All posts by Julie M. Dibene

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.

Catching Fire: The Science Behind The Burn

Today is September 11th, a day none of us will never forget. We continue to honor the fallen brothers, the heroes of 911.  This is also the perfect day to highlight the important research being done by NIST, The National Institute of Standards and Technology, Fire Research Division. They did exhaustive research and issued extensive reports on the World Trade Center disaster post 911.

Closer to home, in 2015, a home fire was reported every 86 seconds and a civilian fire related death occurred every 20 hours and 40 minutes. In addition, 68,085 firefighter injuries were reported in 2015. Given these facts, it is scarcely a surprise that fire is an area of much scientific research and interest.

All of this is why we should all be grateful for the work being done by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The mission of NIST Fire Research Division is to develop, verify, and utilize measurements and predictive methods to quantify the behavior of fire and means to reduce the impact of fire on people, property, and the environment. It’s scientific research at its finest because, at its core, this research literally saves lives. Mellanox has installed our FDR switches with the NIST as they research to discover new and safer ways to fight blazes. Mellanox’s solution of InfiniBand switches deliver the highest performance and port density with complete fabric management solutions to enable compute clusters and converged data centers to operate at any scale while reducing operational costs and infrastructure complexity. In part, because of our solutions, researchers at the NIST are able to stick to the business of fire research; running complex analytics and experimental data over a robust data center  ̶  all with the goal of ultimately saving lives and protecting property.

In speaking with fire researchers at the NIST, it turns out that they develop software named the Fire Dynamics Simulator that engineers and architects the world over can use to help fire prevention and to better understand fire behavior in buildings. This software, improved daily, encompasses fire modeling which means that while designing a building, engineers and architects can best place sprinklers to combat any fire that may happen. Moreover, they can also learn from simulations how fire and smoke will behave in a specific structure. A second piece of software that NIST calls Smokeview visualizes the results of the fire modeling software, a powerful visual tool that enables professionals to visually understanding the complex behavior of fire and smoke. And with the additional computer capacity they recently obtained, NIST researchers plan on modeling larger cases and performing simulations more often.

Check out this simulation of methane burning. Despite needing about 20 million grid cells, the computation is made practical by using just 1 CPU core for each of 128 meshes meaning such a complicated simulation takes about one day to run. Simulations such as these used to take the computational power of a massive supercomputer. These days, because of solutions like those from Mellanox, a moderately sized network can handle the demands. And it is cases like this that helps NIST justify the use of a fast network to communicate results between meshes. Cases like this to investigate combustion algorithms. There are also simulations of smoke and fire that show investigators how fire behaves.

I confess that this important research is intensely personal to me. My partner is an assistant fire chief with a large metropolitan fire department in Virginia. Over the span of his career, he has had burning roofs crash in on him and even had a house explode just as he stepped outside the kill zone. The force of that blast flung him yards like a rag doll as rubble rained down. It was later described to me as a fiery inferno from hell. He has pulled countless victims out of burning buildings and successfully resituated beloved family pets. The worst times have been when he has had to tell a parent that a child has died, nothing is worse, nothing comes close.

And even with the heart-breaking heroism of 911 forever etched in our hearts, it is precisely because of the quiet, determined valor and bravery associated with firefighters, the reason they remain mostly unsung. Burning roofs, exploding houses, restarting a heart, saving beloved puppies…just another day at the office for the more than 1,160, 000 brotherhood who put their lives on the line every day.

The work being done by the NIST is welcome news. Knowing that there is on-going research to assist firemen and professionals in better understanding how smoke and fire behave means they can put out blazes faster and with less personal risk. It is programs like these that are helping to advance knowledge in how fire behaves and make buildings safer while saving more lives and protecting property.

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Once in 99 Years, The Eclipse of (Nearly) a Century

Come next Monday, Aug. 21, the world will be focused on a swath of the United States about 70 miles wide. Over the course of 90 or so minutes, the shadow of the Moon will careen across the United States at supersonic speeds (2,400 mph), and cross the entire country from just north of Newport, Oregon, to just beyond McClellanville, South Carolina. See map. It will be entirely contained within the continental U.S., unlike the last solar eclipse in America (1918!) that tippled across a couple of Bahamian islands. If you are curious as to how the eclipse will appear in your neck of the woods, you can type in your zip code and watch the simulation.

If you happen to be fortunate enough to be in Nashville, TN, that city represents the eclipse’s sweet spot; where people will get the best view. They will experience more than two minutes of the event, which is a once in a lifetime experience for any eclipse. If you lucky enough to find yourself anywhere in the eclipse’s path, watch for surreal things including: silver colors, the sudden vanishing of breezes, the rapid onset of darkness as the Moon’s umbral (inner) shadow arrives, false twilight and narrow shadows. Can you hear the theme song from the Twilight Zone…?

