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InfiniBand Trade Association E-Newsletter


InfiniBand’s Data Center March
An OFA User Community Forms From the User Day
Member Company Spotlight: 3M
Updated Plugfest Test
IB Surpasses Other Interconnect Technologies for World's Fastest HPC

Check out our latest blog post from Mike Matchett at Taneja Group on InfiniBand’s growing role in the enterprise and the other latest happenings wihin the IBTA and InfiniBand community.

IBTA Plugfest 22
October 15-19, 2012

August 2012

InfiniBand’s Data Center March

In July, Taneja Group, a boutique analyst firm providing analysis and consulting for the technology industry, released an analyst report demonstrating the continued growth of InfiniBand products in the HPC and emerging as an attractive choice for the core of the enterprise data center.

The July 2012 report examines technology and solution trends where higher-speed switched fabrics are required for optimal performance, including solutions like big data, Web-scale applications, scale-out storage and virtual I/O for mission-critical applications. According to the report, “Data center architects need a high-speed switched fabric at the core of the new data center. Today that choice is clearly InfiniBand.”

Mike Matchett, senior analyst at Taneja Group, initially posted a blog about the report on the IBTA blog. In addition, the Taneja Group recently featured a follow-up blog post on its corporate blog, where Matchett summarizes the growing InfiniBand market and the benefits he sees in adopting InfiniBand.

The full report is on the IBTA website and is available for member distribution and download. Be sure to check it out and share with your customers and clients.

An OFA User Community Forms From the User Day
Taken from the OFA Blog

The inaugural OFA (OpenFabrics Alliance) User Day, hosted by the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, was a huge success. There were over 40 attendees—many were system administrators of RDMA fabrics, and there was a strong presence of users from national laboratories, including Argonne (as would be expected), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. While most attendees had a fair amount of experience, there were several who started managing their first InfiniBand cluster this year. It was encouraging to see that all were eager to share their experiences and learn from the other attendees.

An important highlight from the User Day was a widespread agreement among the participants to move this community forward, to help foster a user-sustained community where OFS users can collaborate with fellow users and developers. In response, the OFA has created a user-based mailing list for users to communicate with each other, and plans to create a Wikipage for users to exchange information and content. People can register here to join the email list. To encourage the continued growth of this emergent community, the OFA will help support user-grown initiatives in the future.

Read the full post on the OFA blog.

Member Company Spotlight: 3M

Each month we spotlight one of our member companies to discover what it is doing in the marketplace and why it is a part of the IBTA. If you would like your company to be highlighted or have a specific announcement or event that should be included in the monthly e-newsletter, please email Rachel Austin.

Why is 3M a member of the IBTA? And how has 3M participated in the IBTA?
3M has a broad array of solutions for HPC applications including High-Speed interconnects, Fire Suppression, and Immersion Cooling, along with many others. 3M's participation in the IBTA is intended to help foster InfiniBand in HPC applications and also help it move forward into more mainstream data center applications. 3M is currently active in the InfiniBand Electrical and Compliance Interoperability Working Groups. 3M has also sponsored and participated at the IBTA booth for SC11.

What should IBTA members know about 3M?
3M is a global leader in material sciences. The company has:

  • 46 technology platforms supporting 50,000 product lines
  • 85 laboratories globally
  • Employs 7,900 researchers worldwide
  • 30 Customer Technical Centers
  • 2,500+ patents issued in 2010; 43,000+ issued and pending patents
  • R&D spend at 5.4% of sales; over $1.5B per year
  • Technical depth and breadth
  • Bring multiple technologies to each customer
  • Entrepreneurial culture
  • Individual initiative
  • Legacy of boundaryless culture

Are there any upcoming products announcements or events from 3M that IBTA members should know about?
3M technologies for InfiniBand include our R&D 100 award-winning high-performance flat ribbon Twin Axial Cable and our new low-cost, low-power Active Optical technologies. 3M has released multiple SFF-compliant interconnects across both technologies and will continue to release solutions that help proliferate the InfiniBand road map. 3M has and will continue to support the InfiniBand Plugfest and will participate at SC12 with a focus on InfiniBand solutions. For more information on 3M's high-performance products, please visit their website.

If someone has questions about 3M products or wants information about the above answers, where should they go for more information/who should they contact?
Contact 3M IBTA members:

This information is for informational purposes only and may not be incorporated into a contract or agreement.

Updated Plugfest Test

In April, the IBTA’s semiannual Plugfest took place at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Interoperability Lab (IOL) in Durham, N.H.

