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InfiniBand

Definition

InfiniBand is a high-performance, multipurpose networking technology primarily used in data centers. It delivers high throughput and low latency, facilitating fast data transfer between servers and storage systems. This technology supports multiple data types, including unicast, multicast, and broadcast.

Phonetic

The phonetic pronunciation for the word “InfiniBand” is: /ɪnˈfɪnɪbænd/.

Key Takeaways

Sure, here are the three main takeaways about InfiniBand in HTML numbered form:“`html

  1. InfiniBand is a high-performance, multi-channel networking technology used primarily in computing data storage.
  2. It provides features such as quality of service and failover, making it an efficient tool for server clustering environments.
  3. InfiniBand architecture is operated and managed by the InfiniBand Trade Association, which includes leading IT companies.

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Importance

InfiniBand is an important term in technology because it refers to a high-performance, scalable architecture designed to handle large amounts of data transfer among connected devices in a short time, making it highly crucial in data centers. It is a robust network communication protocol that offers high throughput and low latency, often employed for clustering and storage area networks (SAN). Its support for quality of service alongside error handling and failover capabilities make it stable and effective for reducing data bottlenecks. Furthermore, it supports multiple connections, thus aiding parallelism in computing services. All these factors together make InfiniBand a significant, reliable, and efficient component of modern technology infrastructure.

Explanation

InfiniBand is a high-performance, multi-purpose networking technology primarily used in enterprise data centers, high-performance computing (HPC), and supercomputing environments because of its low latency and high throughput capabilities. Developed by the InfiniBand Trade Association, this technology was designed to address the insufficiencies of older systems that relied upon parallel connections transporting multiple data streams where data collisions and timing issues inevitably caused delays. By offering channel-based, switch fabric topology, InfiniBand circumvents these issues maintaining high data transfer integrity, thus making it a popular choice for data-intensive applications that require high-speed data transfer between networks and storage systems.The main purpose of InfiniBand is to carry data from one point to another as quickly and efficiently as possible within a network. Whether it’s server-to-server, server-to-storage or storage-to-storage communications, InfiniBand plays a pivotal role in reducing data latency and increasing data transfer speeds by facilitating data transmissions over short distances typically within a server room or a data center, and sometimes over somewhat longer distances such as between different buildings within a campus or between different floors of a tall building. Additionally, it utilizes a design that offers built-in failover, error checking, and quality of service prioritization, thereby ensuring optimal performance, reliability, and data integrity in data centers. By bringing high bandwidth, low latency, and high message rate, InfiniBand is ideal for data center interconnects, helping organizations achieve superior performance and competitive advantage in the era of big data and cloud computing.

Examples

1. High-Performance Computing (HPC): InfiniBand technology is extensively used in HPC. It provides high throughput, low latency, and quality of service, making it ideal for severe performance-oriented applications. An example of this is at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, which uses InfiniBand technology in their supercomputers for various research projects that involve vast data processing.2. Data Centers: InfiniBand is also commonly used for data center interconnects, providing fast data transfer between servers and storage systems. For instance, Oracle Exadata Database Machine uses InfiniBand technology to ensure rapid flow of data within the system and between other systems when needed.3. Financial Industry: Financial institutions often use InfiniBand for their trading systems to achieve low latency and high throughput. The London Stock Exchange, for example, uses InfiniBand technology in their trading platform to provide ultra-fast trading times. These quick response rates are critical in high-frequency trading where even a millisecond can make a significant difference.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Sure, here is a Frequently Asked Questions section for the term “InfiniBand”:1. Q: What is InfiniBand? A: InfiniBand is a high-performance, multipurpose network architecture that is used in supercomputing or high performance computing. It provides high throughput, low latency, quality of service, and failover, and it is both a link layer protocol and a network layer protocol.2. Q: What is InfiniBand used for? A: It’s typically used in data centers, enterprise computing, storage, and large-scale simulations to connect servers, supercomputers, and storage systems.3. Q: How does InfiniBand differ from Ethernet? A: While both are networking technologies, InfiniBand provides higher bandwidth and lower latency than traditional Ethernet which makes it ideal for data-intensive applications and high-performance computing.4. Q: Are there different types of InfiniBand? A: Yes, there are several types, each offering varying levels of data transfer speeds: Single Data Rate (SDR), Double Data Rate (DDR), Quad Data Rate (QDR), Fourteen Data Rate (FDR), Enhanced Data Rate (EDR), High Data Rate (HDR) and Next Generation HDR (NDR).5. Q: Is InfiniBand faster than Ethernet? A: Yes, InfiniBand can offer higher data transfer speeds than Ethernet. The fastest Ethernet variant (400 Gigabit Ethernet) offers maximum data transfer speeds of 400 Gbps whereas InfiniBand (NDR variant) supports up to 1.6 Tbps.6. Q: How reliable is InfiniBand? A: InfiniBand is known for its high reliability. It incorporates error checking and can isolate non-performing parts, providing higher overall network operation. 7. Q: Can InfiniBand be used with any computer? A: While it’s technically possible to use InfiniBand with any system, the driver and hardware support are typically found in high-performance computers and data centers. Most consumer-grade computers don’t come with built-in support for InfiniBand.8. Q: Is InfiniBand expensive? A: While costs may vary, InfiniBand technology is more expensive than some traditional data transfer technologies like Ethernet. However, for environments that require extremely high performance, speed, and low latency, InfiniBand often provides the best value.

Related Tech Terms

  • High-Performance Computing (HPC)
  • Direct Memory Access (DMA)
  • Switch Fabric
  • Latency
  • Compute Clusters

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