Monday, 8 October 2012

Atlantic.net Adds InfiniBand to Cloud Hosting


Despite the many benefits of utilising a cloud computing environment for day-to-day business operations, the technology does have its drawbacks. One of those drawbacks is the slow network performance created by cloud limitations that lead to a network bottleneck. Atlantic.net has set out to change that for its customers by adding the InfiniBand platform from Mellanox.

InfiniBand is a high powered communications solution used to link data centres with computers on the other end. It utilizes a combination of bidirectional links, point-to-point, and multicast operations to create an optimized communications environment which speeds up performance and achieves more consistent results.

According to Atlantic.net, they have successfully deployed InfiniBand well beyond the testing phase. They are committing to the platform at this point. They also claim to already be seeing significant improvement in cloud communications as well as a reduced financial cost. In addition, Atlantic.net is talking about ways they can put the money they save with InfiniBand to better use.

“Mellanox’s InfiniBand server and storage interconnect solution is a great compliment to our industrial-grade cloud infrastructure to provide the fastest and most robust cloud on the market," said Atlantic.net's Adnan Raja in a prepared statement. “Mellanox’s InfiniBand has enabled us to dramatically reduce our cloud infrastructure costs and therefore provide better services to our customers."

The necessity of solutions like InfiniBand is underscored by the promises cloud computing hosting companies make to clients they are trying to bring on board. While salesman attempt to reassure customers of increased performance and scalability, deploying InfiniBand paves the way for other upgrades because it frees up resources.

We'll have to see if the Atlantic.net deployment lives up to the company's expectations. In the meantime, cloud hosting companies still are plenty of work to do.

Analysing the Data

Analysing data communications will ultimately determine whether or not InfiniBand is a viable long-term solution for Atlantic.net or just a stopgap tool on their way to the next solution. By all accounts the platform seems to be working well by those hosting companies that have tried it.

At the data centre, hardware installation and technician maintenance are the two things that will make or break the viability of InfiniBand. Since the technology is pretty straightforward it doesn't seem likely very many hosting companies are going to have trouble with it; very few have to this point. Most go down this route will probably find the deployment rather easy.

Since InfiniBand was created back in 1999 the project has made incredible strides in the area of high-performance networking and computing. The technology has largely kept pace with developing communication trends thanks to efforts from companies like IBM, Sun, and Oracle. The Mellanox QDR 40Gbps system, which is what Atlantic.net has deployed, seems to be the logical next step in bringing the cloud to the next level.

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