This particular eclipse has astronomers and researchers running full tilt for their telescopes and supercomputers because it is very rare that eclipses have such a long, uninterrupted pathway across a single mass of land. That longevity is what is going to permit the kind of intensive scientific research that scientists live for – if they are lucky enough to experience it even once in their career. This eclipse, for astronomers, promises to be a game changer.

For Monday’s event, scientists are going to be studying a myriad of phenomena.  They will be trying to gain a better understanding of the complex relationship between the sun’s magnetic field and its corona which might help us take better precautions against the dangers of anomalous space weather.  Another set of scientists are actually going to be flying in a gulf stream jet that’s been modified to perform high altitude atmospheric research, complete with computers on board and a telescope pointed out the window. While cruising into the eclipse path above Kentucky, researchers are hoping to image the corona in infrared light. This is not possible from land-based observations because our atmosphere’s water absorbs a lot of infrared light. Since this has to be done from a moving high-altitude observatory anyway, in this case, a jet, their velocity actually adds a precious minute to the time they will be able to observe the event.

And it’s not just astronomers who are getting in the act. The Citizen CATE (Continental-America Telescopic Eclipse) Experiment has the goal of capturing images of the inner solar corona using a network of more than 60 telescopes operated by citizen scientists, high school groups and universities. The goal of CATE is to produce a scientifically unique data set: a high-resolution, rapid cadence white light images of the inner corona for 90 minutes.

All of this is exciting enough for the Science channel to dedicate resources and broadcast the event live so if you are not studying space weather, chasing the eclipse from the upper atmosphere, or spending the day in Nashville, you can still experience this history as it unfolds.

After all this excitement dies down, the real work begins with Big Data analysis, complex calculations and algorithms and this is where Mellanox comes in. Many of our customers, such as the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), support thousands of researchers with high performance computing capabilities. Imagine one day not so long ago at SDSC, while they were running LIGO (laser interferometer wave observatory). LIGO’s mission is to try and detect gravity waves as they come from space through earth. Suddenly, they detected an anomalous wave and suspected it was actually the result of two black holes colliding; but how to prove such a profound notion?  Such a phenomenon had never even been detected before and the algorithms required to sort this out required large-scale computing capabilities. SDSC’s Supercomputer Comet, with Mellanox’s virtual cluster interface, was the answer. The need to support parallel applications and parallel computations in a virtual environment was solved through the use of single root IO virtualization (SR-IOV) which was developed by Mellanox. Basically, this solution allows computation to go directly from the network to the virtual machine, without passing go, or collecting $200. This translated into the same high performance as running on the bare metal hardware. And by leveraging Mellanox technology to offload all of the network processing, the virtual CPUs could spend all of their time sorting out the question posed by scientists, was it really two black holes colliding?  The interstellar event was recreated by scientists virtually through simulation in their own lab and the results were groundbreaking. An exact correlation between the observed and simulated signals allowed scientists to determine that yes, the origin of the wave actually came from two black holes colliding. More here.

As I follow along and witness this amazing, once in 99-year event, my thoughts will be trained not only on the skies above where this amazing astronomical event will take place, but I will also be thinking about the hard work, the analysis and potential discoveries that will be realized back here on earth, knowing that this is where Mellanox has made, and will continue to make, a profound difference in the scientific community and Our Interconnected Planet.

We also have a fun video about astronomical discovery to make your day:


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Our Interconnected Planet: The Real Superheroes

Comic-Con is a huge deal. Tickets are sold out months in advance and people wait for a long time to attend. It’s all about super heroes at Comic-Com which got me thinking about real world super heroes and how they are so integral to Our Interconnected Planet. Scientist, doctors, researchers, innovators…those are the real-life heroes. At Mellanox, we have long been providing end-to-end networking solutions that are helping true-life superheroes, including helping the climate researchers who are working to prevent disasters.

Mellanox provided the connectivity for the first European Petaflop Computer in Julich, Germany. JUROPA (Juelich Research on Petaflop Architectures) is being used Pan-European by more than 200 research groups to run their data-intensive applications. The system supports advanced research in many disciplines including climate research. Mellanox case study and HPC testimonial.

In addition, the NSAN NASA Ames Research Center selected the Mellanox EDR InfiniBand solutions and the new HPE SGI 8600 liquid cooled platform to expand their “Electra” supercomputing cluster with next generation interconnect and processor technology. This system expansion leverages Mellanox In-Network Computing technology that enables smart offloading, to achieve highest level of applications performance and efficiency. Mission critical research is being conducted on a variety of scientific and engineering projects including coupled atmosphere-ocean models  ̶  critical to our climate   ̶  along with future space vehicle design and large-scale dark matter halos and galaxy evolution. Find out more.

