Myricom, Emulex Take Aim at High Performance Networking

By Michael Feldman

May 9, 2012

Myricom and Emulex are teaming up to bring a series of network offerings to market targeted for high performance applications. The partnership will kick off with Emulex reselling Myricom 10GbE products into selected application domains, but the end game is to go after the high-flying InfiniBand market with products based on Emulex’s Ethernet ASICs and Myricom’s high performance software.

Essentially the collaboration is about leveraging Myricom’s low latency/high bandwidth interconnect smarts with Emulex’s more developed roadmap for Ethernet and its considerably deeper market reach. For Emulex, this is somewhat of a mid-course correction on its plans to bring converged networking to the masses. The company, which started out in the Fibre Channel space, jumped on the converged Ethernet bandwagon at a time when everyone believed datacenter traffic was destined to travel down a single pipe.

According to Shaun Walsh, Emulex’s SVP of Marketing, that level of convergence hasn’t happened yet, except perhaps in microcosm of blade servers, where density and power issues naturally moves them toward consolidated architectures. Some of that convergence will work its way into rack-mounted servers, says Walsh, thanks in part to the new Intel Sandy Bridge E5 Xeons, which are more friendly to virtualized networking designs.

But under this umbrella of convergence, there still exists a need for a variety of network technologies optimized for different types of applications. For example, multimedia streaming, which is heavily dependent on network bandwidth, requires a different type of fabric than that of high frequency trading (HFT), where low latency is the name of the game.

That’s where Myricom comes in. As a networking vendor with deep roots in high performance computing, the company has developed a series of Ethernet cards and software packages aimed at performance-challenged applications of various stripes. Today, Myricom offers three such network acceleration software packages, all under its FastStack moniker: DBL, which delivers ultra-low latency for UDP and TCP (2.9µs and 3.8µs, respectively) primarily for HFT applications; Sniffer10G, which is optimized for maxing out packet rates on a variety of apps (analytics, network security/surveillance, measurement and packet generation, and DDoS defense appliances); and VideoPump, a software stack that speeds data streaming (over 25,000 streams at 3Mb/sec) for render farms and digital content providers.

In the short-term, Emulex will resell existing Myricom 10GbE cards, under Emulex’s OneConnect brand, bundled with the software acceleration packages mentioned above. In this initial phase of the partnership, it’s all based on Myricom technology; Emulex will provide sales and marketing heft only. “The big push for us right now is to provide expanded channels,” says Walsh.

The next phase of the partnership will entail integrated product development, where Emulex supplies its 40GbE network ASIC for the next generation of adapter cards. These products will incorporate RDMA over Ethernet technology, and along with Myricom software, provides a broader entry into the high performance networking market than neither of these companies could manage on its own. Walsh says these 40 Gig products should be ready to roll toward the end of the year, adding that 100GbE products are in the pipeline as well.

According to Walsh, the Emulex-Myricom combo is out to “beat up Mellanox,” reflecting their intention to invade InfiniBand’s high performance turf. That encompasses applications in HPC stronghold of scientific computing as well the those in commercial realm. In the latter case, the need for low latency, high bandwidth, and minimizing CPU utilization are driving more business workloads to behave like high performance applications from a network point of view.

Walsh thinks its upcoming 40 Gig offering will be able to go head-to-head with InfiniBand in this high-end networking niche, especially with the right software stack behind it. In fact, he believe two-thirds or more of that market is destined to end up in the Ethernet column over the next four years.

That assertion is supported by Crehan Research, which projects that revenue from high performance networking is expected to be dominated by 10GbE and 40GbE solutions by 2016. Analysts there see a 13 percent compounded annual growth rate for InfiniBand during the first six years of the decade, while 10GbE and 40GbE revenue is expected to grow by 33 percent and 264 percent, respectively in this same timeframe.

It’s worth noting that Mellanox is attacking the high performance networking space with both its traditional InfiniBand offerings and its newer Ethernet switches and NICs (based on its SwitchX and ConnectX ASICs, respectively). And that company has 40GbE products in the field today.

