InfiniCon Unveils Powerful Switches for High Performance Computing

8/18/2003 - InfiniCon Systems, the premier provider of shared I/O and switching solutions for next-generation server networks, introduced the InfinIOTM 3000 Switching Series - the most powerful, densest switching solution available for building scalable Database Cluster and High Performance Computing (HPC) fabrics.

The InfinIO 3000 provides thirty-two 10Gbps InfiniBand ports in 1U of rack space, delivering up to 640Gbps of non-blocking, full bisectional bandwidth (FBB) in the industry's smallest form factor. Boasting switching latencies that are as much as 45% faster than competitive offerings, the InfinIO 3000 is the ideal interconnect for building high performance computer clusters from groups of commodity servers.

In a recent report on the worldwide technical computing market, leading industry analyst firm International Data Corporation (IDC) showed HPC revenue at $4.7 billion in 2002, and forecasted it to climb to $6.3 billion by 2007.

“As the HPC market continues to expand, customers require denser, more powerful switching solutions to bring together larger clusters of commodity servers. Using advanced middleware such as MPI/Pro and ChaMPIon/Pro, these clusters use commodity processors to surpass the performance of proprietary mainframe supercomputers, but at a fraction of the price,” stated Anthony Skjellum, CTO for MPI Software Technology. “The introduction of the InfinIO 3000 Series brings incredible density and power to these production clusters.”

Ports On Demand: Easy Implementation of Entry-Level Fabrics
In addition to the unprecedented performance and density levels that the InfinIO 3000 brings to data center networking, the family also incorporates InfiniCon's exclusive new "Ports On Demand" (PODTM) technology. The base InfinIO 3000 Switch offering has 16 of its 32 ports active; through softkeys, customers have the flexibility to expand the InfinIO 3000 in 4-port increments, paying for ports only as they are needed and without disruption to the switch fabric.

“Our 'Ports On Demand' technology brings to the networking arena the very pay-as-you-grow benefits that end users have been clamoring for from servers, storage, and networking vendors,” noted InfiniCon CEO Charles Foley. “InfiniCon has now made entry into InfiniBand networking easier and even more affordable, while at the same time making growth virtually painless.”

“InfiniBand architecture has been gaining impressive traction during 2003 for HPC deployments, but users are still looking for low-risk, easy growth options that enable them to evaluate prototypes and expand these systems through production phases,” noted Vernon Turner, Group Vice President, IDC Enterprise Server Solutions. “InfiniCon's InfinIO 3000 Switch Series and its 'Ports-On-Demand' technology satisfy these market conditions fully.”

InfinIO 3000 Series: Intelligent Building Blocks for Scalable Fabrics
The InfinIO 3000 Series is a family of models that allow price/performance optimization for different tiers of large HPC fabrics. Each plays a key “building block” role in constructing multi-tier fabrics that are able to achieve the productivity and performance metrics desired as HPC applications scale, while greatly reducing fabric complexity. Combined with InfiniCon's complete host software environment, measured performance results illustrate an industry-leading 5.5 microseconds end-to-end latency for computationally intensive, MPI-based applications.

By utilizing the appropriate InfinIO 3000 models within tiers of a large port-count fabric, InfiniCon's 'intelligent building block' approach utilizes literally hundreds fewer switching chips than competitive switch architectures -- a design advantage that slashes costs and combats latency by dramatically lowering fabric 'hop counts'. Even in mid-sized fabrics, InfinIO 3000 building blocks can reduce latency by nearly 600% over alternative design approaches -- a productivity measure that is especially key to HPC users such as research laboratories, oil and gas concerns, and universities that have been on the vanguard of deploying InfiniBand for computationally-intense applications.

Synergy With Dense Computing Trends
The InfinIO 3000's compact size is in lockstep with the trend toward dense server offerings, and the ever-present need to conserve floor space in enterprise data centers. A 512-port fabric built upon InfiniCon 3000 Switch technology occupies a mere 25% of the rack space requirements that most competitive switching topologies would require.

“The InfinIO 3000 has the features for a great complementary offering -- both in performance and size -- to the new generation of compact, powerful rack server products targeting mission-critical database and HPC workloads in the enterprise datacenter,” said Phil Hester, CEO, and Co-founder of Newisys, a leading developer of enterprise-class server and storage technologies for OEM and systems integrators.

About InfiniCon Systems, Inc.
With its award-winning InfinIOTM Architecture -– the first systems solution based on InfiniBand to deliver affordable 10Gbps networking to commodity servers while integrating seamlessly with existing Fibre Channel and Ethernet networks -– InfiniCon Systems provides the high-performance, low-latency infrastructure required to enable next-generation data centers.

Leveraging the switching and shared I/O capabilities of the InfinIO platform, IT organizations can cluster server resources together to create larger, more powerful computing environments; provision resources to match business demands; and slash operational costs for server deployments through greatly simplified connectivity to distributed storage and networking applications.

InfiniCon, headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, is a member of the InfiniBand Trade Association, the Storage Network Industry Association, the Direct Access File System (DAFS) Collaborative, and the Server Blade Trade Association. For additional information, visit

InfiniBand/SM is both a trademark and a service mark. It is used as a trademark to designate the technology and products incorporating the technology being developed by the InfiniBand Trade Association; and it is also used as a service mark to designate the association services of the InfiniBand Trade Association.

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