The Centre for High Performance Computing in South Africa, also chose Mellanox HPC to enhance and unlock the vast potential of its system. They provide high end computational resources to a broad range of users in fields such as bioinformatics, climate research, material sciences, and astronomy. They are the biggest HPC facility on the African continent doing vital research on the climate. Check out their thoughts on the Mellanox system they installed here.

And not to be outdone, the San Diego Supercomputer Center has the admirable goal of supporting at least 10,000 scientists and researchers. They supply high performance resources to the national scientific community and are conducting research in multiple disciplines. One effort has led to a breakthrough discovery regarding gravitational waves which in turn led to the discovery of two black holes colliding. Imagine what else they can accomplish, including helping climatologists with their research. The offload capabilities of Mellanox HPC technology has been critical to the success of their supercomputing work. Essentially, by leveraging Mellanox offloading network architecture allows the processors can spend all of their time on a science question not on a communication question; just where scientists need their processing power to be. More here.

Finally, the DKRZ in Germany is providing high performance computing platforms, sophisticated and high capacity data management, and superior service for premium climate science based on Mellanox HPC solutions. Scientists are conducting climate research and  able to simulate anthropogenic influences on climate systems. Anthropogenic climate refers to the production of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity. A hotly debated topic, climate change and greenhouse gasses have been in the news recently. DKRZ offers its users a comprehensive hard- and software infrastructure, specifically customized for complex experiments with numerical models associated with a climate system. In order to meet the very data-intensive requirements of climate modelers, the DKRZ system stands out from many other high-performance computers by having an especially large and powerful parallel file system that is interconnected by high-performance network components from Mellanox.

And coming up? A great blog about the amazing climate research work being done at another Mellanox HPC cluster, this one at the University of Alaska so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, we have a great video that tells the story of climate change and research:


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Exploring Our Interconnected Planet

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing the day man landed on the moon 48 years ago. I was very young, to be sure, but I remember it was televised (yes, in black and white). Even as a small child, I knew it was a historically pivotal moment in history.

Today we celebrate Moon Day to commemorate the day man first walked on the moon in 1969. Neil Armstrong stepped on the lunar surface first, followed by Buzz Aldrin. Together, they collected 47.5 pounds of lunar material to bring back to Earth. It was an event watched by millions on live TV, and everyone remembers Armstrong’s iconic words, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Listen

While their exploration took place on the moon, the impact felt back on Earth was profound. This is why Mellanox has chosen today to announce “Our Interconnected Planet,” a series that will explore the impact of technology on global issues. Behind every large-scale issue, we find technology seeking a solution. Mellanox is driven to leverage our networking solutions to improve the human condition and our planet. From the Earth and Planetary Sciences, Human Disease and Health, to Entertainment and beyond, we will take you on a journey to discover the technologies behind the progress and advancements in these disciplines.

Mellanox’s Director of Ethernet Marketing, Tim Lustig, wrote an inspiring blog post about the different ways our products can and are making the world a better place. And as part of Our Interconnected Planet, where we showcase real life examples of how Mellanox is making the world a better place, we are first going to highlight some of the amazing work being done by the researchers and scientists at the University of Alaska.

In January 2017 (with support from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, the Geophysical Institute, UAF vice chancellor of research, UAF International Arctic Research Center, and UAF IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) UAF Research Computing Systems engineers deployed Mellanox InfiniBand solutions across multiple racks to form their HPC system. So, what are they doing at the University of Alaska with all that data center power? Well, one of the main missions of the the mission of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is to understand basic geophysical processes governing the planet Earth, especially as they occur in or are relevant to Alaska. With a motto of “Drive the Change” the University of Alaska is focused on driving positive change for their state. Along with Mellanox, the University of Alaska is making a difference. We encourage you to come along and explore Our Interconnected Planet with us through the research being done by the scientific community, as well as advancements in the field of medicine and entertainmen

Want to know how we’re helping the University of Alaska take on ice shelves? Sign up for our newsletter. We’ll tell you all about our work with the University of Alaska, Our Interconnected Planet and more!


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Making a Difference at Mellanox

Recently, while reflecting upon my one year anniversary with Mellanox, I realized how this company I have grown to care for in such a short time is not only a great interconnect company, but how it is also so much more.  In so many ways, our products continue to change the world and make it a better place.  This Saturday, Mellanox will be participating in a local charity event that I hold near and dear to my heart; HERs Breast Cancer Foundation’s “People With Purpose”. This is local Silicon Valley charity supports women that are healing from breast cancer by providing post-surgical products and services regardless of their financial status. Not only has Mellanox become a supporter and contributor to HERs, I also realized that our networking products and solutions are driving research that we hope will ultimately cure many diseases, cancer included.  If one considers that one in eight women in the U.S. will battle breast cancer in their lifetime (and that number is much higher in the Bay Area), this is truly a worthy cause.