Whether latency- and bandwidth-sensitive applications actually opt for 40GbE over FDR and EDR InfiniBand is still a question mark and is likely to be a decision made on a case-by-case basis. Walsh maintains that with RDMA over Ethernet, latency is now on par with that of InfiniBand, although the latter’s sub-microsecond values still have an edge for the most demanding applications. For raw bandwidth, InfiniBand looks to maintain its lead for the foreseeable future. The current FDR InfiniBand NICs can deliver 54 Gbps of real data in a four-lane setup, while future EDR adapters will net 100 Gbps. By the time 100GbE arrives, InfiniBand will likely already have moved to HDR, a post-100Gbps data rate that has yet to be nailed down.

But according to Myricom CEO Nan Boden, the majority of applications (outside of some supercomputing codes) aren’t designed to take advantage of those bleeding-edge data pipes. “The bandwidth playing field is becoming more or less level,” she asserts. “I don’t mean on the micro-benchmarks and signaling rates, but on what we’re delivering inside applications. And for that, Ethernet is catching InfiniBand bandwidth with 40 Gig.”

In any case, the much larger Ethernet ecosystem is apt to draw in a greater share of performance-minded users as the capabilities of the two technologies narrow. Also, given the sale of QLogic’s InfiniBand assets to Intel and its uncertain future there, InfiniBand is starting to look like a one-vendor ecosystem based solely on Mellanox hardware and software. That is likely to limit its wider adoption for more commercial applications.

Emulex, of course, has plenty of competition on the Ethernet side, with other vendors vying for customers 10GbE and 40GbE business. Today, the Emulex is number two in overall 10GbE revenue (to Intel) and number one in total port shipments, according Crehan Research and Dell’Oro Group. With Myricom technology in the mix, Walsh says they expect to surpass Intel in revenue by next year.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

ASC18: Final Results Revealed & Wrapped Up

May 17, 2018

It was an exciting week at ASC18 in Nanyang, China. The student teams braved extreme heat, extremely difficult applications, and extreme competition in order to cross the cluster competition finish line. The gala awards ceremony took place on Wednesday. The auditorium was packed with student teams, various dignitaries, the media, and other interested parties. So what happened? Read more…

By Dan Olds

ASC18: Tough Applications & Tough Luck

May 17, 2018

The applications at the ASC18 Student Cluster Competition were tough. Tougher than the $3.99 steak special at your local greasy spoon restaurant. The apps are so tough that even Chuck Norris backs away from them slowly. Read more…

By Dan Olds

Spring Meetings Underscore Quantum Computing’s Rise

May 17, 2018

The month of April 2018 saw four very important and interesting meetings to discuss the state of quantum computing technologies, their potential impacts, and the technology challenges ahead. These discussions happened in Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPC and AI Convergence is Accelerating New Levels of Intelligence

Data analytics is the most valuable tool in the digital marketplace – so much so that organizations are employing high performance computing (HPC) capabilities to rapidly collect, share, and analyze endless streams of data. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Mastering the Big Data Challenge in Cognitive Healthcare

Patrick Chain, genomics researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, posed a question in a recent blog: What if a nurse could swipe a patient’s saliva and run a quick genetic test to determine if the patient’s sore throat was caused by a cold virus or a bacterial infection? Read more…

Quantum Network Hub Opens in Japan

May 17, 2018

Following on the launch of its Q Commercial quantum network last December with 12 industrial and academic partners, the official Japanese hub at Keio University is now open to facilitate the exploration of quantum applications important to science and business. The news comes a week after IBM announced that North Carolina State University was the first U.S. university to join its Q Network. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ASC18: Final Results Revealed & Wrapped Up

May 17, 2018

It was an exciting week at ASC18 in Nanyang, China. The student teams braved extreme heat, extremely difficult applications, and extreme competition in order to cross the cluster competition finish line. The gala awards ceremony took place on Wednesday. The auditorium was packed with student teams, various dignitaries, the media, and other interested parties. So what happened? Read more…

By Dan Olds

Spring Meetings Underscore Quantum Computing’s Rise

May 17, 2018

The month of April 2018 saw four very important and interesting meetings to discuss the state of quantum computing technologies, their potential impacts, and th Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Quantum Network Hub Opens in Japan

May 17, 2018

Following on the launch of its Q Commercial quantum network last December with 12 industrial and academic partners, the official Japanese hub at Keio University is now open to facilitate the exploration of quantum applications important to science and business. The news comes a week after IBM announced that North Carolina State University was the first U.S. university to join its Q Network. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Democratizing HPC: OSC Releases Version 1.3 of OnDemand

May 16, 2018

Making HPC resources readily available and easier to use for scientists who may have less HPC expertise is an ongoing challenge. Open OnDemand is a project by t Read more…

