Voltaire Switches Accelerate Top 4 Supercomputers on Green500 List Demonstrating Performance and Efficiency Leadership

 

Voltaire Ltd’s switches are connecting the world’s most energy efficient supercomputers, according to the findings of the latest Green500 list announced by Green500.org. Voltaire switches serve as the high-performance interconnect for the top 4 and 26 of the top 100 most energy efficient supercomputers on the list.

“Voltaire is known for delivering performance as evidenced by our InfiniBand leadership position on the TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, said Asaf Somekh, vice president of marketing, Voltaire. “This new Green500 list showcases Voltaire’s strength in delivering energy efficient fabrics for high performance systems. Voltaire’s unique combination of performance and efficiency is important for commercial data centers that need to reduce costs and energy usage without compromising on performance.”

Voltaire Grid Director InfiniBand switches deliver 20 or 40 Gb/s bandwidths and low latency with less than 5 watts per port power consumption.

“Insufficient power and cooling continue to dominate as the greatest data center facility problems,” said John Phelps, Research VP, Gartner. “In a recent poll of infrastructure and operations managers, combined power and cooling deficiencies were identified as the greatest data center facility problem for 67% of users.”

The Green500 (www.green500.org) is a list ranking the most energy-efficient supercomputers in the world and serves as a complementary view to the Top500 (www.top500.org) list of the most powerful supercomputers.

More information about Voltaire’s Grid Director InfiniBand switches is available at http://www.voltaire.com/Products/InfiniBand/Grid_Director_Switches and a free whitepaper, “Reducing Data Center Energy Costs Up to 50% by Consolidating and Virtualizing Your Network” is available at http://www.voltaire.com/unifiedfabric.

Fulcrum Microsystems has announced the FocalPoint FM6000 series of fully integrated wire-speed 10G and 40G Ethernet switch chips, which incorporate the company's new and innovative Alta high-speed Ethernet switching architecture.

One key new feature of the FM6000 series switches is Fulcrum's FlexPipe low-latency packet-processing pipeline, which can parse, modify and apply multiple rules to traffic at more than 1 Billion packets per second in a completely deterministic manner. FlexPipe also can be upgraded in the field to support future datacenter networking protocols as they emerge.

The FM6000 series devices are based on Fulcrum's Alta switch architecture that, in addition to FlexPipe, features flexible 10G and 40G Ethernet port logic and third-generation RapidArray output-queued shared-memory architecture. Alta-based FocalPoint devices achieve unprecedented performance while maintaining low cut-through packet latencies of less than 300nS, regardless of configuration or features enabled. Fulcrum's pioneering efforts in developing low-latency Ethernet switch technology has made FocalPoint the preferred datacenter fabric building-block for applications such as financial trading and computer clustering in today's virtualized and high-scale datacenters.

Virtualization is increasing the density of server farms and enabling datacenter operators to efficiently deploy cloud services. In addition, new server architectures include multi-core processors, increasing network bandwidth requirements. The FlexPipe packet-processing pipeline in the FM6000 series devices delivers full line-rate performance across up to 72 ports, offering non-blocking throughput for thousands of virtualized flows.

"Our Dell'Oro forecasting models show that 10GE server ports will grow dramatically in coming years, which will drive demand for high density 10Gb switches and also the demand for 40Gb Ethernet uplinks," said Alan Weckel, director of Ethernet research for Dell'Oro Group. "Given this expected demand, the launch of this switch from Fulcrum is very timely."

FlexPipe allows the functionality of several key logic blocks, such as the packet parser and egress frame modification unit, to be upgraded to support new datacenter networking standards or proprietary performance-enhancing application tags. With this functionality, switch manufacturers can sell switching systems that are field upgradable with support for emerging datacenter interconnect topologies such as TRILL and SPB, as well as emerging virtualized networking standards such as 802.1bg (Edge Virtual Bridging) and 802.1bh (Port Extenders).

There are nine devices in the FM6000 series, each offering a different port configuration and total bandwidth, ranging from 160Gbps to 720Gbps. FM6000 series switches can be used to build very high port-count top-of-rack or end-of-row datacenter switches with industry-leading latency, performance, and scale. With the ability to drive SFP+ direct-attach copper cable directly without the need for an external PHY, the FM6000 series reduces the latency, cost and power of these top-of-rack switch designs. To enable network convergence, the FM6000 supports the efficient mix of storage, HPC and LAN data traffic with extensive QoS and datacenter bridging (DCB) features such as PFC, ETS, and QCN, simultaneously supporting lossless operation alongside bandwidth and latency guarantees. Additionally, system-wide management features offer line rate per-flow monitoring and policing for clear visibility and a single point of management, reducing overall system complexity.

