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2001, July week 4

Rave Systems Redundant RackMount-4UAX2200
Rackmount SPARC servers
from Rave Computer Association
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Sun Microsystems 900 MHz SPARC Chips will Ship in 90 Days
900 MHz SPARC Chips will Ship in 90 Days

JNI Corp Appoints Cisco Systems Group VP to Board of Directors

Wind River´s Tornado for Managed Switches Software Helps Performance Technologies Meet Time-to-Market Goals

Sanrise Receives Prestigious SunTone Certified Status

New Tatung SPARC brochure available

Solarcom to Conduct a Series of Five Seminars on Internetworking in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC

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Centralizing Server I/O Infrastructure with InfiniBand

by InfiniCon Systems

In this article, the benefits of applying InfiniBand to create a centralized server I/O infrastructure, along with the implications of disaggregating the I/O subsystem from the processor complex, are examined.

To achieve optimal performance in current-generation servers, a dedicated I/O subsystem, typically based on the PCI local bus, must be tightly bound to each processing complex. The InfiniBand architecture, which provides an industry-standard framework for connecting devices via a very low latency, high bandwidth link, enables the creation of a sharable, centralized I/O infrastructure. Multiple next-generation servers can be connected to this I/O infrastructure via InfiniBand links, resulting in many potential benefits, including data center space savings, bandwidth migration, decreased deployment cost, simplified systems management, and improved cable management.

Due to the high cost associated with providing a truly secure and reliable environment for housing computer equipment, maximizing the utilization of data center space is becoming increasingly important. Server density has improved dramatically, and this trend will continue with the introduction of server-blade technology. Applying InfiniBand to create a sharable, centralized I/O subsystem will accelerate this trend by allowing designers to replace the dedicated I/O subsystem associated with each server with InfiniBand connections scaled to meet the bandwidth and reliability requirements of the server. This will enable further reductions in the size of each server, resulting in significantly improved data center space utilization.

In many application environments, the I/O activity generated by a specific server tends to be somewhat uneven. Periods requiring high I/O throughput are generally followed by periods of lower demand. Servers are often configured with sufficient dedicated capacity to handle the peak bandwidth requirements, but this can result in low average link utilization. An important benefit of the shared I/O subsystem approach is that it allows the bandwidth provided by the shared links to migrate to the servers with the highest demand, providing those servers with significantly higher instantaneous bandwidth than would be feasible with dedicated resources, while simultaneously improving link utilization.

In addition to increasing the bandwidth that can be made available to any given server, the shared I/O model can also significantly reduce the total cost of deployment with respect to a server cluster. In high-availability environments, servers often support redundant connections to multiple infrastructures, including the storage area network, the local area network, and sometimes a separate inter-process communication network. While effective in eliminating single points of failure, this can be a costly approach that requires additional dedicated server ports as well as additional infrastructure ports. The centralized I/O model allows the I/O bandwidth to be matched to the requirements of the entire cluster, reducing port count and complexity, with cost savings of approximately 50 percent.

The reduction in port connections results in significant business and technical benefits for CIOs and data center managers as well. Maintaining and growing high-bandwidth data centers has become increasingly complex and expensive. By deploying a sharable I/O infrastructure, data center topologies can be simplified, reducing the amount of equipment to be managed by system administrators. The growing complexity of the data center cabling matrix can also be substantially reduced.

"Companies have spent thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars deploying their existing data center networks. Therefore, solutions involving InfiniBand must be non-disruptive to the current infrastructure, as well as provide compelling benefits with respect to incumbent technologies," explained Philip Murphy, president and co-founder, InfiniCon Systems. "InfiniCon Systems is focusing its development efforts on these types of solutions."

"Our studies show that a great deal of mindshare has been generated about InfiniBand. However, system administrators are wary of 'yet another fabric in the data center,'" notes John Lawler, directing analyst for E-Business Infrastructure at Infonetics Research. "By positioning its first generation of products as an extended system backplane and not a new LAN technology, InfiniCon Systems avoids these potential barriers to adoption."

InfiniCon Systems will continue to address topics regarding InfiniBand in the data center in future articles as part of its ongoing education campaign.

