Infiniband is a high throughput, low latency communications network with built in quality of service and failover capabilities and designed to be scalable. Instead of having a hierarchical switched network structure like Ethernet architectures, Infiniband uses a switched fabric topology. Initially Infiniband’s acceptance was limited to high-performance computing environments but recently it has been adopted in enterprise data centres in the financial sector as well as cloud computing.
Storage products from some vendors may also be weaved seamlessly into the Infiniband fabric, thereby providing low latency storage to computer systems connected to it. It is interesting to note that engineered systems from Oracle, such as Oracle Exadata Database Machine, Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud and Oracle SPARC SuperCluster all make use of Infiniband as the interconnect between the compute and storage nodes.
Mellanox Technologies supplies end-to-end Infiniband and Ethernet interconnect solutions and services for servers and storage. The products consist of switches, adapters, cables, software and silicon and by providing the highest throughput and lowest latency, it enables the fast delivery of data to applications, thereby increasing its efficiency. Mellanox Infiniband switches include a broad portfolio of Edge and Director switches with port counts ranging from eight to hundreds of ports. Mellanox uniquely combines Infiniband technology with integrated Ethernet gateways. Mellanox also provides a family of Ethernet switches that includes a broad portfolio of top-of-rack switches. On the host side of things, Mellanox provides Infiniband Host Channel Adapters (HCAs) as well as Ethernet Network Interface Cards (NICs). Many tier-one vendors rely on Mellanox technology for their OEM Infiniband needs.