All posts by John Biebelhausen

About John Biebelhausen

John Biebelhausen is Sr. OEM Marketing Manager at Mellanox Technologies, Inc. Before joining Mellanox, John had an extensive career as a Marketing Executive in a range of technology companies including IBM, Lenovo, Dell and Sharp Labs. John was a founder in multiple start-up companies pioneering Direct Relationship Marketing and SaaS applications. John holds a MS of Science in Finance from Colorado State University and a BBA in Economics and Finance from Kent State University.

What Does it Mean to Summit?

Many consider the Summit as the highest point of attainment or aspiration. It’s that exhilarating feeling of knowing you have reached the pinnacle. Mount Everest is the highest summit on earth. It is a place at once both awe-inspiring and unforgiving. It is where people go to live out their most challenging aspirations and dreams. The mountain remains the pinnacle of human feat and a pursuit representative of the greatest passion and drive.

Summit – The Next Peak in HPC

The Summit supercomputer, one of the two CORAL systems, will deliver the next leap in leadership-class computing systems for open science. With Summit, the supercomputing community will be able to address, with greater complexity and higher fidelity, questions concerning who we are, our place on earth, and in our universe.

The Summit supercomputer will deliver more than five times the computational performance of its predecessor Titan.  Summit will have a hybrid architecture, and each compute node will contain dual IBM POWER9 CPUs and multiple NVIDIA Volta GPUs. Each node will have over half a terabyte of coherent memory (high bandwidth memory + DDR4) addressable by all CPUs and GPUs plus 800GB of non-volatile RAM that can be used as a burst buffer or as extended memory. To provide a high rate of data throughput, the nodes will be connected in a non-blocking fat-tree topology using a dual-rail Mellanox EDR InfiniBand interconnect for both storage and inter-process communications traffic which delivers both 200Gb/s bandwidth between nodes and in-network computing acceleration for communications frameworks such as MPI and SHMEM/PGAS.

 

The Astonishing Engineering of Summit

  • Summit is the result of a collaboration amongst Oak Ridge National Labs, IBM, Mellanox, NVIDIA and Red Hat.
  • Each of the nodes in Summit can deliver more than 40 teraflops of performance. The overall cluster’s peak performance will be 5x-10x faster than its predecessor, Titan.
  • The hybrid Summit supercomputer design will interconnect thousands of compute nodes, each containing both IBM POWER CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs. They will depend on Mellanox’s dual network EDR 100Gb/s InfiniBand-based solution to communicate with each other, providing one of the most advanced architectures of its kind for high-performance computing applications.
  • Summit is connected by more than 136 miles of cabling if each of the approximately 5000 cables were connected end-to-end.
  • Summit will utilize 15 megawatts of power of the 20 megawatts of electricity allocated to it. This would be enough power for 12,000 Southern homes with their air conditioners cranking!
  • Summit will be housed in a space about the size of 2 basketball courts in a special facility located at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility of ORNL.
  • Summit will be the fastest HPC system on the planet, but its hybrid architecture also positions it as the largest research platform for deep learning and artificial intelligence to date.
  • Upon completion, Summit will allow researchers in all fields of science unprecedented access to solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Summit Time Lapse Phase 1 from OLCF on Vimeo.

The Era of Smart Networks

We live in a world of data. Many of the new products and services being developed depend directly on the ability to analyze the growing amount of data we collect, and to do it at a faster pace. Self-driving vehicles, and smart cities are just two examples of how the new world of data is going to impact our lives. In response to these changing demands, datacenters are undergoing a technology transition in which data is analyzed and processed, not just in the server processors, but in the storage and in the data network itself.

The data center interconnect starts to deliver in-network computing, providing the means to analyze data as it is being transferred within the datacenter. Furthermore, the usage of programmable logic within the network devices will further increase, enabling users to migrate more algorithms and intelligence to the network devices. Mellanox’s new Innova-2 is a great example of a High-performance network adapter with an embedded high-density FPGA that delivers flexibility and intelligence where you need it. Innova-2 brings powerful capabilities to the datacenter:

  • Ability to perform in-line data processing
  • Up to 100Gb/s network speeds
  • Flexible host interface – PCIe Gen4 or OpenCAPI
  • And many more…

Innova-2 is the industry leading programmable adapter designed for a wide range of applications, including security, cloud, Big Data, deep learning, NFV and High Performance Computing (HPC).

