Ethernet supercomputing possible, says Alliance

2012-11-30 16:56:30

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Ethernet supercomputing possible, says Alliance
The Ethernet Alliance will demonstrate a major ethernet interoperability demonstration for supercomputing at the SC12 conference next week.Supercomputing – or high-performance computing (HPC), as some prefer to call it – has thus far relied mostly on specialist low-latency technologies such as InfiniBand for linking and clustering processors.The demo seeks to show that today's high-end Ethernet, running at InfiniBand-like speeds of up to 40Gbit/s, can actually be a better choice for HPC, said John D’Ambrosia, who is chairman of the Ethernet Alliance and chief Ethernet evangelist in the CTO office at Dell.“Ethernet is uniquely able address a variety of demanding environments ranging from supercomputing to today’s converged data centres,” D’Ambrosia asserted. “With its continued evolution and proven flexibility, reliability, and cost-effectiveness, Ethernet is ideally positioned to fuel the next generation of supercomputing applications and advancements.”Chauncey Schwartz, who chairs the Ethernet Alliance's marketing committee and is in his day job a senior technical marketing manager at networking company Qlogic, added that the demo would also highlight the ability of converged Ethernet to replace three technologies with one, as alongside general networking and HPC clustering, it can also be used as a storage network.“Big Data, Hadoop processing, MPI [message processing interface, a standard for parallel processing], automated design applications, storage – all of these very intensive, high-performance computing applications need robust, reliable, low-latency connectivity,” he said.“The demo exemplifies Ethernet’s superior interoperability with the integration of multiple diverse technologies such as 10Gbit Ethernet (GbE) and 40GbE, converged Ethernet with FCoE [Fibre Channel over Ethernet] and iSCSI, and 10GBase-T into a single HPC environment. The demo allows us to illustrate Ethernet’s flexibility, interoperability and capacity for sustained, optimum performance even in the most computing-intensive situations.”He added that the demo simulates traffic volumes, patterns, and flows commonly found in HPC and data centre environments. It features three layers, including 10GbE-attached servers in the access layer, linked to multiple 10GbE switches in the distribution layer, aggregated by two 40GbE core switches. The equipment used comes from a dozen or so Ethernet Alliance members.SC12 takes place in Salt Lake City, Utah, from 12-15 November.
Transit Wireless picks Westell eSmartAccess Ethernet switch in New York City's subway system
Transit Wireless owns and operates the subway system wireless network and is in the early stages of rolling out services to all 277 underground stations in the NYCTA system.For this project, Westell developed a new model in the ESP8100 series that includes a unique configuration of ports designed specifically to meet Transit Wireless' needs for this project. The switches provide network connectivity and power via Power over Ethernet to the wireless radio equipment and IP cameras. The switch combines multiple functions including telemetry for site monitoring, power and network connectivity into a single unit.The ESP8100 series includes Westell's SiteVu Secure feature which allows key telemetry data to be monitored and combined with the switch's SNMP data. The switch provides situational awareness the temperature of the switch, the external temperature, system voltage, and cabinet door security status and triggers an alarm whenever data is outside of user-defined parameters.Westell is also providing full system integration for the wireless access point cabinets. This service includes assembly and compliance testing, allowing simple installation and circuit turn-up throughout the underground subway stations.Westell Technologies, Inc., headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, designs, distributes, markets and services a broad range of carrier-class communications equipment, including digital transmission, remote monitoring, power distribution and demarcation products used by wireline and wireless telecommunications service providers, industrial customers, and home network users. Additional information can be obtained by visiting Wireless was formed specifically to respond to the Metropolitan Transit Authority's requirement to provide a shared wireless infrastructure to enable commercial wireless services for the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) riders within 277 underground subway stations, and related opportunities.
Provides alternative service to Ethernet over Copper
Having the extended Ethernet offering will appeal to a greater set of customers that have multiple sites that need Ethernet connectivity and can't be served by EoC or a fiber-based connection.Pasha Mohammed, Vice President, Product Management, Network Services at MegaPath, told FierceTelecom in an interview that while the CLEC is seeing good uptake from its Ethernet over Copper service, distance limitations are a factor so the EoDS1 product will bridge part of that gap."While EoC is very cost effective it is plagued by distance limitations, meaning it can only go up to certain distance from the Central Office and that distance vary by speeds," he said. "When customers come and ask us what alternative Ethernet services do we have that's where the whole EoDS1 product comes into play."The service will be eventually to customers as long as they are connected to any of the 693 COs where they currently offer EoC services. Of course, like EoC, the tradeoff is that while EoDS1 does not distance limitations, it is limited in terms of bandwidth.Mohammed said they will launch the EoDS1 product in phases. In the initial phase, they launched 128 COs covering 25 markets, including launching more COs next month.But MegaPath is not reinventing the wheel with the EoDS1 product as it will leverage its existing EoC platform from ADTRAN (Nasdaq: ADTN) and the same bonding method it used to deliver EoC."We will be supporting speeds from 1.5 symmetrical to 12.0 Mbps symmetrical and using up to eight DS1 loops and we'll be bonding them the same way we have bonded them on the Ethernet over Copper side with Ethernet in the First Mile technology," Mohammed said.Mohammed said that they have to also look at other technologies to get more out of existing copper and other options like the TDM-based Ethernet options and even fiber."With copper whatever speeds that are possible within the distance limitations we have there are some innovations we can make on that in terms of distance," Mohammed said. "We are, in my opinion reaching the area where the higher speeds and different technologies like Ethernet over Fiber, for example, need to merge now to provide ubiquitous Ethernet availability for our customers."In fact, the EoDS1 product is part of a broader set of services that MegaPath plans to offer in 2013 with eventual plans to also offer EoDS3 and an EoFiber product."With EoDS3, the goal is to again is to augment on top of what we have and bring higher speed distance unlimited services," Mohammed said.Expanding the reach of its Ethernet footprint comes at a time when the CLEC's direct competitors in the EoC and overall Ethernet market continue up the ante in terms of speed and reach. Just this week, Integra Telecom and XO Communications announced initiatives to expand their speeds to 60 Mbps and 100 Mbps, respectively, along with the reach of their network footprints.MegaPath recently completed its 2012 Ethernet over Copper expansion project, and the CLEC acknowledged that it needs to continue innovating on the Ethernet product path to stay apace with competition.Read more: UPDATED: MegaPath augments Ethernet reach with EoDS1 service - FierceTelecom
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