Feeds

Oracle and HP's database machine predicated on Voltaire

Israeli firm says Infiniband is best of all possible I0s

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Bitcasa bins $10-a-month Infinite storage offer
Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.