By John Russell

PRACE 2017 Annual Report: Exascale Aspirations; Industry Collaboration; HPC Training

May 15, 2018

The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) today released its annual report showcasing 2017 activities and providing a glimpse into thinking about Read more…

By John Russell

US Forms AI Brain Trust

May 11, 2018

Amid calls for a U.S. strategy for promoting AI development, the Trump administration is forming a senior-level panel to help coordinate government and industry research efforts. The Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence was announced Thursday (May 10) during a White House summit organized by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Read more…

By George Leopold

Emerging Advanced Scale Tech Trends Focus of Annual Tabor Conference

May 9, 2018

At Tabor Communications' annual Advanced Scale Forum (ASF) held this week in Austin, the focus was on enterprise adoption of HPC-class technologies and high performance data analytics (HPDA). It’s a confab that brings together end users (CIOs, IT planners, department heads) and vendors and encourages... Read more…

By the Editorial Team

Google I/O 2018: AI Everywhere; TPU 3.0 Delivers 100+ Petaflops but Requires Liquid Cooling

May 9, 2018

All things AI dominated discussion at yesterday’s opening of Google’s I/O 2018 developers meeting covering much of Google's near-term product roadmap. The e Read more…

By John Russell

MLPerf – Will New Machine Learning Benchmark Help Propel AI Forward?

May 2, 2018

Let the AI benchmarking wars begin. Today, a diverse group from academia and industry – Google, Baidu, Intel, AMD, Harvard, and Stanford among them – releas Read more…

By John Russell

How the Cloud Is Falling Short for HPC

March 15, 2018

The last couple of years have seen cloud computing gradually build some legitimacy within the HPC world, but still the HPC industry lies far behind enterprise I Read more…

By Chris Downing

Russian Nuclear Engineers Caught Cryptomining on Lab Supercomputer

February 12, 2018

Nuclear scientists working at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) have been arrested for using lab supercomputing resources to mine crypto-currency, according to a report in Russia’s Interfax News Agency. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep Learning at 15 PFlops Enables Training for Extreme Weather Identification at Scale

March 19, 2018

Petaflop per second deep learning training performance on the NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) Cori supercomputer has given climate Read more…

By Rob Farber

Researchers Measure Impact of ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Patches on HPC Workloads

January 17, 2018

Computer scientists from the Center for Computational Research, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo have examined the effect of Meltdown Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AI Cloud Competition Heats Up: Google’s TPUs, Amazon Building AI Chip

February 12, 2018

Competition in the white hot AI (and public cloud) market pits Google against Amazon this week, with Google offering AI hardware on its cloud platform intended Read more…

By Doug Black

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Lenovo Unveils Warm Water Cooled ThinkSystem SD650 in Rampup to LRZ Install

February 22, 2018

This week Lenovo took the wraps off the ThinkSystem SD650 high-density server with third-generation direct water cooling technology developed in tandem with par Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC and AI – Two Communities Same Future

January 25, 2018

According to Al Gara (Intel Fellow, Data Center Group), high performance computing and artificial intelligence will increasingly intertwine as we transition to Read more…

By Rob Farber

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem

January 17, 2018

"The decades-old floating point error problem has been solved," proclaims a press release from inventor Alan Jorgensen. The computer scientist has filed for and Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Chases Quantum Supremacy with 72-Qubit Processor

March 7, 2018

Google pulled ahead of the pack this week in the race toward "quantum supremacy," with the introduction of a new 72-qubit quantum processor called Bristlecone. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Wins $57 Million DoD Supercomputing Contract

February 20, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today revealed details of its massive $57 million HPC contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The deal calls for HP Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CFO Steps down in Executive Shuffle at Supermicro

January 31, 2018

Supermicro yesterday announced senior management shuffling including prominent departures, the completion of an audit linked to its delayed Nasdaq filings, and Read more…

By John Russell

Deep Learning Portends ‘Sea Change’ for Oil and Gas Sector

February 1, 2018

The billowing compute and data demands that spurred the oil and gas industry to be the largest commercial users of high-performance computing are now propelling Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Ups Hardware Game with 16-GPU DGX-2 Server and 18-Port NVSwitch

March 27, 2018

Nvidia unveiled a raft of new products from its annual technology conference in San Jose today, and despite not offering up a new chip architecture, there were still a few surprises in store for HPC hardware aficionados. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This