years, Asaf Somekh, Voltaire's vice president of marketing, observes to 5 Minute Briefing. "Their growth is much higher than the overall server business," he says. "It's very important for us to go into the blade enclosures where switches-like the switch we are announcing now-are actually replacing external switches."

Fewer external cables "means less overhead, means higher reliability," Somekh says. Reduced cabling also supports lower power consumption and reducing cooling expenses.

IBM recently built the world's fastest computer with assistance from Voltaire, observes Alex Yost, vice president, IBM BladeCenter, in a statement released at the time of the announcement. "That's a great example of how IBM consistently provides our blade customers with the latest in networking technologies to allow them to extract maximum performance from their systems. The addition of Voltaire-designed, 40 Gb/s, QDR InfiniBand switching to BladeCenter will provide an ideal platform for clients with high-performance needs."

Separately, Voltaire also recently announced its 40 Gb/s InfiniBand director-class switch, the Grid Director 4700. The switch, and Voltaire's new advanced management software, Unfified Fabrics Manager software, provide high performnce, scalability and ease of use for large, high performance clusters. The Grid Director 4700 and Unified Fabric Manager software will be available in Q2 2009 through OEM partners and resellers. More information about the Grid Director 4700 is available here and about the Unified Fabric Manager software here.

The new IBM custom switch is expected to be available through IBM during the first half of this year.