Obsidian and Intel Showcase Crossbow InfiniBand Routers, Outperforming Lustre LNET Routers for Fast and Flexible Storage

Obsidian Strategics Delivers Exponential Improvements Over Traditional Software Routers on Latency, Rack Density and Power Efficiency Metrics

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 18, 2014 (Supercomputing14, Booth #548) – With the influx of data coming into the enterprise, data center and service provider environments, organizations from around the world are re-evaluating network architecture and traditional storage systems. As the need for more scalable I/O performance increases, Obsidian™ Strategics will demonstrate a key application of its Crossbow™ R400-6 native InfiniBand™ router – fast and flexible storage, essentially cracking the commercial market for Lustre and InfiniBand.

  • Obsidian bypasses Lustre LNET router issues – While providing connectivity, LNET routers defeat the benefits of Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) and introduce latency, throughput limits and unwelcome power/thermal and physical footprints in the HPC environment. Obsidian has applied its Crossbow router to deliver a superior solution:
    • Lustre is an open source clustered file system widely used to provide storage services to High Performance Computing (HPC) systems for government, academic research and industry environments. It dominates supercomputing using an InfiniBand fabric to interconnect Lustre servers, clients and storage devices.
    • At Supercomputing 2014, Obsidian is teaming with Intel to demonstrate a superior alternative architecture using its Crossbow to provide native InfiniBand routing at QDR speeds between separate storage and compute subnets.
    • Each Crossbow integrated into an Intel® Enterprise Edition for Lustre environment replaces and outperforms three full-size LNET routers, while filling only 1/4 of a rack unit and consuming less than 30 watts of power. This represents a reduction of 12x in rack space and an estimated 20x reduction in power consumption over traditional LNET router solutions.
  • Linking subnet fabrics – The Crossbow R400-6 supports native routing between multiple InfiniBand subnets at full line rates and very low port-to-port latencies. Sample applications include the segmenting of very large HPC fabrics, global shared scratch storage and inter-site InfiniBand connectivity.

Dr. David Southwell, chief visionary officer, Obsidian Strategics, said:
“Once a major challenge, fast data migration between supercomputers is now as trivial as writing a data set from one machine into global storage and reading it from another. By implementing a Crossbow-based storage architecture into a multi-supercomputer site, all machines can share an extremely fast and large global storage pool. No longer siloed into InfiniBand islands, site-wide storage can be intelligently provisioned in one place, resulting in Capex and Opex savings as storage arrays are scaled for aggregate requirements.”

See Crossbow in action at SuperComputing14 (Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans) November 17-20, Obsidian booth #548. The company is also part of Intel’s “Fellow Traveler” program, recognizing Intel technology partners.

About Obsidian Strategics
Obsidian Strategics™ is the developer of Longbow™ and Crossbow™, a series of InfiniBand products featuring range extension, routing and encryption. Longbow technology allows an InfiniBand fabric - normally a short-range network used in supercomputers and data centres - to be securely extended via optical fiber over global distances. Crossbow technology provides very high performance routing of InfiniBand traffic between many separate subnets, enabling unprecedented scalability and manageability. www.obsidianstrategics.com.