Sun and Topspin Hop on the InfiniBand Bandwagon

Sun Microsystems and Topspin Communications have entered into a joint technology development and software licensing agreement that will result in Topspin providing the Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet I/O modules for Sun’s next-generation InfiniBand-based server platforms.

Sun is the first major systems provider to publicly articulate definitive plans to leverage the InfiniBand standard in its volume server products. InfiniBand is one of the only cost-effective 10 Gbps low-latency interconnect standards available for the market today. Sun plans to develop servers utilizing InfiniBand technology, which provides better resource utilization, application performance, and support for more scalable and flexible computing designs.

“While some of our competitors are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach as InfiniBand evolves, Sun is delivering on its commitment to develop leading InfiniBand technology,” said Neil Knox, executive vice president, Volume Systems Products at Sun Microsystems, Inc. “We are one of the first system providers to integrate InfiniBand technology into our proven volume systems products, and we’ve teamed with Topspin to deliver breakthrough InfiniBand solutions that will result in exponential application performance gains.”

“This is a great deal for both Sun and Topspin,” said Steve Duplessie, senior analyst at Enterprise Storage Group. “InfiniBand technology is a great fit for volume server products and Topspin has some of the best technology I’ve seen. I’ve been waiting for a major system vendor like Sun to step up to the plate. This validates InfiniBand and establishes Sun and Topspin in a leadership position.”

Under the agreement, Topspin will also help develop InfiniBand server software components for the Solaris operating system. Sun will embed these components in their next generation volume server products. Topspin will offer the software components for building high-performance computing and scalable database clusters in conjunction with its industry-leading family of InfiniBand host channel adapters and switched computing systems.

“We are pleased that Sun has chosen Topspin as one of its development partners,” said Krish Ramakrishnan, CEO of Topspin Communications. “As the first player to announce a significant systems provider relationship, we view this as a major milestone for our company and a strong endorsement for InfiniBand technology.”

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