See also:- article:- What is the InfiniBand Ecosystem? - by InfiniCon Systems
Initially launched last September, the UltraSPARC III processor forms the heart of the new generation of Sun Microsystems' workstation and server products. Previous versions of the processor utilized aluminum interconnect technology. Migrating to copper for the high volume version of the 900 MHz UltraSPARC III processor enables a clock speed increase while dissipating the same power as the aluminum interconnect-based 750 MHz UltraSPARC III chip.

The UltraSPARC III microprocessor comprises 29 million transistors with features including an integrated memory controller and 9.6 Gigabyte-per-second system interprocessor bus for massive scalability; support for a large 8 Megabyte, Error Checking and Correcting (ECC)-protected external cache; and a unique error isolation and correction Uptime Bus for high-system reliability. The UltraSPARC III processor design is the only microprocessor on the market with an integrated memory controller supporting up to 16 Gigabytes of memory-per-processor and frequency isolation to allow mixed-speed CPU support within a single system.
DALLA, TX - July 30, 2001 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Texas Instruments Incorporated, confirmed today that copper interconnect-based versions of the UltraSPARC III microprocessor have passed all internal qualifications tests and are planned for shipment in Sun Blade 1000 workstations within the next 90 days.

At 900 MHz, the new version of the UltraSPARC III processor combines copper interconnect with low-K dielectric, and a 100 nanometer gate transistor to maintain its status as the world's fastest commercially available 64-bit workstation-server processor.

David Yen, vice president and general manager, Sun Microsystems Processor Products Group said: "Implementing copper, low-K dielectric and a new transistor deliver a triple play in giving us enhanced flexibility to field new variations of the UltraSPARC III chip that offer higher clock speeds, lower power consumption, greater reliability, lower memory latency andother features essential for workstation and server computing. While clock frequency speed bumps have their benefits, working with TI, we focus our engineering program on developing processors that deliver real-world application performance and end-customer value." ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's comments:- in the old days, when markets changed less quickly, you'd have to wait till the 2x clock speedup to 1.4GHz, sometime next year, before seeing another processor generation. But with Pentium workstations running faster than SPARC, and the risk of losing some of its captive base, Sun couldn't afford to wait. This 900MHz SPARC product will leapfrog past all current Pentium processors in performance and increase user confidence that Sun is taking the competition seriously. If you own SUNW shares, you can probably expect those to rise at this news also.
JNI JNI Corp Appoints Cisco Systems Group VP to Board of Directors

SAN DIEGO, July 30, 2001 – JNI® Corporation today announced Sylvia Summers-Dubrevil, group vice president at Cisco Systems, has been appointed to the JNI Board of Directors, increasing the board to seven members.

"Sylvia brings a wealth of network, storage, computer industry and semiconductor experience to JNI's board," said Neal Waddington, president and CEO. "Her international experience, as well as her operational experience at both Cisco and StorageTek will be of great benefit to JNI as we continue our development and maturation toward being an industry leading company." ...JNI profile
Wind River Systems

Performance Technologies
Wind River´s Tornado for Managed Switches Software Helps Performance Technologies Meet Time-to-Market Goals

ALAMEDA, Calif., July 30, 2001 – Wind River Systems, Inc. today awarded Performance Technologies, Inc. its "Cool Customer Design" award for the IPnexus™ CPC4400 embedded Ethernet switch. This fast, flexible, feature-rich 10/100/1000 Ethernet switching solution includes Wind River´s Tornado® for Managed Switches (TMS), the industry´s first fully integrated software solution for the control and management of any layer 2 or layer 3 switching device.

Designed to operate in demanding embedded telecom environments, the IPnexus Ethernet switch is a robust switching solution for customers looking to quickly and successfully launch carrier-grade IP products. The switch is capable of moving IP traffic either within a standard CompactPCI® chassis, or over an embedded Ethernet network. The latter, known as the CompactPCI/Packet Switching Backplane architecture, was developed by Performance Technologies and is currently being standardized by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG®) 2.16 subcommittee. This revolutionary architecture preserves the mechanical, power, and hot-swap attributes of CompactPCI while dramatically improving data throughput, scalability, and reliability.

