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InfiniBand Network Architecture

InfiniBand Network Architecture by Tom Shanley
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InfiniBand is a new networking technology for connecting servers, storage subsystems and networking devices. Great innovations have taken place in I/O networking technology: e.g., Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and Ultra SCSI. Today's Internet data centers are very complex and servers are often connected to three or four different networks. As the amount of data coming into and flowing between server blades and storage subsystems increases, the existing system interconnects becomes a bottleneck.

InfiniBand utilizes high-speed serial technology to interconnect data center elements. Each link consists of a signal pair that transfers information in both directions simultaneously at 2.5Gb/s. To increase throughput even more, four or twelve pairs can be implemented, yielding transfer rates of 312.5MB/s, 12.5GB/s, or 37.5GB/s.

Unlike other networking technologies, InfiniBand permits local and remote application software entities to perform memory-to-memory transfers without the intervention of the processor. This frees up most of the processor’s bandwidth to deal with computational problems. The architecture provides increased reliability, better sharing of data, and built-in security. InfiniBand Network Architecture provides a detailed description of this networking technology from both the hardware and software perspective.

Addison-Wesley Longman; August 2002
1276 pages; ISBN 9780321117656
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Title: InfiniBand Network Architecture
Author: Tom Shanley; Inc. Mindshare; Joe Winkles