SoftLayer customers will benefit from faster connections between bare metal servers as the company announced on Tuesday that it has added support for InfiniBand networking architecture.
IBM, SoftLayer’s parent company, said that InfiniBand technology enables high network throughput and low latency between bare metal servers, making it ideal for high-performance computing applications in the cloud.
InfiniBand is an interconnection specification that is used by supercomputers to deliver 56Gb/s per link, and carry multiple traffic types over a single connection. It is used mainly in high performance computing, but also in big data, cloud, database, storage and web 2.0 applications.
“As more and more companies migrate their toughest workloads to the cloud, many are now demanding that vendors provide high speed networking performance to keep up,” SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby said. “Our InfiniBand support is helping to push the technological envelope on what can be done on the cloud today. It showcases our innovation when collaborating with customers to help them solve complex business issues.”
Recently, the InfiniBand Trade Association said that InfiniBand is the most used interconnect by the world’s fastest supercomputers. It now represents 44.4 percent of the TOP500 at 222 systems. The TOP500 list is published twice a year, and ranks the top supercomputers around the world.
InfiniBand technology has been deployed at a handful of cloud providers as they look for ways to address the networking speed bottleneck. Cambridge, Mass.-based ProfitBricks is another cloud service provider that leverages InfiniBand technology. It claims that in using InfiniBand, it is able to offer customers 80 times the connection speed of its competitors who use Ethernet connections.
InfiniBand is also used by Atlantic.Net, a cloud and hosting provider with data centers in Dallas and Florida.
As IBM looks for ways to spend its $1.5 billion cloud investment, upgrading SoftLayer technology and adding new services is a recent area of focus. Last month, SoftLayer launched a service that allows customers to establish a private connection between their existing IT infrastructure and their SoftLayer compute resources, called Direct Link.