Innova-2 can be delivered either open for customers’ specific applications or pre-programmed for security applications with encryption acceleration, such as IPsec, TLS/SSL and more. For security applications, Innova-2 delivers 6X higher performance while reducing total cost of ownership by 10X when compared to alternative options. For Cloud infrastructures, Innova-2 enables virtualizations and SDN offloads. Deep learning training and inferencing applications will be able to achieve higher performance and better system utilization by offloading algorithms into Innova-2 FPGA and the ConnectX® acceleration engines.

Innova-2 is based on an efficient combination of the state-of-the-art ConnectX-5 25/50/100Gb/s Ethernet and InfiniBand network adapter with Xilinx® Ultra-scale™ FPGA accelerator. Innova-2 adapters deliver best-of-breed network and storage capabilities as well as hardware offloads to CPU-intensive applications.

The Innova-2 family of products includes dual port Ethernet and InfiniBand network adapters with speeds ranging from 10Gb/s, 25G, 40G, 50G and up to 100Gb/s and supporting advanced host interfaces such as PCIe Gen4 and OpenCAPI (Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface). Innova-2 allows different usage models, with the possibility for transparent accelerations using Bump-in-the-Wire or Look-Aside architectures. The solution also fits any server with its standard PCIe card form factor (Half Height Half Length), enabling a wide variety of deployments in modern data centers.

Mellanox will be showcasing Innova-2 adapters at the OpenStack Summit, Nov 6-8, Sydney Australia, and at SC17, Nov 13-16, booth # 653, at the Colorado Convention Center. You can find more information Innova-2 here.

Mellanox Delivers ConnectX-4 LX for the IBM z14

The world is in the midst of a digital transformation that is having a profound impact on individuals, business, and society. As businesses adapt to capitalize on digital, trust will be the currency that drives this new economy. The new IBM® z14™ (z14) mainframe is the core of trusted digital experiences. It enables the ultimate protection for your data and simplifies compliance to regulations. With z14, you can apply machine learning to your most valuable data to create deeper insights. And z14 is designed to be open and connected in the cloud, enabling massive transaction scale of high volume encrypted workloads at the lowest cost.

Supporting the infrastructure and massive transaction scale needed by the z14 is a core competency delivered by Mellanox. Newly added support for the Mellanox ConnectX®-4 LX adapter as the, IBM 10GbE RoCE Express2, FC# 0412, offers the best cost effective Ethernet adapter solution for 10Gb/s Ethernet speeds, enabling seamless networking, clustering, or storage. The adapter reduces application runtime, and offers the flexibility and scalability to make infrastructure run as efficiently and productively as possible.

With the exponential increase in usage of data and the creation of new applications, the demand for the highest throughput, lowest latency, virtualization and sophisticated data acceleration engines continues to rise. Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx EN enables data centers powered by the IBM z14 to leverage the world’s leading interconnect adapter for increasing their operational efficiency, improving servers’ utilization, maximizing applications productivity, while reducing total cost of ownership (TCO).

The Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx EN provides an unmatched combination of 1, 10, 25, 40, and 50GbE bandwidth, sub-microsecond latency and a 75 million packets per second message rate.

Supporting Resources:

 

 

Cisco UCS Server Solutions

Mellanox’s End-to-End Portfolio of Smart Interconnect Solutions to Accelerate UCS Server Platforms

Today at Cisco Live, Cisco’s annual IT and communications conference, Mellanox Technologies, a leading supplier of high-performance, end-to-end smart interconnect solutions for data center servers and storage systems, announced that Cisco has qualified the Mellanox Ethernet adapters and end-to-end InfiniBand interconnect solutions to accelerate their leading-edge integrated server platform. Mellanox’s ConnectX®-4, ConnectX-5 and adapters have been qualified on Cisco’s advanced line of UCS servers.

Mellanox is enhancing and supporting Cisco server solutions with compelling technologies across its Ethernet and InfiniBand product lines. Mellanox is proud to be a trusted Cisco partner supporting their business growth with a complete portfolio of Mellanox Solutions for Cisco Server platforms including their C Series UCS servers. Mellanox products now provide comprehensive support of Cisco’s servers, enabling them to offer high performance, high-availability, and scalability at the lowest cost of ownership.

