Driven by the booming development of cloud computing and big data, InfiniBand has become a key technology and plays a vital role at the core of the data center. But what exactly is InfiniBand technology? What attributes contribute to its widespread adoption? The following guide will answer your questions.
What is InfiniBand?
InfiniBand is an open industrial standard that defines a high-speed network for interconnecting servers, storage devices, and more. It leverages point-to-point bidirectional links to enable seamless communication between processors located on different servers. It is compatible with various operating systems such as Linux, Windows, and ESXi.
InfiniBand Network Fabric
InfiniBand, built on a channel-based fabric, comprises key components like HCA (Host Channel Adapter), TCA (Target Channel Adapter), InfiniBand links (connecting channels, ranging from cables to fibers, and even on-board links), and InfiniBand switches and routers (integral for networking). Channel adapters, particularly HCA and TCA, are pivotal in forming InfiniBand channels, ensuring security and adherence to Quality of Service (QoS) levels for transmissions.
InfiniBand vs Ethernet
InfiniBand was developed to address data transmission bottlenecks in high-performance computing clusters. The primary differences with Ethernet lie in bandwidth, latency, network reliability, and more.
High Bandwidth and Low Latency
InfiniBand provides higher bandwidth and lower latency, meeting the performance demands of large-scale data transfer and real-time communication applications.
InfiniBand supports Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA), enabling direct data transfer between node memories. This reduces CPU overhead and improves transfer efficiency.
InfiniBand Fabric allows for easy scalability by connecting a large number of nodes and supporting high-density server layouts. Additional InfiniBand switches and cables can expand network scale and bandwidth capacity.
InfiniBand Fabric incorporates redundant designs and fault isolation mechanisms, enhancing network availability and fault tolerance. Alternate paths maintain network connectivity in case of node or connection failures.
The InfiniBand network has undergone rapid iterations, progressing from SDR 10Gbps, DDR 20Gbps, QDR 40Gbps, FDR56Gbps, EDR 100Gbps, and now to HDR 200Gbps and NDR 400Gbps/800Gbps InfiniBand. For those considering the implementation of InfiniBand products in their high-performance data centers, further details are available from FS.com.