Mellanox 2016: The Year In Review

100Gb/s, 25Gb/s, Cloud Networking, Connect X-4, Ethernet, InfiniBand, Link-X, , , , , , , , ,

‘Fantastical’ Networking Achievements and Where To Find Them Part I

Oh, what a year it was for Mellanox. One might even say magical. From HPC accelerating the world’s fastest computer, to breaking down technology barriers of hyperconverged systems and in Artificial Intelligence, Mellanox was at the forefront of many of the world’s most profound technical networking accomplishments and milestones. As we look forward to many more accomplishments and technical breakthroughs in 2017, let’s first take a look back at everything that set the stage in 2016, in Part I of this two part blog, we will look back at the amazing accomplishments Enterprise Data Centers, LinkX®, SoC, Cloud and more:

In 2016, the world of Enterprise Data Centers had a busy year. Mellanox announced software driver support for ConnectX®-4 Ethernet and RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet) on VMware vSphere®, the industry’s leading virtualization platform. This was the first time that virtualized enterprise applications were able to realize the same industry-leading performance and efficiency as non-virtualized environments. Benchmarks show that Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) over 25 Gb/s Ethernet provide more than two times higher efficiency compared to 10 Gb/s Ethernet. In addition, RoCE improves storage access times by up to ten times, while using 50 percent less CPU resources compared to traditional transport. And EDC didn’t stop there, Mellanox, HPE and Micron utterly crushed the 1 Terabit per second storage performance record with Windows Server: Link, which enables hyperconverged based cloud to achieve a new level of efficiency. HPE, Mellanox and Micron demonstrated All-Flash MS SQL server on Storage Spaces Direct, blowing away records with more than 2.5 million transactions per minute: Link. Finally, the entertainment world of glitz and glamour got a much needed tech boost in the form of Ethernet speeds of 25, 50, and 100GbE solutions so needed for higher resolution. These speeds have been established as the new industry standard, driven by a consortium of companies that includes Google, Microsoft, Mellanox, Arista, and Broadcom, and recently adopted by the IEEE as well. A good example of the efficiency that higher speed enables is Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx 25GbE and Mellanox ConnectX-4 100GbE NICs that has been deployed in Netflix’s Open Connect CDN platform. This solution now provides the highest-quality viewing experience for as many as 100K concurrent streams out of a single server. More details can be found at: Link.

And speaking of links, LinkX was not to be outdone, they ramped into high-volume mass production our 100Gb/s Ethernet multi-mode SR4 and single-mode Silicon Photonics PSM4 optical transceivers for key hyperscale players. They also rolled out 25Gb/s AOCs and SR transceivers that connected the next generation servers and storage to 100Gb/s Ethernet fabrics: Link. LinkX also demonstrated Ethernet transceiver interoperability with key industry players such as Ixia, Oclaro, Innolight, AOI, and Hisense to ensure “plug and play” in data center deployments of 100Gb/s networks. Along with a new generation of 200Gb/s copper and Active Optical Cables for HDR200 InfiniBand markets that double the speed in the same form factor, our cable customers can now use our brand new,  easy-to-use LinkX website that simplifies over 180 parts: Introducing The New LinkX Mini-Website!
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Mellanox also announced the BlueField family of programmable processors for networking and storage applications. The BlueField family of devices addresses an increasing need in the industry for higher levels of SoC (System-on-Chip) integration to simplify system design, lower total power, and reduce overall system cost.  BlueField incorporates Mellanox ConnectX® network acceleration offload technology together with an array of high-performance 64-bit ARMv8 CPU cores that leverages the Tilera coherent mesh interconnect technology from the recent acquisition of EZchip®. The result is a device that delivers unmatched levels of integration for multiple applications, including dataplane offload for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), advanced networking and security, and serving as the embedded storage controller of an array of solid state Flash drives.

In addition, Mellanox proved that 2016 was definitely the year to get your head in the cloud. With webinars and success case studies galore, you can learn all about how Medallia leveraged Mellanox and Cumulus to achieve best-in-class cloud networking efficiencies: Check out the webinar here: Link. You can also learn about software-defined networking done right in another webinar courtesy with Nuage Networks and Mellanox: Link

Finally, in the Big Data world, OpenPower took a quantum leap forward with Mellanox 100GbE network solutions breaking world records. Tencent, the world’s most lucrative social network teamed up with IBM and Mellanox to announce that Tencent Cloud has been named the Winner of the Sort Benchmark annual global computing competition for 2016. The Big Data team in Tencent Cloud spent less than 99 second (98.8 seconds) finishing sorting 100 terabytes of data in Indy GraySort category, improving on 2015’s best result, 329 seconds, by a factor of 3.3 proving yet again that 2016 was the year of many fantastical networking achievement and the place to find them was Mellanox. In addition, Mellanox’s 100GbE network also supercharged industry’s first 100TB Apache Spark SQL cluster with Lenovo and IBM.

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Stayed tuned for Part II of our introspective look back on 2016.


About Julie M. Dibene

Julieanne DiBene is the Senior Director of Marketing Communications at Mellanox. Prior to this, she was the Director of Marketing Communications with Micrel Inc., a semiconductor manufacturer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from San Jose State University.

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