Ames Laboratory Demonstrates Ultra-Fast PVFS Transport Across BOREAS and Internet2 using Obsidian Longbow InfiniBand Routers

IB Routing Demo Supercomputing 2007 - Ames Laboratory Booth #181

RENO, Nevada - November 1, 2007 —

Obsidian, the leader in InfiniBand range-extension, is pleased to announce very high performance from the Longbow XR InfiniBand router devices deployed at the Scalable Computing Laboratory at Department of Energy (DOE)'s Ames Laboratory in Iowa. Researcher Troy Benjegerdes is demonstrating reliable bulk data transport between remote InfiniBand subnets using the open-source Parallel Virtual File System (PVFS). PVFS was developed by the DOE to harness the parallel storage architectures behind cluster-based supercomputers.

"Like many other government labs and agencies, the DOE continues to face massive growth in the volumes of data it must store and distribute", said Troy Benjegerdes, "and the traditional use of TCP/IP over Ethernet is proving to be very difficult to scale to long-haul, high-bandwidth connections. As the DOE moves into the Petascale Computing Era (10^ 15+ calculations per second) it is clear that a more efficient and scalable transport solution is needed."

"Obsidian developed the InfiniBand range-extending Longbow XR to transparently provide native InfiniBand connections across optical Wide Area Networks (WANs)", said Dr. David Southwell, President and CEO of Obsidian Research, "InfiniBand flow control has proven to be highly robust and efficient across high-latency 10Gbits/s long-haul networks - yielding much higher efficiencies than TCP/IP while preserving InfiniBand's low CPU overhead semantics, such as Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA)."

Troy Benjegerdes adapted PVFS to support the Wide Area RDMA services provided by Obsidian's Longbow XR products. In the Ames Laboratory's booth in Reno, the link can be seen in action over BOREAS and Internet2 WAN circuits reaching back to Ames Laboratory's high performance test bed PVFS storage system in Ames, Iowa. The Longbow XRs are operating in router mode, such that each end of the WAN link can preserve local InfiniBand subnets, simplifying network security and management.

About Obsidian:
Obsidian Research Corporation and the Obsidian Longbow LP are the developers of Longbow, a series of InfiniBand range extension products. Longbow technology allows an InfiniBand fabric, normally a short-range network used in high-performance computing, to be extended via optical fiber over varying distances. Longbow connects across Campus, Metro or Global networks to offer unparalleled high-bandwidth, low-latency access to InfiniBand compute and storage resources. Obsidian is available online at

About Scalable Computing Laboratory:
The SCL was created in 1989 as a joint effort of the DOE through Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University through the Center for Physical and Computational Mathematics. SCL's mission is to improve parallel computing through clustering techniques for use in scientific and engineering computation. For more information, visit