The InfiniBand high-speed networking spec has had a revival of sorts with two vendors unveiled products based on it.
Isilon Systems has porduced a new network-attached storage cluster and appliance to accelerate throughput that uses InfiniBand as a backbone to scale its system up to 250TB of capacity under a single file system.
The Isilon IQ 6000i system is built on rack-mountable 6TB nodes, each 2U high. The IQ Accelerator appliance can increase cluster throughput to 6Gbit/s.
Meanwhile, Engenio Information Technologies has also announced Infini-Band-enabled storage arrays, offering throughput of 10Gbit/s - more than twice the speed of the fastest, rival, Fibre Channel-based arrays.
The Engenio 6498 controller and storage system integrate InfiniBand connectivity with the company's previous all-Fibre Channel 6998 array, which offers either high-performance Fibre Channel or high-capacity Serial ATA disk drives.
On top of that, SilverStorm Technologies has said it plans to introduce a InfiniBand switch with 20Gbit/s throughput at the start of next year.
When the first InfiniBand specification was released in 2000, the technology was touted as being far faster than existing Fibre Channel and other server-to-storage networking technologies, with throughput speeds of 10Gbit/s.
But it failed to gain momentum largely because it works well only when storage devices are located about 50 or fewer feet apart, analysts said, because signals degrade over long-distance wires.
Now InfiniBand is making a gradual comeback as a backbone technology for storage and server clusters and as a server-storage interconnect in data centres. The technology got a boost when Cisco bought switch maker Topspin for $250 million in April.