"Fulcrum is changing the game again by delivering standards-based switching solutions that provide advanced features and shatter all established benchmarks for high bandwidth, low latency and power efficiency," said Mike Zeile, Fulcrum Microsystems president and COO. "The FM6000 series, with our revolutionary Alta architecture, is helping define the future of virtual computing by delivering the performance needed for next-generation datacenter fabrics."

Configuration and Availability

All nine members of the FocalPoint FM6000 series will be generally available in 2Q 2011.

A BMI Corp. SmartTruck technology that could save 1.5 billion gallons of diesel fuel and $5 billion in fuel costs per year has hit the road in record time in part because of simulations performed on the nation's most powerful supercomputer at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 

While South Carolina-based BMI Corp. has just won an industry award from Heavy Duty Trucking magazine, the real winners could be trucking companies and the environment. With installation of BMI's SmartTruck UnderTray System to improve the aerodynamics of 18-wheeler (Class 8) long-haul trucks, the typical big rig can achieve fuel savings of between 7 and 12 percent, easily meeting the new California Air Resources Board mandate that calls for a minimum mileage improvement of 5 percent. 

Those results, which earned BMI one of the publication's top 20 products of the year awards, were made possible because of simulation work performed on ORNL's Jaguar supercomputer. 

"We were able to run simulations based on the most complex tractor and trailer models instead of simplified models, and we were able to run them faster," said Mike Henderson, chief executive officer and founder of BMI, an engineering services firm based in Greenville, S.C. 

The work on Jaguar shortened the computing turnaround time for BMI's complex models from days to a few hours and eliminated the need for costly and time-consuming physical prototypes. In all, running simulations on Jaguar allowed BMI to go from concept to a design that could be turned over to a manufacturer in 18 months instead of the 3½ years they had anticipated, according to Henderson, who noted, however, that more work remains. 

"Our first goal was to design add-on parts for existing trucks and trailers to make them more aerodynamic," Henderson said. "By reducing drag we boost fuel efficiency and cut the amount of carbon that's being dumped into the environment." 

In time, BMI plans to design trucks that are far more aerodynamic from the ground up. 

"We hope to soon turn our attention to creating a brand-new highly aerodynamic vehicle with optimum fuel efficiency," Henderson said. 

Until then, Henderson noted that if all of the nation's 1.3 million Class 8 trucks were configured with just the minimum UnderTray package, the average fuel economy of 6 miles per gallon could increase to about 6.5 mpg or more, which is significant given the fact 18-wheelers collectively travel some 130 billion miles per year. And from an emissions standpoint, equipped with the aerodynamics package, those trucks would reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 32.7 billion pounds (16.4 million tons). 

"The Department of Energy's supercomputers provide an enormous competitive advantage for the United States," said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "This is a great example of how investments in innovation can help lead the way to new jobs, new ways of cutting our carbon emissions and new opportunities for America to succeed in the global marketplace." 

BMI's work with ORNL was made possible through the laboratory's Industrial High-Performance Computing Partnerships Program. Through this effort, BMI was able to access Jaguar, which boasts nearly 225,000 processing cores with a theoretical peak computational capability of 2.3 petaflops (2.3 quadrillion floating operations per second). 

The UnderTray's aerodynamic components are manufactured in Georgia by Cellofoam while various metal brackets, bolts and other hardware that attach the parts to the trailer are made by a number of companies in South Carolina. Several fleets, including Con-way Truckload and Frito-Lay, are already using the parts. The kit can be installed in the field by fleet owners and operators. 

The award was presented Tuesday at the American Trucking Association's 2011 Technology & Maintenance Council's annual truck show in Tampa, Fla. Images and more information about the SmartTruck technology can be accessed here: www.SmartTruckBrands.com. A DOE press release about BMI SmartTruck is available at http://www.energy.gov/news/10056.htm

Fall Plugfest Follows the Most Successful-to-Date Plugfest Held Last Spring Where More Than 200 Cables and Devices Were Tested

  • IBTA 16th Compliance and Interoperability Plugfest
  • OpenFabrics Alliance 8th Interoperability Event
  • Supercomputing 2009

The InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA)  today announced the 16th Compliance and Interoperability Plugfest. The Plugfest will take place October 12-16, 2009 in the University of New Hampshire’s Interoperability Lab. The event provides an opportunity for InfiniBand device and cable vendors to test their products for compliance with the InfiniBand architecture specification, as well as interoperability with other InfiniBand products.

This event will include testing of both double data rate (DDR) 20Gb/s devices and quad data rate (QDR) 40Gb/s devices. There is a new test procedure for the recently released 120Gb/s 12x Small Form-Factor Pluggable (CXP) Interface Specification for cables, along with a new memory map test procedure for the EEPROMs included with QSFP and CXP active cables. The updated Wave Dispersion Penalty (WDP) testing will also be included.