The Cisco Unified Computing System is a next-generation data center platform that unites computing, networking, storage access, and virtualization into a cohesive system designed to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase business agility. The system integrates a low latency, lossless 10 Gigabit Ethernet unified network fabric with enterprise-class, x86-architecture servers. The system is an integrated, scalable, multi chassis platform in which all resources participate in a unified management domain.

Mellanox’s ConnectX-4 and ConnectX-5 are the industry’s most efficient 10, 25, 40, 50, 100 Gb/s Ethernet intelligent adapters. The solutions enable datacenters to easily migrate from 10G to 25G and from 40G to 50G, which maximizes the overall data center efficiency and enables easy migration to 100 Gb/s data communication speed. ConnectX-4 Lx 25Gb Ethernet adapters, for example, provide 2.5 times the data throughput at lowest latency needed for data center applications while utilizing the same infrastructure as 10 gigabit Ethernet. Together, with RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE), ConnectX-4 Lx dramatically improves storage and compute platform efficiency. With ConnectX-4 Lx, IT and applications managers can leverage greater data speeds of 25G and 50G to address the growing demands for data analytics.

Mellanox’s ConnectX-4 and ConnectX-5 InfiniBand adapter cards support In-Network Computing and are equipped with new acceleration engines that offload processing intensive jobs from the CPU to the networking controllers, thereby maximizing data center performance, and enhancing Machine Learning and Data Analytics platforms.

Learn More:

 

 

Mellanox Tee’s Off on Accelerating Lenovo SAP HANA Deployment for Callaway Golf

Callaway gets to insights 4.5x faster with Lenovo and SAP HANA powered with Mellanox Interconnect

Callaway Golf Company is an American-based global sporting goods company that designs, manufactures, markets and sells golf equipment, golf accessories and golf lifestyle-related products in more than 70 countries worldwide. Callaway Golf sells its products through golf retailers and sporting goods retailers, through mass merchants, directly online, and through its pre-owned and trade-in services. Callaway Golf licenses its name, trademarks and service marks for golf lifestyle products including golf apparel, golf shoes, golf bags, headwear, watches, rangefinders, practice aids and travel gear.

The First Tee

Driven by growing consumer expectations and agile new market entrants, today’s retail market moves faster than ever before. Customers increasingly expect to be able to order customized products and have them delivered within short timescales, and for Callaway, this resulted in unprecedented pressure on their planning and logistics processes. In this demanding environment of high speed retail, customized orders and stiff competitive pressure, Callaway Golf needed a way to accelerate its production planning to stay ahead of the competition.

The Challenge

To improve its operational planning Callaway decided that it was time to accelerate their SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO) System which was running on older legacy hardware and architecture. By making the move to a new modern infrastructure, powered by Lenovo Servers and Mellanox Intelligent Interconnects, Callaway was able to attain the performance and scalability needed, backed by the knowledge that they would get the highest levels of SAP expertise and support because they teamed up with Lenovo and Mellanox. Report times were cut from hours to mere minutes. By significantly reducing the time it took to complete planning reports, the solution allowed Calloway to respond much more rapidly to market demands and, in turn, enabled a more responsive and agile business environment.

Why Network Optimization Matters

SAP HANA is an in-memory, column-oriented, relational database management system designed to handle both high transaction rates and complex query processing on the same platform. SAP HANA converges database and application platform capabilities in-memory to transform transactions, analytics, text analysis, predictive and spatial processing so businesses can operate in real-time.

SAP HANA investments in architecture and technology, and in the creation of an ecosystem of applications, skills and third-party support, have collectively driven the rapid adoption taking place worldwide. In high performance analytics, SAP HANA has been shown to deliver levels of performance that exceed by hundreds or thousands of times – those of conventional platforms for SAP Business Warehouse (BW).

A study done by International Technology Group (ITG), on the cost/benefit of SAP HANA deployments, found the Lenovo X6 servers powered by Mellanox intelligent interconnects to be the lowest cost solution for scale-out deployments.

