Over at GigaOM, Alex Benik from Battery Ventures writes about the many reasons that InfiniBand is primed to take a bigger role in the datacenter.
InfiniBand does have some very interesting advantages over Ethernet. Its faster — the current generation is at 56Gbps — and offers lower latency than Ethernet. Current InfiniBand switches are also denser than the competing Ethernet options. But these factors have been true for most of the life of this technology, so why is InfiniBand taking off now? My guess is that this is a mostly a temporal phenomena because of continued delays in the availability of cost-effective 40Gigabit Ethernet and 100GigE and the tremendous cost of building lightly oversubscribed Layer 3 data center networking with the traditional Ethernet/IP vendors. It also highlights the broader recognition that as applications scale out and become more distributed; networking latency has meaningful impact of application performance. Looks like counting microseconds isn’t just for high frequency trading anymore.
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