NASA Joins with Obsidian to Demonstrate AES InfiniBand Encryption over 10Gigabit Ethernet at Full Line-Rate

World's First IB Encryption - Supercomputing 2007 - NASA Booth #318

RENO, Nevada - November 7th, 2007 — Obsidian, the leader in InfiniBand range-extension, is partnering with NASA at Supercomputing 2007 to deliver an extreme network demonstration (Xnet). This demonstration unveils a new Longbow platform, "Enterprise", that integrates InfiniBand range extension over global 10Gigabit Ethernet WANs, routing and now full line-rate AES cryptography into a compact 1U package. NASA's 3x2 InfiniBand-based Hyperwall visualization facility is driven by six InfiniBand ports, each normally connected by copper InfiniBand cables. For the purposes of the live demonstration in NASA's booth, one of the six links instead traverses a pair of Longbow Enterprise devices connected through a 10km fiber spool. The optical link carries SDR 4X InfiniBand encapsulated over 10Gigabit Ethernet, which is encrypted at full line-rate using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm. The bandwidth, latency and transparency characteristics are such that the encrypted 10km link's screen is indistinguishable from the other five display wall screens.

"NASA is interested in this technology as a method to extend the Columbia supercomputer enclave across the country to provide our scientists and engineers remote access to one of the fastest computers in the world.", explained Ken Freeman NREN project manager, NASA, "the integrated strong cryptography makes it a solution that is simple to manage and delivers full InfiniBand speed over the encrypted WAN segment."

Dr. David Southwell, President and CEO of Obsidian Research, said "We developed the Longbow Enterprise product to facilitate the adoption of range-extended InfiniBand into security sensitive applications. InfiniBand on the WAN offers compelling bandwidth and latency advantages to many organizations, but the lack of access to conventional network security and data integrity tools presented a significant barrier to adoption for some customers. Longbow Enterprise uses an AES algorithm that is approved by NSA for up to TOP SECRET environments, providing a high degree of data security and authentication services, removing this barrier". Dr. Southwell pointed out that this Xnet demonstration uses prototype devices which are under development and have not yet been submitted for NSA certification.

By going on to configure the Enterprise devices in InfiniBand router mode, not only is the range-extended optical WAN segment encrypted, but the two end-points continue to reside in their local InfiniBand subnets. "This mirrors potential Fortune 500 or Wall Street applications", said Dr. Southwell, "...such as data center replication or latency-sensitive messaging. The sites exchange encrypted traffic at full line rates, and by preserving their individually routed InfiniBand subnet domains, network management and failure mode scenarios are simplified".

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