The increasing speed of CPUs, networks, and storage (flash) have amplified the advantages of RDMA, making it increasingly popular. As CPUs and storage get faster, they support faster network speeds such as 25, 40, 50, and 100GbE. But, as network speeds increase, more of the CPU cores are devoted to handling network traffic with its related data copies and interrupts. And, as solid-state storage offers ever lower latencies, the network stack latency becomes a greater and greater part of the total time to access data.

RDMA solves both of these issues by reducing network latency and offloading the CPU. It uses zero-copy and hardware transport technology to transfer data directly from the memory of one server to another (or from server to storage) without making multiple copies, and hardware offloads relieve the CPU from managing any of the networking. This means that with RoCE, more CPU cores are available to run the important applications and the lower latency lets faster storage like flash shine.

SAP HANA is powered by Mellanox Intelligent Interconnect solutions and Lenovo servers to help clients make faster, more informed decisions, even with escalating data loads. The reason is that the solution is designed to maximize system performance to provide a smarter, more efficient approach to resource management. This results in excellent SAP HANA application value.

Open Platform for Database-as-a-Service on IBM Power Systems Addresses Massive Data Requirements for the Cognitive Era

In the Cognitive Computing era, businesses face a deluge of data from a wide variety of sources including internal, external, social, mobile, and sensors. Traditional enterprise computing, with its reliance on conventional databases designed for structured data, is unable to cope with this flood of data. Organizations everywhere are therefore modernizing their data platforms, using the entire range of available technology to derive patterns and insights from both structured and unstructured data. Next generation applications based on open source technology, in particular open source databases, are critical for this modernization.

Database management has changed a great deal over the last decade or two. Years ago, companies ran proprietary databases on “bare metal” servers, almost always on-site. They had to dedicate resources such as space, people, budget, and time to purchase, house, install, network, and repair, maintain, and secure hardware, operating systems, and databases. The process of setting up a database back then took weeks, even months.

To reduce the time and complexity of setup and management of databases, the industry migrated toward more automated solutions. Meanwhile, new technologies such as virtualization drove higher utilization and improved responsiveness in the data center. Now, in the age of cloud computing, a lot of databases run on rented, cloud-hosted servers, where teams may have access to virtualized operating systems and databases, but not hardware.

There will likely always be databases running on dedicated hardware for numerous reasons. However, the trend toward more automation appears to be the inevitable future for all aspects of database management and in every life-cycle phase.

The traditional “corporate standard” that specified a single database technology is on the decline. Instead, the new norm is so-called “polyglot persistence,” which hinges on a large number of different database technologies and applications. The modern data tier is distributed and diverse. Provisioning, configuration, managing, monitoring, security, and other important IT functions need to adapt accordingly.

That’s where Database-as-a-Service comes in. IBM’s new Open Platform for Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) on IBM Power Systems has a number of advantages over traditional databases. First, it delivers improvement in speed and agility, as today’s cloud workloads require on-demand and agile provisioning of databases. Second, Open DBaaS results in a significant reduction in licensing and infrastructure costs. Finally, database sprawl, which is generated by the hundreds or thousands of unutilized databases that have accumulated over the years in organizations, is eliminated.

Companies must undergo a digital transformation in order to compete and lead in the data-driven Insight Economy, and open source economics and innovation are speeding digital transformation. Open Database-as-a-Service has proven to be one of the most efficient ways to meet today’s business requirements including high performance, high-availability, and scalability at a lower cost of ownership. In order to achieve these goals, it is critical to choose the right interconnect solution.

Open source DBaaS is only as good as the engine behind it. It is critical to have robust, high-performance infrastructure that is optimized for data-intensive workloads. Next-generation developers require all this plus extreme flexibility and scalability, while IT seeks to lower costs per unit of compute, storage and bandwidth.

The exponential growth of data demands not only the fastest throughput but also smarter networks. Mellanox intelligent interconnect solutions incorporate advanced acceleration engines that perform sophisticated processing algorithms on the data as it moves through the network. Intelligent network solutions greatly improve the performance and total infrastructure efficiency of data intensive applications.

Learn more about the Open Platform for DBaaS on IBM Power Systems with Mellanox intelligent interconnect solutions at: http://www.ibm.com/systems/power/solutions/data-platform/#DBaaS.

