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Adoption of OpenFabrics Alliance Software Accelerates to 60 Percent of New High-Performance Cluster Installations
[July 23, 2009]

Adoption of OpenFabrics Alliance Software Accelerates to 60 Percent of New High-Performance Cluster Installations

CUPERTINO, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- The OpenFabrics Alliance (OFA), an open-source project that develops, tests, licenses and distributes Linux and Windows driver and middleware software for high-performance, low-latency Ethernet and InfiniBand networks, today announced that more than 40 percent of the 100 top-performing HPC systems, and as many as 60 percent of all new HPC installations worldwide, utilize OpenFabrics Software as an Enterprise Distribution (OFED) for parallel computing, low-latency interconnects, and/or file-system operations.

"In our 2008 HPC user census research series, we reported that over 60 percent of HPC systems installed since the beginning of 2007 used InfiniBand as a system interconnect," said Addison Snell, CEO of InterSect360 Research, formerly Tabor Research. "Most of these systems are likely to be running OFED software or a close derivative." OFA members are also seeing early adopters in the enterprise datacenter utilizing OpenFabrics Software to implement a Unified Fabric. This is the most recent example of a successful HPC technology becoming a popular and valuable tool in mainstream IT. Among the prominent applications of OpenFabrics technology in the datacenter is Oracle's (News - Alert) use of OFED with its cluster and data warehouse products.

"OpenFabrics Software enables Oracle Real Application Clusters and Oracle Exadata products to combine industry-standard hardware with application services, including Reliable Datagram Sockets (RDS), and take full advantage of the superior data rates that InfiniBand delivers," said Willie Hardie, vice president, Oracle Database Product Marketing. "InfiniBand is a fundamental component of the groundbreaking Oracle Exadata storage architecture, and customers can also benefit from clustering their Oracle databases on extremely fast, reliable low-cost server grids over InfiniBand." "OpenFabrics Software is starting to become recognized as a framework for implementing a Unified Fabric strategy in today's datacenter," said Nick Lippis, industry analyst and publisher of the Lippis Report. "The open-source framework mitigates vendor lock-in and ‘forklift' upgrades when selecting server, network, storage and operating system datacenter technologies.

In addition, OFED delivers a full range of APIs and virtualization capabilities that IT leaders need for service delivery in a virtualized datacenter. We're entering the next evolution of enterprise computing and as OpenFabrics Software evolves, it will be a major contributor to simplification, cost reduction, improved reliability and, most importantly, increased application performance in virtualized and unified datacenters." At the OFA's recently concluded 2009 International Sonoma Workshop, industry thought leaders described their datacenter and HPC applications for OpenFabrics Software in aerospace, automotive, financial services, insurance, IT services, retail, telecommunications, transportation, utilities, and live-video distribution. In addition, OFA developers discussed the features and benefits of OpenFabrics Software for HPC users in academia, defense, research, and scientific simulation. Slides are at

Interoperability Testing One of the most important aspects of the OFA's work is the certification of products that use OpenFabrics Software. Products that pass OFA's rigorous testing earn the OFA Interoperability Logo. This is a service mark and proof point that enables IT professionals to deploy mission-critical clustered or distributed systems with the utmost confidence. Products for datacenter and HPC environments that have earned the OFA Interoperability Logo include devices from Chelsio Communications, Cisco Systems, Data Direct Networks, Flextronics, Intel, LSI, Mellanox (News - Alert) Technologies, Obsidian Strategics, QLogic and Voltaire.

Testing is done in conjunction with the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL (News - Alert)), which hosted the fifth OFA Interoperability Event in April 2009. Many applications used for HPC and datacenter computing are included in the testing, such as IPoIB, iSER, NFS, RDS, SRP, uDAPL and several variations of MPI. Products that earned the OFA Interoperability Logo at this event will be announced later in July.

What is OpenFabrics Software? OpenFabrics Software implements channel I/O and enables RDMA on fabrics and networks in Linux and Windows environments. The software stack includes middleware and drivers for 10 Gigabit Ethernet and 10/20/40 Gigabit InfiniBand. The RDMA services include MPI in cluster and systems, legacy IP networking, uDAPL, NFS, RDS, iSCSI (iSER) and SCSI Remote (SRP) protocols as well as many parallel and database file systems, e.g. Lustre and Oracle. OpenFabrics Software delivers the highest achievable data-transfer rates and the lowest achievable latencies for the full range of virtualization and datacenter applications, cloud computing, and simulation/modeling in HPC.

About OpenFabrics Alliance An industry-run open-source community, the OFA develops, tests, licenses, distributes, promotes and supports open-source software and application services for low-latency, high-bandwidth networks, including InfiniBand and Ethernet. OpenFabrics Software is included in Linux distributions and works with Windows. OFA conducts interoperability testing to ensure that it meets multi-vendor enterprise requirements for quality and reliability. For more information about the Alliance, visit

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