Feeds

Oracle and HP's database machine predicated on Voltaire

Israeli firm says Infiniband is best of all possible I0s

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Interview "Common sense is not so common" is a quotation attributed to Voltaire, the 18th century French philosopher, essayist, writer and wit. So, how sensible were HP and Oracle in basing their database machine around an IO fabric that has struggled to find favour beyond the HPC market?

The fabric in question is InfiniBand, and the switches come from Voltaire - the Israeli firm, rather than the philosopher. InfiniBand is rated at 20Gbit/s and Voltaire would like the idea that speed and daring is involved in Oracle and HP's decision to go with InfiniBand rather than 10GigE or Fibre Channel or a SAS fabric.

High-performance computing (HPC) applications use InfiniBand as a cluster or grid interconnect. Its bandwidth is so high, with 40Gbit/s possible, that its backers tout it as a data centre convergence fabric candidate with other protocols - Ethernet, Fibre Channel, whatever - running on top of it.

That's a theoretical possibility, but is it practicable? Can InfiniBand break out of its high-performance computing (HPC) niche into general data centre use? We asked Asaf Somekh, Voltaire's VP for strategic alliances some questions about the Dababase Machine's use of InfiniBand and what it might mean. Asaf's answers have not been edited at all.

El Reg: There are two grids in the Oracle Database Machine; one for the database servers and one for the Exadata storage servers. How is InfiniBand used within and between these grids?

Asaf Somekh: The HP Oracle Database Machine is designed to run large, multi-terabyte data warehouses with 10x faster performance than conventional database solutions. The HP Oracle Database Machine uses 14 Oracle Exadata Servers along with 8 Oracle RAC 11g database servers connected using four Voltaire Grid Director 24-port InfiniBand switches. The four Voltaire switches form a unified fabric which is used both for server and storage communication (see the diagram below). Separate grids for servers and storage are not required – because of the high throughput that InfiniBand provides, the same InfiniBand wires are used for running both types of traffic over a single fabric.

InfiniBand DataBase Machine layout

InfiniBand fabric layout in Oracle Database Machine.

Not only does the Oracle HP Database Machine take advantage of InfiniBand’s 20 Gigabit bandwidth and low latency, it also uses Reliable Datagram Sockets (RDS) and Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) – which enables zero loss, zero copy -- in order to deliver extreme I/O performance.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Linux? Bah! Red Hat has its eye on the CLOUD – and it wants to own it
CEO says it will be 'undisputed leader' in enterprise cloud tech
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?
Boo - it's not a terabyte car, it's just predictive maintenance and that
Troll hunter Rackspace turns Rotatable's bizarro patent to stone
News of the Weird: Screen-rotating technology declared unpatentable
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.