The InfiniBand Architecture, defined by the InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA), is the result of an industry collaboration among most of the major companies in the server, storage, and networking markets. The steering committee includes Compaq, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems. The sponsoring companies comprise of 3Com, Adaptec, Agilent, Brocade, Cisco, EMC, Hitachi, Lucent, NEC, Nortel, Siemens-Fujitsu. At the most basic level, InfiniBand replaces the PCI bus and provides the next generation of I/O connectivity to PC and server platforms. InfiniBand is, however, a revolutionary, rather than an evolutionary change to the traditional PC bus based architecture, as InfiniBand defines a switch based serial I/O fabric. This means that links can come out of the box, enabling flexible network connections that can scale and provide fault tolerance. Infiniband represents a major architectural shift for the compute server platform with far reaching implications for basic server architecture and system level deployment.
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