The event, which provides participants with an opportunity to measure their products for compliance with the InfiniBand™ architecture specification and interoperability with other InfiniBand products, featured a first-of-its-kind Time-Domain test.

The new test allowed more exact measurement of the technologies tested and resulted in an updated IBTA’s Integrator’s List, which includes the products compliant with the InfiniBand™ architecture specification.

If you’re interested in learning more about the IBTA Integrator’s List, or if you would like to attend the upcoming Plugfest 22, please email us.

IB Surpasses Other Interconnect Technologies for World's Fastest HPC

InfiniBand’s performance on the Top500 list continues to generate news around the interconnect and HPC communities. Recently, Storage Newsletter featured InfiniBand, highlighting that the interconnect is now being utilized by nearly half of the world’s fastest supercomputers. An excerpt of the article is below.

IB Surpasses Other Interconnect Technologies for World's Fastest HPC
Utilized by 210 out of top 500

The InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA), an organization dedicated to maintaining and furthering the IB specification, announced that, for the first time, IB has exceeded all other interconnect technologies on the TOP500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers.

The latest list, available at, was released June 18 and shows that IB is now being utilized by 210 out of 500 clusters listed.

IB growth in recent years includes:

  • From June 2008 - June 2012, the total number of IB-connected systems on the TOP500 list increase 72% from 122 to 210.
  • IB connects 40% of the world's most powerful petaflop systems on the list, 8 out of the 20 systems.
  • IB connects 25 of the 30 most efficient systems, including the top two.
  • 86% of the accelerator-based systems are connected with IB.

This growth highlights how IB is used to maximize computing and accelerator resources, as well as improves productivity and scalable performance.

To read the full article visit Storage Newsletter.


The IBTA is again partnering with the OpenFabrics Alliance at SC12. If you are interested in participating in SC12 activities with the IBTA, please contact IBTA MWG co-chair Bill Lee. If you are interested in attending SC12 or need more details on the event, check out the SC12 website.

Also, be sure to check out the InfiniBand-focused presentations and technical sessions available at SC12, including these:

  • InfiniBand and High-Speed Ethernet for Dummies
    Presenters: Dr. Dhabaleswar K. Panda and Hari Subramoni
    This tutorial will provide an overview of emerging technologies, including clusters, datacenters, file systems, storage, and cloud computing (Hadoop, HBase and Memcached) environments and RoCE, as well as their offered architectural features, their current market standing and their suitability for designing HEC systems.

  • Design of a Scalable InfiniBand Topology Service to Enable Network-Topology-Aware
    Placement of Processes

    Session Chair: Steve Keckler
    Over the past decade, InfiniBand has become an increasingly popular interconnect for deploying modern supercomputing systems. However, there exists no detection service that can discover the underlying network topology in a scalable manner and expose this information to runtime libraries and users of the high-performance computing systems in a convenient way. In this paper and session, they will focus on the design and a scalable method to detect the InfiniBand network topology by using Neighbor-Joining techniques (NJ).

  • High Performance RDMA-Based Design of HDFS Over InfiniBand
    Authors: Nusrat S. Islam, Md W. Rahman, Jithin Jose, Raghunath Rajachandrasekar, Hao Wang, Hari Subramoni, Chet Murthy, Dhabaleswar K. Panda
    In this paper, they present a novel design of HDFS using Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) over InfiniBand via JNI interfaces. Experimental results show that, for 5GB HDFS
    file writes, the new design reduces the communication time by 87 percent and 30 percent over 1Gigabit Ethernet (1GigE) and IP-over-InfiniBand (IPoIB), respectively, on QDR platform (32Gbps).

  • Exascale and Big Data I/O*
    Moderator: Bill Boas
    Panelists: Duncan Roweth (Cray), Sorin Fabish (EMC), Ronald Luijten (IBM), Michael Kagan (Mellanox Technologies), Paul Grun (System Fabrics Works), Peter Braam (Xyratex)
    I/O is a significant factor in enabling the performance and scalability for HPC. Big Data analysis is seeing the same thing. The questions that the panelists will address are “What are the drivers for future I/O architectures, and should they be open or proprietary?” The panel consist of systems OEMs for the three major components for HPC clusters: systems, fabrics/networks, and storage.

    *The IBTA submitted this panel to the SC12 board but is not yet confirmed. Stay tuned to the SC12 site for more information on this and any additional InfiniBand-related panels.

Check back regularly on the SC12 website to learn more about additional events centered on InfiniBand.

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