Intel snarfs up Qlogic Infiniband

I guess this gets Qlogic out of the IB arena. Good catch by Rich at InsideHPC

I had spoken to a number of folks at Intel over the years w.r.t. IB, and they said they were keeping their options open. IB riser boards are available for some of their MB’s, and from what I have seen, Intel has a renewed push into the MB space. Not sure about the server space in general, they’ve always had that and I think they will keep doing this (at least as a reference design basis).

This is good in a number of ways, as Qlogic looked to be treading water on IB (not as invested in this as they could have been).

From our perspective, its good as well, as we are seeing significant amounts of storage go out the door with IB. I like the 10GbE stack, its simpler, but there is no denying that the IB stack is faster and much less costly.

Also, its getting to be a perennial joke that this year is the year 10GbE breaks out and displaces IB. As with every year I hear this, I have to say “no”. When 10GbE switches are down at $100/port for 24 and 48 port units, yeah, maybe. Until then … no.

Understand that I am saying this as someone who prefers the simplicity of 10GbE. OFED is harder and more complex, and we have a rolling patch of install.pl that we apply to every release to make sure the right stuff gets built. The rules they put in for some of the code is pretty darned arbitrary (and I understand some of it, but it prevents people building their own kernels from using OFED, even if the bits work … its far better to include unit tests, build the stuff correctly against the kernel …. sigh … ).

In most cases we don’t need to patch 10GbE drivers, and the builds are very simple.

Regardless of this, IB at Intel is not likely to whither, rather its going to grow. Looking forward to this.

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3 thoughts on “Intel snarfs up Qlogic Infiniband

  1. PathScale’s low-overhead approach should match well with Intel IO offload… N years ago, I expected AMD to grab them and patch them directly onto HT.

  2. “When 10GbE switches are down at $100/port for 24 and 48 port units, yeah, maybe. Until then ? no.”

    There is a news item on this at The Register today.
    Mellanox chops 10-gig Ethernet switch, adapter prices

    “Mellanox Technologies is not happy about the 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch and adapter ramp, and it is doing something about it: slashing its own prices.”

    “Basically, for around $200 per port on the server and the switch, you can move to 10GbE.”

    At the half way.

  3. @Erkki

    Gilad noted “There is definitely demand for 10GE, but it has been limited by high cost” which is what I noted. I know Gilad from the SCxx and HPC advisory bits.

    The table on the page omits the Gnodal switches, but the market is crowded, and I am not sure how well this will play.

    The Mellanox switch pricing is welcome. We’ve been using Arista (but the pricing is the switch itself, no support, and none of their special cables, which you need).

    We’ve got an HP in lab that is nice.

    Its getting closer, but when this 24 port switch is the same price as the 36 port IB switch I can buy … thats when adoption will take off. First vendor there is going to win, and win big.

    FWIW: Supermicro has a 10GbE switch at about $8500 list. Yeah, its getting closer.

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