And we continue to push the boundaries of technology to do so much more for efforts just like this.

Stanford, for example, is making great progress in the area of immunotherapy for curing cancer. Mellanox is very proud to support the HPCAC Advisory Council along with Stanford to provide an annual event that focuses on HPC, Artificial Intelligence and other advancements with technology that we believe will ultimately be that fast track to the very research that may one day help cure cancer. Stanford is a world leading cancer research institution and their Cancer Immunotherapy Program is finding new ways to harness the immune system to fight cancer. The program includes physician scientists working across multiple cancer types to develop innovative treatments and delivery mechanisms with the potential to provide durable, robust cancer immune responses. And their efforts are making progress: patient-specific vaccines and cell-based therapies that incite a patient’s own immune defenses to attack cancer; new targets for today’s therapeutic monoclonal antibodies; and the potential of cytokines and other effector molecules as therapeutic agents.

Another industry partner, NVIDIA, has teamed with the National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and several national laboratories on an initiative to accelerate cancer research with their power supercomputer based on the DGX-1 design, known as “SATURN-V”.  The initiative — known as the Cancer Moonshot — aims to deliver a decade of advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment in just five years. The research efforts include a focus on building an Artificial Intelligence framework called CANDLE (Cancer Distributed Learning Environment), which will provide a common discovery platform that brings the power of AI to the fight against cancer.  And best of all?  Mellanox delivers the high performance interconnect for the “SATURN-V” system. We are humbled and proud to be a part of the technology that we are providing from our HPC product line that is able to pipe the amount of data this system can ingest and egress.

Another great project is our work with Dell and TGen to tackle pediatric cancer head on.  Previously, an individual patient’s RNA analysis took seven days.  Along with TGen and Dell, we had the modest goal to try and reduce that to five days knowing that with children in particular, even a day could mean the difference between death and survival. Well, Mellanox’s InfiniBand reduced the RNA-Sequence data analysis time for patients to only one hour! From seven excruciating days to just one hour. This accomplishment is at the heart of how Mellanox technology is going to help crush pediatric cancer.

Shortly before I joined Mellanox, the Company announced that the HPC4Health Consortium, led by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the University Health Network’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, selected our InfiniBand interconnect solutions to improve patient care and help researchers to optimize treatment with the ultimate goal of finding a cure for cancer. InfiniBand adopted as the foundation of the center’s cancer and genomics program, to accelerate the sharing, processing and analysis of data generated from radiology imaging, medical imaging analysis, protein folding, x-ray diffraction in order to improve patient care and expedite cancer research.

And the good work doesn’t end there. Just last week, led by researchers from The Center for Genome Architecture (TC4GA) at Baylor College of Medicine, it was announced that they were using technologies from IBM, Mellanox and NVIDIA to assemble the 1.2 billion letter genome of the Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito, which carries West Nile virus. The new genome can help enable scientists to better combat West Nile virus by identifying vulnerabilities in the mosquito that the virus uses to spread.

All of this illustrates that Mellanox has a long and successful history of developing industry-leading interconnect technology that enables the world’s fastest supercomputers to solve some of the most complex problems. I think Gilad Shainer, our vice president of marketing, summed up our work with Baylor College of Medicine most eloquently: “Our collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine to get VOLTRON fully operational and its groundbreaking results in genome assembly will help provide the most efficient platform to enhance research and future product development. Today, scalable compute and storage systems suffer from data bottlenecks that limit research, product development and constrain application services. With high performance computing, combined with lightning fast Mellanox interconnect technology, we overcome bottlenecks in the transfer of data from storage and the file system to the compute cluster, as well as RDMA to avoid multiple copies of the sequencing data, will help lead the way toward making such genomic assembly and analysis mainstream.”


So this brings us full circle to HERs. On April 1st, 6:00 p.m., HERs will host its 2nd Annual “Pink Tie Gala” at the Castlewood Country Club, in Pleasanton; an elegant evening event celebrating “People With Purpose”.  You can still sign up to attend this worthy event or even contribute as a virtual attendee: If you do attend, I encourage you to stop by the Mellanox table and meet some of our great employees who are, like all of Mellanox, determined to make a difference and with our amazing technology, which is changing the world for the better.


