Mellanox Technologies is to collaborate with Novell to build an integrated system that delivers Xen 3.0.2 virtualisation in conjunction with Mellanox's 20gbps InfiniBand fabric solutions on top of Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 platform.
The two companies feel that datacentre designers that cannot compromise on latency delays in their applications, and want to consolidate I/O will find the proposition very compelling. They add that the system will offer better control over the network fabric and a strong foundation to deploy Xen virtualisation for large, multi-node clusters.
Also, in order to improve server utilisation and create a flexible and responsive datacentre, the companies will be using InfiniBand software from OpenFabrics.org to add support for InfiniBand-based I/O virtualisation.
The Xen hypervisor offers the ability to ensure service levels by guaranteeing guests committed fractions of the total CPU processing power. I/O channel capabilities supported in Mellanox InfiniBand adapters extend the same service level guarantees to the I/O pipe.
The Xen hypervisor can also migrate live workloads from one physical server to another. The two companies say that by using high-performance RDMA technologies, such workloads can be migrated much faster, reducing CPU utilisation and service downtimes significantly.
Thad Omura, vice-president of product marketing at Mellanox, says "Novell's initiatives to optimise Xen hypervisor technologies over InfiniBand, and then bring those technologies to market, will deliver a robust platform for applications in areas such as financial datacentres that demand maximum price-performance benefits."