 

Server room in data center. Telecommunication equipment. 3d illustration

Chinese Tech Giant Tencent Teams with Mellanox and IBM to Smash Big Data Analytics Record

Tencent Inc., Mellanox Technologies and IBM today announced new world record-breaking performance in select data analytics categories of the TeraSort Benchmark (sortbenchmark.org) using Mellanox 100GB Ethernet interconnect technology and OpenPOWER-based server technology.

Long considered to be the gold standard for measuring scalability and efficiency of general purpose distributed computing systems – or, many small servers that are interconnected and tuned to behave as one massive system, the GraySort and MinuteSort benchmarks are among the industry’s most widely cited benchmarks. GraySort, named after the pioneering computer scientist Jim Gray, has evolved over the years into a benchmark that measures how rapidly 100 Terabytes of data can be sorted. The MinuteSort focuses on sorting as much data as possible in one minute. The GraySort and MinuteSort benchmarks are each measured in two categories, Indy for speed and Daytona for general purpose performance.

Tencent has set four new records in the 2016 Sort Benchmark’s GraySort and MinuteSort categories improving last year’s best overall results by up to five times and achieving more than one Terabyte per second of sort performance. Additionally, per system results improved by up to 33 times per node.

 

Capture

To achieve these record-breaking results, Tencent deployed a cluster of 512 new and finely tuned OpenPOWER-based servers.  That means they used 85 percent fewer than the 3,377 servers used by last year’s winner of the Sort benchmarks. Combining these new servers with Mellanox 100Gb Ethernet interconnect technology enabled Tencent to excel in this year’s contest. These servers and network infrastructure were collaboratively designed to meet the requirements of intense transactional and real-time data analytics workloads at scale, including those found in the Terasort Benchmark contest, and in clients’ data centers.

Achieving these world record breaking results required a deep collaboration with Tencent and IBM. Real-time-analytics and Big Data environments are extremely demanding and the network is critical in linking together the high performance IBM POWER based servers to crunch the massive amounts of data that Tencent generates and consumes. Tencent developed and tuned an optimized hardware/software platform to achieve more than one Terabyte per second of SORT performance. This truly remarkable result demonstrates that Mellanox’s 100Gb/s Ethernet technology including ConnectX®-4 network adapters, Spectrum™ Switches, and LinkX® cables deliver total infrastructure efficiency and improve application performance. This makes them ideal for Big Data applications as they have demonstrated the ability to keep the massive compute engines of the IBM POWER-based servers supplied with data while continuously processing.

For more information:

Powering the Digital Economy

SAP HANA is an in-memory, column-oriented, relational database management system designed to handle both high transaction rates and complex query processing on the same platform. SAP HANA converges database and application platform capabilities in-memory to transform transactions, analytics, text analysis, predictive and spatial processing so businesses can operate in real-time.

SAP HANA investments in architecture and technology, and in creating an ecosystem of applications, skills and third-party support, have driven the rapid adoption taking place worldwide. In high performance analytics, SAP HANA has been shown to deliver levels of performance that exceed by hundreds or thousands of times – those of conventional platforms for SAP Business Warehouse (BW).

A study done by International Technology Group (ITG), on the cost/benefit of SAP HANA deployments, found the Lenovo X6 servers powered by Mellanox intelligent interconnects to be the lowest cost solution for scale-out deployments.

For 4-, 8- and 12-node clusters built around 4-processor servers with 512 gigabyte (GB) RAM, cost for use of System x solution for SAP HANA averages 20 percent less than for equivalent Cisco offerings.

For the same configurations, built around 4-processor servers with 1 terabyte (TB) RAM, X6 cost averages 26 percent less than for HP ConvergedSystem 500.

For 12- and 16-node clusters, built around 8-processor servers, cost for use of System x solution for SAP HANA averages 31 percent less than for use of HP ConvergedSystem 900.

Costs include hardware, maintenance, licenses and support for vendor-supplied software tools, and facilities costs including data center occupancy and power consumption. Costs of SAP software and implementation are not included.