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OFC Showcasing Mellanox Connectivity 

New Solution Enables Direct Connection Between 25Gb/s and 100Gb/s Ports in Hyperscale Web 2.0, Cloud and Enterprise Networks

Mellanox will be exhibiting at the Optical Fiber Conference (OFC), March 21-23, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA, booth no. 3715. At the show, we will be showcasing live demonstrations of our 100Gb/s end-to-end switching, network adapter and copper and optical cables and transceivers solutions. We will also be demonstrating interoperability of the Mellanox Silicon Photonics 100Gb/s PSM4 with Innolight, AOI, Oclaro, and Hisense transceivers in both the Mellanox booth and in the adjacent Ethernet Alliance booth, no. 1709. In addition, we are introducing a new 100Gb/s version of the popular 40Gb/s Quad to Serial Adapter (QSA) to serve the growing demand of hyperscale Web 2.0, cloud and enterprise networks. The new 100Gb/s QSA plugs into any QSFP28 port and coverts it to a 25Gb/s SFP28 port, allowing a direct connection with any 25Gb/s copper cable, active optical cable or optical transceiver that has the standard SFP28 connector.

This new solution provides customers with a practical way to switch between QSFP28 and SFP ports. Customers love the flexibility of having a server with a QSFP28 port on the adapter, plugging in our QSA, and using it with a 25G copper cable immediately. Soon, they will also be able to remove the QSA and use the original QSFP28 with a 50G or 100G cable, thereby doubling or quadrupling the available bandwidth to the server.

Like the 40Gb/s QSA, the new 100Gb/s QSA works for all three of the major types of interconnects; direct attach copper cables (DACs), active optical cables (AOCs), and, optical transceivers.

Just last week, Mellanox announced that it has shipped more than 100,000 Direct Attach Copper (DAC) cables and more than 200,000 optical transceiver modules for 100Gb/s networks, confirming the market demand and the Company’s high volume manufacturing leadership for 100Gb/s interconnect products.

Mellanox demos for the show include:

  • Live demonstration of 100Gb/s QSA
  • 200Gb/s silicon photonics demonstration
  • Spectrum SN2700, SN2410 and SN2100 100Gb/s QSFP28/ SFP28 switches
  • ConnectX®-4 and ConnectX-5 25G/50G/100Gb/s QSFP28/SFP28 network adapters
  • LinkX 25G/50G/100Gb/s DAC & AOC cables and 100G SR4 & PSM4 transceivers
  • New Quantum switches with 40 ports of 200Gb/s QSFP28 in 1RUchassis
  • New ConnectX-6 adapters with two ports of 200Gb/s QSFP28
  • Silicon Photonics Optical engines and components

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Mellanox 2016: The Year In Review, Part II

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

In Part I of this look back on 2016, we covered the amazing accomplishments in Enterprise Data Centers, LinkX®, SoC, Cloud and more. Now, in Part II, we will delve into the many accomplishments in HPC, AI, and InfiniBand.

2016 was the year that Mellanox announced 200Gb/s HDR InfiniBand Solutions with record levels of performance and scalability. As the world’s first 200Gb/s data center interconnect solutions, Mellanox ConnectX®-6 adapters, Quantum switches and LinkX® cables and transceivers together provide a complete 200Gb/s HDR InfiniBand interconnect infrastructure for the next generation of high performance computing, machine learning, big data, cloud, web 2.0 and storage platforms accelerating the next generation of data centers.

It was also a year for awards and recognitions with Mellanox Technologies receiving six HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards at the Supercomputing Conference. Mellanox  was honored with six HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards spanning a variety of categories and acknowledge the company’s achievements in delivering high-performance interconnect technology that enables the highest performance, most efficient compute and storage platforms. Mellanox Vice President of Marketing, Gilad Shainer, received an award for outstanding leadership in HPC for his individual contributions, including his eight years of service as Chairman of the HPC Advisory council and his role in the development of Co-Design architecture, to the community over the course of his career.

As we continue to push the boundaries of technology, Mellanox announced a new line of InfiniBand router systems, expanding data center scalability and enabling infrastructure flexibility. The EDR 100Gb/s InfiniBand router systems provide superior performance to HPC, Cloud, Web 2.0 and Enterprise applications. The new EDR 100Gb/s InfiniBand Routers enable a new level of scalability critical for the next generation of mega data-center deployments as well as expanded capabilities for data center isolations between different users and applications. Some great coverage can be found: LINK

And not to be outdone by breakthrough products and multiple awards, Mellanox solutions also accelerated the world’s fastest supercomputer at the supercomputing center in Wuxi, China. The new number one supercomputer delivers 93 Petaflops (three times higher compared to the previous top system), connecting nearly 41 thousand nodes and more than ten million CPU cores. The offloading architecture of the Mellanox interconnect solution is the key to providing world leading performance, scalability and efficiency, connecting the highest number of nodes and CPU cores within a single supercomputer.

