Longbows deliver Wide-Area InfiniBand benefits to powerful D-Grid initiative

Stuttgart, Germany (December 2008) — The High Performance Computing Centre (HLRS) at the University of Stuttgart and Obsidian Strategics are pleased to announce that the first Longbow devices have been successfully installed into the D-Grid, providing connectivity to HLRS and the Universities of Heidelburg and Mannheim.

D-Grid is a federally funded national high-performance computing network spanning academic, research lab and corporate users throughout Germany. The Grid Computing concept pools compute and data storage capacity across all participating organizations, and redistributes them according to brokered demand.

"The Grid Computing approach aims to maximize utilization efficiency, mirroring electrical power production and consumption through today's national power grids.", said Dr. David Southwell, President of Obsidian Strategics, "Just like power grids, connecting remote producers and consumers across a computational grid is only viable if the 'transmission lines' (network connections) are suitably efficient."

Many high-performance computer sites to be attached to D-Grid use an internal network called InfiniBand™ to connect individual processors and storage devices within a data center. Fast and efficient, InfiniBand is generally limited to very short connections within a building. Obsidian's Longbow technology allows remote supercomputers to communicate natively through InfiniBand connections that have been specially processed to allow them to ride standard wide-area optical networks.

Before purchasing D-Grid's first six Longbows, HLRS tested them extensively for ease of integration and network performance. The range-extended InfiniBand links yielded complete protocol transparency, full bandwidth and very low pass-through latencies. By deploying multiple pairs between facilities, aggregate throughput was increased in 10Gbits/s increments.

Dr. Southwell continued, "Over shorter distances within a campus or even across a city, the Longbow's unrivaled latency allows many smaller computer clusters to be combined into very large virtual supercomputers. Over the longer distances between cities, InfiniBand's lossless flow control maintains full-bandwidth transfer rates, delivering excellent bulk-data transport between institutions, often at many times the efficiency of traditional TCP/IP-based networking approaches. Over long or short links, Longbow technology maximizes utilization efficiency, which is what Grid Computing is all about - Obsidian is very pleased to be involved in the D-Grid program."

About D-Grid:
The German D-Grid Initiative was founded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in March 2004, in order to design, build and operate a network of distributed integrated and virtualized high-performance resources and related services to enable the processing of large amounts of scientific data and information throughout Germany. For more information, see www.d-grid.de/

About Obsidian Strategics:
Obsidian Strategics™ is the developer of Longbow™, a series of InfiniBand products featuring range extension, routing and encryption. 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. For more information, see www.obsidianstrategics.com.