"We chose Wind River´s TMS software solution to meet our time-to-market goals and still develop a break-through product for packet-based networking and communications," said John Grana, vice president of software at Performance Technologies. "Wind River´s product reliability is high. They provide excellent product support and were eager to team with us on the technology. The integrated TMS software solution gave us the ability to offer an extensible, feature-rich, highly reliable platform in a timeframe that met our product delivery window – that´s the competitive advantage." ...Performance Technologies profile, ...Wind River Systems profile
Sanrise Sanrise Receives Prestigious SunTone Certified Status

DUBLIN, CA, July 25, 2001— Sanrise Group, Inc., a privately held global managed storage service provider, announced today that its sanrise spectrum product and services portfolio has been successfully certified by the SunTone Certification and Branding Program for its availability, reliability and performance standards.
Launched in May 1999, The SunTone Certification and Branding Program is a collaborative effort with industry-wide support, led by Sun Microsystems, Inc., to promote 7-by-24 service and reliability as a norm for consumer and business Internet-based services. Under the SunTone Certification and Branding Program, service providers, independent software vendors and integrators have completed a rigorous specification process which examines the infrastructure, operational practices, hardware, software, and overall service delivery to help ensure that the services or products they provide meet the program's high standards. Certification under the SunTone program is designed to give customers the confidence that every aspect of the operations and infrastructure has been evaluated and judged to be reliable and of high quality. The SunTone Certification and Branding program currently has more than 1500 applicants for certification, including service providers, independent software vendors, and integrators, and over 100 SunTone Certified solutions available to meet a variety of business needs.
The portfolio is comprised of three industry leading components:
  • The storagetone Data Management Software Suite (DMSS),
  • storagetone Global Managed Services (GMS) and
  • sanrise's unique delivery vehicle, termed the "storagecel
The SunTone Certification and Branding Program provides a quality "seal of approval" confirming that sanrise's storagecel and storagetone solutions meet and exceed the industry's availability, reliability and performance standards necessary for superior delivery of data storage services.

In addition, it was announced that sanrise underscored its commitment to quality by becoming a member of the SunTone Architectural Council for Storage Services, a committee comprised of leading technical experts from around the world.

"The fusion of best of breed hardware and software components from SUN coupled with sanrise's unique set of next generation data storage solutions, creates a new paradigm for the global enterprise marketplace," said David Schneider, sanrise president and CEO. "The SunTone Certification of storagetone further validates the quality of sanrise's state-of-the-art data storage solutions and positions sanrise as a leading storage solutions provider. We are very proud to be participating in the SunTone program to provide customers with the peace of mind and certainty that our world-class data storage solutions have been successfully evaluated and approved," said Schneider.

"SunTone certification for Storage Services is based on stringent specifications Sun has developed in collaboration with other industry leaders," said Kathleen Holmgren, vice president of Sun's Storage Systems Product Group. "Customers can rest assured that sanrise's data storage solutions are built and managed according to industry best practices and high quality standards established by the SunTone program." ...Sanrise profile
New Tatung SPARC brochure available

July 25, 2001 - Tatung has released a new UltraSPARC product brochure. If you are looking for new SPARC hardware, the latest Tatung SPARC brochure is what you need. It offers a clear overview of Tatung's SPARC platform and also gives you a picture of what the slogan "One time fullfilment@tatung" is all about. Just send a request by e-mail to the Tatung sales department in your area. ...Tatung Science & Technology profile
Solarcom Solarcom to Conduct a Series of Five Seminars on Internetworking in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC

Atlanta - July 24, 2001 - Solarcom, the largest IT Infrastructure Solutions Provider in the Southeast announces plans to conduct a Series of Lunch N Learn Seminars held each Thursday during the month of August from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Airport Marriott in Greenville-Spartanburg, SC.

"The focus of our Lunch N Learn Seminars is to provide our existing and prospective customers insight into top-of-mind topics in the world of Information Technology," says Randy Hicks, Vice President of Marketing for Solarcom. "These topics will include Active Directory/Windows 2000 Upgrade/Terminal Server, Internet Connectivity, Virtual Private Networks, Managed Network Services and Storage Technology."

Charles R. Cronin, Solarcom's National Director of Internetworking, will conduct each of the five seminars. Cronin has achieved expert status as a systems engineer with certifications in MCSE, MCNE, Compaq ASE, IBM PSE, and MCT.

Cronin states, "Having a reliable, high performance internetworking system is critical to business processes and staying ahead of the technology evolution is a primary concern for Network Managers. These seminars are designed for IT decision makers who want to explore advanced internetworking strategies involving security, managed services, VPN's and internetworking via the Internet. The key issues are impacting how well businesses serve their customers internally and externally." ...Solarcom profile

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