The October Plugfest will include interoperability test procedures using Mellanox, QLogic and Voltaire products. The test procedures ensure that InfiniBand products are both compliant and interoperable, which in turn ensures the trouble-free deployment of InfiniBand clusters. More information on test procedures is available for IBTA members at: http://members.infinibandta.org/apps/org/workgroup/ciwg/documents.php?folder_id=298#folder_298

Plugfest registration is free for IBTA members; non-members need to pay a special fee. More information is available on the IBTA website at: www.infinibandta.org.

The Plugfest program has been a significant contributor to the growth of InfiniBand in both the enterprise data center and the high-performance computing markets. According to the June 2009 TOP500 list, InfiniBand is now the leading server interconnect in the Top100 with 59 clusters.

The Integrators’ List has grown from 115 products in October 2008, to 297 products as of the last Plugfest event in April 2009. End users and OEMs frequently reference this list prior to the deployment of InfiniBand-related systems, including both small clusters and large-scale clusters of 1,000 nodes or more. Many OEMs use this list as a gateway in the procurement process.

Fall Plugfest follows the highly successful Spring ‘09 Plugfest

The Spring ‘09 Plugfest was the most successful in IBTA history with more than 20 cable and device vendors in attendance. During the event, over 200 cables and 14 devices were tested. The number of devices qualifying for inclusion on the Integrators’ List has steadily increased; the list now includes more than 297 products.

Vendors recently adding products to the IBTA Integrators’ List include: Amphenol, Avago Technologies, Cinch Connectors, Emcore, LSI, Luxtera, Mellanox, Molex, Obsidian Research, Panduit, Quellan Inc (Intersil), Tyco Electronics, Volex, Voltaire and W.L. Gore. Several additional vendors will attend the October 2009 Plugfest, including QLogic, FCI and Hitachi.

Following Plugfest: OpenFabrics Alliance’s Eighth Interoperability Event

Following the IBTA Plugfest, the OpenFabrics Alliance will be conducting their 8th Interoperability event from Oct. 15-23, 2009. This session will focus on industry-wide interoperability using the OpenFabrics Alliance Software Stack. This event requires separate eligibility, cost and registration. For more information, please visit: http://www.iol.unh.edu/services/testing/ofa/events/Invitation_2009-10_OFA.php

IBTA to Celebrate 10-Year Anniversary at Supercomputing 2009

The IBTA will celebrate its 10-year anniversary at Supercomputing 2009 in Portland, Ore. on November 14-20. The IBTA will host InfiniBand demonstrations and an InfiniBand presentation theater. The IBTA invites all attendees to stop by booth number 139 at the show.

 

Voltaire has announced that it continues to grow its adVantage Partner Program, which now includes more than fifty partner organizations consisting of resellers, VARs and distributors. The program provides comprehensive sales, marketing, technical training and support services to help partners worldwide sell Voltaire's industry-leading portfolio of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) and InfiniBand datacenter solutions.

New members of the program include Dasher Technologies and Torrey Point which recommend Voltaire products to their customers because of their differentiated and solutions-oriented approach to networking. In addition to 10GbE and InfiniBand switching platforms, the Voltaire portfolio includes unique software offerings to address key networking requirements such as: managing networks in the age of cloud computing and virtualized datacenters, accelerating access to storage, and reducing latency for applications such as high frequency trading.

"Our strong technical expertise and vendor independence allow us to integrate best-of-breed software, hardware and services into a custom solution that directly impacts the business, said Al Chien, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Dasher Technologies. "Voltaire's approach to 10GbE networks includes a software management layer in addition to the switches that is unique in the industry and serves as the foundation for cloud networking. We are pleased to be part of the adVantage program and to offer Voltaire solutions to our customers."

"Torrey Point designs networks with a focus on maximizing the return on technology investment for our worldwide clientele," said Steve Fazio, chief executive officer, Torrey Point. "Voltaire's 10GbE solutions meet the new infrastructure requirements for datacenter and cloud computing environments of all sizes. We are pleased to add Voltaire products to our offering."

"Growing the adVantage Partner Program to more than fifty channel partners worldwide represents a significant milestone for Voltaire's continued expansion into the 10GbE market," said Patrick Guay, executive vice president of global sales and general manager at Voltaire. "We are continually expanding our product set while providing our partners with more technical and sales content via our partner portal to enhance the program. The adVantage program provides our partners with the fundamental tools to help differentiate their business and to deliver an outstanding customer experience. The formula is simple: provide leading-edge products that enable unique solutions -- at an extremely competitive price point, with up-to-date technical training, and outstanding support."

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