Other milestones included Mellanox and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announcing a joint collaboration to design an Exascale system, the University of Tokyo selecting Mellanox EDR Infiniband to accelerate its newest supercomputer and the announcement of the ConnectX-5, the next generation of 100G InfiniBand and Ethernet smart interconnect adapter.

In other technology arenas, Mellanox continued to drive machine learning and artificial intelligence to new heights. This is an area where both our Ethernet and Infiniband outshine the competition. For example, Mellanox is the sole InfiniBand interconnect provider for NVIDIA’s deep learning solution and our 50GbE is the only solution driving Facebook’s OCP-based Big Sur platform: We also received an award from Baidu for Technology Leadership that is helping drive that company to new levels of machine learning. We joined forces with to drive e-commerce artificial intelligence. And we helped move the needle on Artificial Intelligence speech recognition with our 25G/100G Ethernet solutions at iFLYTEK, one of China’s leading intelligent speech and language technologies’ companies. By choosing Mellanox’s end-to-end 25G and 100G Ethernet solutions based on ConnectX adapters and Spectrum™ switches for their next generation machine learning center, iFLYTEK can now achieve a high speech recognition rate of 97 percent.

HPC and AI were not the only markets where Mellanox dominated in 2016. In June, the NVM Express Organization released version 1.0 of the NVM Express over Fabrics (NVMf) Standard. NVMf allows the new high performance SSD interface, Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe), to be connected across RDMA-capable networks like Infiniband and RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet).. This is the first new, built from the ground up, networked storage technology to be developed in over 20 years. Coupled with new Ethernet and InfiniBand speeds of 100Gb/s, NVMf will not only dramatically improve the performance of existing storage network applications, but will also accelerate the adoption of many new and future computer technologies like Scale-out and Software Defined Storage, Hyperconverged Infrastructure, and Compute/Storage disaggregation. Just a few short months later, Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, and Mellanox previewed the industry’s first resource pooling solution based on NVM Express® over Fabrics (NVMe-oF™) at HUAWEI CONNECT 2016. According to test statistics, the solution delivers higher storage bandwidth and performance, and boosts the random read/write performance by at least 2,000 times compared with the traditional SAS solution. Now, that’s progress!

Without telling any tales out of school, we can still let everyone know that 2017 at Mellanox promises to bring even more amazing breakthrough technologies and solutions so stay tuned and continue to check out our Mellanox blogs.

Mellanox 2016: The Year In Review

‘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!
part a 1

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.

part a 2


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


Enter The Mellanox World Emoji Day Contest!

What once started out in Japan as weather symbols and street signs has grown into a cultural phenomenon – what we now refer to as emojis! Individually, they are packed full of emotion, and together, they can tell a story. Come Sunday, July 17, the world is celebrating these little symbols on World Emoji Day. This is marked as a day to promote the use of emojis and spread the enjoyment that they bring to all who use them. If you love a good emoji as much as the rest of us, read on!

At Mellanox, we make it a habit to do things smarter – innovate technologies to go above and beyond what others in the market are doing. Because of that, we have developed the world’s first 100Gb/s smart switch, the most advanced 10, 25, 40, 50, 56 and 100Gb/s InfiniBand and Ethernet intelligent adapter, and more. We see emojis through the same set of eyes. There’s a way to emoji. And at Mellanox, there’s a way to emoji smarter. That’s why, this week, we’re asking you to Emoji Smarter than you ever have before. How so? By entering our Emoji Smarter contest in celebration of World Emoji Day. To find out more about how to enter and what you could win, peruse our FAQs below.

How can I enter to win?

  1. It’s simple! Just follow these quick and easy steps:
    1. Sign onto Twitter. If you don’t have a Twitter account, create one!
    2. Compose a tweet that contains the following four items:
      • Your favorite emoji (of course!)
      • The hashtag #EmojiSmarter
      • The hashtag #WorldEmojiDay
      • The @MellanoxTech Twitter handle
  2. Now, send that tweet out into the Twittersphere!
  3. Only one tweet is required to enter to win so don’t go crazy with the tweets.
  4. You can only enter on Twitter. Entries will not be accepted on any other social network, including; but not limited to: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and Instagram.

What can I win?

  • One grand prize winner will be rewarded with a Mellanox Emoji t-shirt and DJI Phantom 3 drone.
  • Three runners up will win a Mellanox Emoji t-shirt and one $50 Amazon gift card.
  • 25 additional runners up will win a Mellanox Emoji t-shirt.
  • Trust us, the shirts are AMAZING! See what we mean…

Fig 1 emoji








Fig 2 emoji








How long will the contest run for?

  • We will accept contest entries via Twitter from 8:00 a.m. PT on Tuesday, July 12 – 11:59 p.m. PT on Sunday, July 17.

When will you announce winners?

