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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