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InfiniCon shrinks InfiniBand

InfiniCon Systems has introduced three 1U-high switches packed with 32 10gbps ports in its bid to score with high-performance computing, clustering and large enterprise customers.

The company is one of a handful of firms developing switches based on InfiniBand. The new family, dubbed InfinIO 3000, features what InfiniCon chief executive officer Chuck Foley called a "leaf" and "core" switch.

Foley explained that the core switch is more expensive, has more features and is designed to be placed in the middle of a network to connect islands of servers. The leaf switch has less functionality, is lower cost and is placed at the edge of the network. Both are required by his customers, he said.

"These switches are squarely targeted at high-performance computing, database cluster and enterprise cluster customers," Foley said. "Several large enterprises such as Fujitsu are running their own applications in a distributed way."

InfiniBand has been looking for a niche beyond high-performance computing for some time, Foley pointed out. 

"This switch is 300%-600% faster than other 10gbps switches," Foley said. "At $27,995 (£17,330) for the switch, it costs about $900 (£557) per port. That is 150th of the price of a 10 Gigabit Ethernet port."

InfiniCon also announced that the 32 ports in the switch can be turned on as needed. This means a customer can buy as few or as many ports as needed, and purchase a software key at a later time that unlocks access to additional ports on the switch.

Foley said the company will be talking about switches with 30gbps by the year end.

Scott Tyler Shafer writes for InfoWorld

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