InfiniBand-over-Distance transport demonstrator using low-latency WDM transponders and IB credit buffering

Klaus Grobe, Christian Illmer and Ulrich Schlege ADVA AG Optical Networking, Germany

InfiniBand (IB) is the No.1 protocol for high-end CPU clustering. Following the need to consolidate networking protocols in high-speed data centres (GbE/10GbE (LAN), 2/4/8G-Fibre Channel (SAN) and IB or GbE (CPU cluster)), there is increasing interest in IB as the consolidating protocol.

They report on an IB-over-Distance demonstrator conducted in the high-performance computing centre of the University of Stuttgart, Germany. This demonstrator comprised an ADVA Optical Networking DWDM link on Standard Single-Mode Fiber (SSMF 9/125), an existing Voltaire IB Grid Director, a Silverstorm IB switch, applications in the participating computing centres and the combination of two new components, a transparent low-latency multi-clock data transponder for the ADVA FSP platform and an IB link extender from Obsidian, which provides IB credit buffering. A total of 4×10Gb/s IB transport capacity (4×IBx4 SDR) was established, and fiber spools were used to provide link lengths between 500m and 100km.