ITG Executive Brief

SAP HANA is powered by Mellanox intelligent interconnect solutions and Lenovo servers to help clients make faster, more informed decisions, even with escalating data loads. The reason is that the solution is designed to maximize system performance to provide a smarter, more efficient approach to resource management. This results in excellent SAP HANA application value.

Please join Motti Beck from Mellanox Technologies, and his guests, Tag Robertson and Rich Travis from Lenovo, for a live webinar at 10 a.m., PT, on Wednesday, November 30th as they discuss the demanding networking requirements for business-critical SAP HANA applications to ensure optimal application performance and availability. Learn what your organization can do with the Lenovo solutions for SAP HANA optimized with Mellanox Technologies networking. For more information, visit here. 

Where HPC Meets Big Data

High performance computing (HPC) has contributed enormously to scientific innovation, industrial and economic competitiveness, national and regional security, and the quality of human life. For the most part, data-intensive HPC jobs have been in the government, academic and industrial sectors and have mostly involved the modeling and simulation of complex physical and quasi-physical systems. One of the early adopters, outside of the traditional HPC space, has been the financial services industry looking to adopt supercomputers for advanced data analytics. HPC systems are now being used for challenging analytics tasks, such as optimizing portfolios of mortgage-backed securities, pricing exotic financial instruments, and managing firm-wide, global risk. More and more High Performance Data Analysis (HPDA) is moving into the mainstream and beyond the traditional way we view HPC.

The data explosion fueling the growth of high performance data analysis stems from a mix of factors:

  • The ability of increasingly powerful HPC systems to run data-intensive problems at larger scale, at higher resolution, and with more elements.
  • The proliferation of larger, more complex scientific instruments and sensor networks, from “smart” power grids to bridge structural integrity monitoring to climate control monitoring for farmers.
  • The increasing transformation of certain disciplines into data-driven sciences.
  • The escalating need to perform advanced analytics in near-real time—a need that is causing a new wave of commercial firms to adopt HPC for the first time

 

So, what does this new shift mean to commercial enterprises?  What it means is supercomputing capabilities developed by leading universities, research institutions and national laboratories for basic science and national security are now being applied to problems that help businesses become more competitive and improve the quality of daily life. Computational analysis is transforming lives and high-performance computing, big data, and high-speed networks are fast becoming essential components of contemporary commercial businesses. Big Data has become characteristic of every computing workload. From its origins in research computing, to use in modern commercial applications spanning across industries, Big Data is the new basis of competitive value. The convergence of High Performance Computing (HPC), Big Data Analytics, and High Performance Data Analytics (HPDA) is the next game-changing business opportunity.

 

Businesses are investing in HPDA to improve customer experience and loyalty, discover new revenue opportunities, detect fraud and security breaches, optimize research and development, mitigate financial risks, and more. HPDA also helps governments respond faster to emergencies, improve security threat analysis, and more accurately predict the weather – all of which are vital for national security, public safety and the environment. The economic and social value of HPDA is immense. It is becoming integral to the journey towards a Cognitive and Learning business. Mellanox server and storage connectivity solutions are designed to deliver very high networking and system efficiency capabilities related to bandwidth, latency, offloads, and CPU utilization for HPC. With networking solutions that deliver 100Gb/s throughput at less than 1 microsecond server-to-server latency, efficient networking hardware offload capabilities, and innovative acceleration software, Mellanox high-performance networking solution accelerates most HPC workflows and delivers excellent ROI.

Register for our upcoming webinar with Scot Schultz from Mellanox and Marc West from IBM as they discuss how Mellanox and IBM are powering tomorrow’s modern infrastructures today, enabling the highest data center return on investment and lowest cost of ownership.

See you on October 18, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. PT!

 

The (Data) Explosion Heard Round the World

Massive forces are at work in the world of global communications that are, and will continue to drive, an explosion in data. It’s an exponential surge that is being created by users around the world. But this is not being driven by the huge growth in mobile phones. And it’s not the result of the huge increase in online users for applications such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. It’s also not because of the accelerating surge in the use of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices. On their own, it is none of these things.  It is the result of all of these combined. All of these trends have one singular thing in common: they all create data. And they are creating a ton of data.