  •  Winners will be determined and announced on Monday, July 18.

How will winners be selected?

  •  Winners will be randomly selected.

How will winners be notified?

  •  We will notify winners via Twitter. Winners will have until 11:59 p.m. PT on Monday, July 25 to respond. If they do not, we will select new winners to take their spot. So, you better get while the gettin’s good!

Is the contest open to Mellanox employees?

  • No. Mellanox employees are not eligible to enter.

Must participants be individuals, using their own private Twitter accounts?

  • Yes; however, anyone found to be using multiple Twitter accounts to participate will be ineligible, and his/her entries will be judged void.

What about entries from corporate accounts or from administrators of corporate/non-individual private accounts?

  • No. Groups, clubs, organizations and businesses are not eligible to enter.

What are the contest rules?

  • Please see the full set of contest rules below for more information on how to enter. Now, let’s see you Emoji Smarter!



  1. Contest Period: The Contest Period is set forth in the Contest FAQs.
  2. Eligibility: Entrants must be individuals, 18 years of age or older to enter the Contest.  Entrants must also be legal residents of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or the U.S. territories and possessions (“Contest Area”).  Employees of Mellanox and its affiliates, and their immediate family members, (“Contest Entities”) are not eligible. Entrants residing in those areas where the contest is void may participate in the contest but may not win any prizes.
  3. How to Enter: No purchase necessary to win. Only one (1) entry is required to enter the contest. Any attempt by an Entrant to obtain more than the allowable entries by using multiple/different twitter handles, identities or any other methods will void all of such Entrant’s entries. Mellanox reserves the right to verify eligibility of all Entrants. Incomplete entries, abusive, defamatory, and/or offensive entries, entries in violation of applicable law, and entries submitted by Entrants who do not meet the eligibility requirements are void.
  4. Winner Selection/Notification: Winners will be selected by Mellanox at random. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entrants. All Mellanox decisions are final.

The Potential Winner will be required to sign and return within seven (7) days of July 18th notification attempt by Mellanox, an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability and Publicity Release, including the potential winner’s full name and street address (no P.O. Boxes) within the Contest Area, or the prize will be forfeited and an alternate potential winner may be selected by Mellanox (and in such case this process will be repeated). Inability to contact a winner or a Potential Winner’s non-compliance or failure to meet Eligibility criteria within the time period may result in disqualification and the selection of an alternate winner. Any tax income tax liability is the sole responsibility of the winner.

5. Prizes:

  •  One (1) grand prize winner will be eligible to receive a Mellanox Emoji t-shirt and one (1) DJI® Phantom 3 drone.
  • Three (3) runners up will be eligible to receive a Mellanox Emoji t-shirt and one (1) $50 Amazon® gift card.
  • Twenty-Five (25) additional entrants will be eligible to receive a Mellanox Emoji t-shirt.

No portion of the Prize may be transferred, redeemed for cash or substituted, except by Mellanox (in its sole discretion), which reserves the right to substitute any portion of a Prize with a prize of equal or greater value for any reason, including, without limitation, Prize unavailability. All expenses not specifically identified as included in a Prize (including all taxes) are the sole responsibility of the Prize winner. The Prize, and all elements thereof, are subject to availability. All Prizes are awarded “AS IS” and WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, express or implied (including, without limitation any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose). Acceptance, participation in and/or use of a Prize is at winner’s sole risk and Mellanox is not responsible for any damages whatsoever including special, indirect, consequential , or direct damages, arising out of or in connection with the use and/or misuse of any Prize.

Prize winner will be solely responsible for all federal, state and local taxes and fees and other expenses associated with his/her Prize receipt and/or use that are not expressly included in the Prize description. A Prize winner may be issued a 1099 tax form for the approximate retail value of the Prize. Failure to take or complete any portion of a Prize does not relieve the Prize winner of his/her tax obligations associated with winning the Prize.

