QLogic gets into servers from IBM, HP, Dell, and SGI

Today QLogic announced that it has inked new or expanded distribution deals for its InfiniBand products with Dell, IBM, HP, and SGI. QLogic is an interesting company in the IB space as they control the entire experience — from silicon (Voltaire buys silicon from rival Mellanox) up through switches, adapters, architecture, and application integration. Their switches are also big: at 648 ports, the QLogic 12000 Series Director 40 Gbps switch packs double the ports of the Mellanox top end gear (Voltaire offers a 648-port variant of their 4700 that uses double density boards).

Performance comparisonIn my conversation with them, QLogic showed me a slide (image at right, click for larger view) comparing Mellanox’s ConnectX QDR adapter performance (which notably features offload support) with their own TrueScale QDR adapter. The slide shows the performance advantage growing from 5 through 22% at the number of cores in the benchmarked application grows from 64 to 256. By way of explanation, QLogic’s Jesse Parker (GM and VP Network Storage Group) said that offload is helpful at lower core counts, but as core counts increase QLogic’s approach of relying on the cores to do the processing that Mellanox offloads to the cards means that processing resources scale as network demand grows. I suspect that this is greatly influenced by the architecture of the machine, how many cores per socket, sockets per node, cards per node, and so on. But it was an interesting stat nonetheless (the machine benchmarked used 2.93 GHz Xeon 5570s).

IBM already had a deal for switches with the company, but this agreement expands that to include QLogics QDR adapters. From the release

Expanding on its successful OEM agreement with IBM for quad data rate (QDR) InfiniBand switches, QLogic today announced IBM has integrated QLogic’s performance-leading 7300 Series 40Gb/sec QDR InfiniBand host channel adapters into its IBM System x servers for high performance computing (HPC) applications. IBM is the first tier-one OEM to integrate QLogic QDR adapters and will offer them as part of IBM’s latest IBM System Cluster 1350.

The deal with HP is all new, and HP will be offering QLogic’s full line of QDR IB products with HP ProLiant and BladeSystem c-Class servers as part of the HP Unified Cluster Portfolio. From the release:

The HP Unified Cluster Portfolio makes standard-based clusters easy to configure and manage with breakthrough technologies such as QLogic QDR InfiniBand. The QLogic QDR host channel adapters (HCAs), directors and edge switches coupled with HP’s expertise, help organizations achieve successful results with HPC applications such as weather modeling, high energy physics, reservoir simulation, scalable visualization, computer aided engineering impact analysis and computational chemistry.

Dell has grown its offering to include both the QDR switches and adapters (it previously sold QLogic’s DDR switch), and SGI will be using QLogic QDR IB switches and directors with its CloudRack products.

An interesting stat on the company? According to Parker, QLogic has been profitable for 57 straight quarters, and has $340M in cash on hand.

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