The causes behind this eruption in the growth of data are not hard to find and include:

  • The advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web which has generated exponential growth in the global user community—users with ever-expanding access to computing power and bandwidth.
  • The interaction of these users with Internet applications that has resulted in unprecedented levels of data and transaction volumes.
  • The shift to online advertising supported by the likes of Google, Yahoo, and others is a key driver in the data boom we are seeing today.
  • The expansion of the worldwide economy has spurred massive data growth for traditional commerce (e.g., increased airline travel, international purchases, online products, etc.).
  • The core social networks (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and now Google+), by their very nature, have generated a seemingly endless new array of ways for people to communicate and interact, resulting in correspondingly large data sets and transaction volume.
  • Many specialized social networks have also arisen—everything from match-making sites to special interest groups, and even “buy-sell” applications that have generated their own micro-economies.
  • An entirely new breed of social network applications has been spawned, leveraging the inter-connection of social network users in fascinating ways, driving exponential growth in application volume, again with huge transaction volumes and data sizes (sometimes with virtually overnight success stories).
  • Web- and advertising-analytics applications abound, crawling and analyzing virtually every aspect of the user interaction described above, again resulting in massive data sets with intense database access needs.
  • An entirely new breed of chatter trend analytics applications have emerged, analyzing things like Twitter tweets, Facebook chats, and so on, requiring massive levels of data storage and access.
  • Lastly, the world is fundamentally now mobile. In fact, in burgeoning economies and established countries alike, smart phones and tablets are by far the most readily available, high-growth, and commonly used communication vehicle for much of the world’s population, generating a nearly incomprehensible stream of data, transactions, application interaction, and messaging volume (with no end in sight).

Take for example, what is happening in China. Li Yue, CEO of China Mobile, said recently that the Internet of Things will be one of its most important growth drivers as the State-owned company is transforming from a wireless operator to a digital service provider. “If everyone can link 10 items online, China will have at least 10 billion internet-enabled connections by 2020. This is a huge opportunity,” Li said during a recent 2016 World Mobile Congress held in Shanghai.

The simultaneous trend of China-focused services such as Baidu and Tencent gaining momentum during the last five years has overlapped with the emergence of smartphones and increasingly affordable mobile devices. Additionally, many cultures favor fashion items and style signifiers, something that modern smartphones can easily address — with different sizes, colors, form factors, background images, apps, etc. The timing of the Internet growth in China, combined with mobile-centric innovations in devices and applications, and the fact that Chinese culture has favored mobile devices as the de facto way to access the Internet is helping to fuel this data explosion.

Mellanox Technologies, as a leading supplier of end-to-end Ethernet and InfiniBand intelligent interconnect solutions and services for servers, storage, and hyper-converged infrastructure, is at the heart of managing this data explosion. Mellanox’s intelligent interconnect solutions increase data center efficiency by providing the highest throughput and lowest latency, delivering data faster to applications and unlocking system performance.

Recently we have been able to collaborate with tech powerhouses Tencent in China and IBM Corporation to produce dramatic improvements in real-time data handling performance. Early testing with Tencent, one of the world’s largest Internet service providers based in China, has shown that a large cluster of the new IBM OpenPOWER servers using Mellanox interconnect technology was able to run a data-intensive workload three times faster than its former x86-based infrastructure. Moreover, this result was achieved while reducing the total number of servers used by two-thirds. Given the significant cost benefits of using fewer servers to deliver faster performance, the company is now integrating the new servers into its hyperscale data center for big data workloads.

These upcoming results and performance improvements will lead to a better user experience for demanding integrated mobile platforms such as Tencent’s highly successful diversified services including QQ, Weixin/WeChat for communications; Qzone for social networking; QQ Game Platform for online games; QQ.com and Tencent News for information and Tencent Video for video content. Mobile apps are growing at staggering rates in China, fueled by the online consumer that almost certainly has a smartphone or two.

From clicks to likes, today’s networked world is creating vast amounts of data at a significantly increasing rate. Combine that with exponentially increasing internal data and you get the data explosion commonly known as Big Data. The ability to translate this vast array of structured and unstructured input into usable business intelligence provides a key competitive advantage. Mellanox with its vast portfolio of adapters, switches, gateways, and specific acceleration technologies implement the world’s fastest and most robust end-to-end networking solutions for a complete, high-performance Big Data analytics infrastructure.