IBM’s SoftLayer cloud division is adding InfiniBand networking to its data centres to support the Elastic Storage service it announced last week, but the firm now says it will eventually make InfiniBand available to any customer who wants this for demanding applications.
The Elastic Storage service was announced on 15 July by IBM as a fully cloud-based storage environment to support demanding workloads such as technical computing and analytics. In order to deliver the required level of performance, this will use clusters of servers connected using InfiniBand rather than the more typical Ethernet.
Announcing the availability of InfiniBand support, SoftLayer has now confirmed that it intends to also offer this as an option for any customer of its bare metal servers in the near future.
“We’re adding InfiniBand capability now, and it will be available to any customer,” SoftLayer vice president of product innovation Mark Jones told V3.
“The Elastic Storage in the platform product suite will be able to leverage the InfiniBand capability, and we are initially making it available through the IBM Platform Computing team, but it’s going to be available for all customers in future.”
InfiniBand offers high data transfer speeds between compute nodes of up to 56Gbps, which IBM said is the equivalent of transferring data from more than 30,000 Blu-ray movie discs in a single day.
Adding InfiniBand support enables very high network throughput and low latency, and is expected to make SoftLayer’s cloud platform more appealing for high performance computing (HPC) and other demanding workloads.
Jones said that IBM already has a pilot customer in the oil and gas exploration industry which is taking advantage of this capability, adding that IBM is seeing demand from the scientific research field and media companies looking to use it for graphical rendering and transcoding workloads.
IBM SoftLayer is signing up customers and taking pre-orders now, and the capability is going to be available this quarter, he added.