  1. Prize Conditions:   Except where prohibited by law, the Prize winner’s entry and acceptance of a Prize constitutes the winner’s irrevocable, sub-licensable, absolute right and permission for the Contest Entities, to use, publish, post or display said Prize winner’s name, photograph, likeness, statements, biographical information, voice, city and state address, Prize information, any quotes attributable to him or her and any other indicia of persona (regardless of whether altered, changed, modified, edited, used alone, or used with other material in the Contest Entities’ sole discretion) for any purpose, including but not limited to advertising, trade, promotional and publicity purposes, on a worldwide basis, and in all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, in perpetuity, without further authorization, notification, opportunity to review, approval or compensation of any kind, and each Entrant releases all Contest Entities from any and all liability related thereto. Nothing contained in these Official Rules obligates the Contest Entities to make use of any of the rights granted herein and Prize winner waives any right to inspect or approve any such use.
  2. General Conditions: This contest is void outside the United States and is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws. This Contest will be governed by the internal laws of the State of California. Any and all legal actions or claims arising in connection with this Contest must be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction within the United States. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Mellanox. Entrants waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Contest or these Official Rules. All Entrants agree to follow the Official Rules and release, discharge, hold harmless and indemnify the Contest Entities and each of them (collectively, the “Released Parties”) against any and all liability, damages or causes of action (however named or described), with respect to or arising out of any injuries, damages or losses to any person (including death) or property of any kind resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from acceptance, possession, misuse or use of any prize or participation in any promotional-related activity or participation in this Contest. In consideration for being awarded the Prize, or any portion thereof, Prize winner hereby agrees and consents, without further authorization, compensation or remuneration of any kind, to the use of Prize winner’s name and/or likeness in any and all advertising, promotions and other publicity conducted by Contest Entities, except where prohibited by law. Mellanox reserves the right to modify the scheduling of the Contest without prior notification, and the right to make changes or additions to these Official Rules for any reason at any time. Mellanox’ failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.
  3. NOT ENDORSED BY Twitter: By participating in this contest, you acknowledge that this contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Twitter and release Twitter from any and all liability arising from or related to this contest. The information you are providing for this contest is being provided to Mellanox and not to Twitter, and will be used to notify you if you have won, and may be used to inform you about special offers from Mellanox and our trusted partners.

By entering this Contest, the Entrant agrees to the following Statement: I expressly understand that Section 1542 of the Civil Code of California provides substantially as follows:   “A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS WHICH THE CREDITOR DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE, WHICH IF KNOWN BY HIM, MUST HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS SETTLEMENT WITH DEBTOR.”

The provisions of this Section 1542 of the Civil Code of California and any similar law of any state, territory, or other jurisdiction are hereby expressly waived.


Top Ten Mellanox Blogs for Your Cool Summer Reading

Summer is finally here and with it, many avid readers like to compile a summer reading list for all those blistering summer days by the pool, basking at the beach, or even while waiting for the coals to heat up for that annual family bar-be-que. Instead of tackling the Lord of the Rings again or plowing through War and Peace, we’d like to suggest you set aside the tribulations of Frodo and Middle Earth and eschew the social intricacies of Russian aristocracy, and consider instead, the top ten blogs from Mellanox for your easy, informative summer reading pleasure:


  1. What Happened to the Good Old RFC2544? Amit Katz will walk skeptics and believers alike through the importance of running RFC 2544 before choosing a switch and why the recently released Tolly Report touting Mellanox’s zero packet loss is more relevant than ever.


  1. 4K Video Drives New Demands. As parents search through the DVD library and recycle on-demand videos to amuse kids on summer break, John Kim reports on why 4K video is driving demand. Thanks to digital projection in movie theatres and huge flat-screen TVs at home, more video today is being shot in 4K resolutions and how fortunately, Mellanox interconnect solutions can each handle multiple uncompressed 4K streams per link, or even an 8K stream, supporting both 40GbE and FDR 56Gb InfiniBand.


  1. NVMe Over Fabrics Standard is Released. Rob Davis relates the importance of the release of the NVM Express over Fabrics (NVMf) Standard and why this is the first new, built from the ground up, networked storage technology to be developed in more than 20 years. Let’s hope the kids go back to school before the next standard is released.


  1. 25 Is the New 10, 50 Is the new 40, 100 Is the New Amazing. As summer is all about what’s trending, Chloe Ma and John Kim remind everyone not to get left behind but this time it’s not about fashion, it’s about how Ethernet is moving in the blink of an eye to 25GbE. Scratch that, it’s already here and and this blog tells you why.


  1. Storage Spaces Direct: If Not RDMA, Then What? If Not Mellanox, Then Who? Motti Beck has the inside scoop on architectural changes affecting modern data center storage systems and how traditional Storage Area Networks (SAN), the dominant solution for over a decade, are being replaced.

  1. Mangstor & Mellanox Show NVMe Over Fabrics Solution To Reduce Latency Tax Rob Davis again inspires the imagination with a tale of two, not cities this time, but of Mangstor and Mellanox, and how they teamed up to support NVMe. Even Dickens would be enthralled.


  1. A Good Network Connects Ceph To Faster Performance They say Death Valley is one of the hottest places on earth and while we don’t suggest you take a summer holiday there, John Kim will take you on a sizzling tech journey involving one of the hottest trends in the fastest performing networks, Ceph.


  1. Top 7 Reasons Why Fibre Channel Is Doomed Oh the trials and tribulations of having the kids home bound for the summer. When does school start? Feeling a bit doomed? Despair not, there are revolutions afoot including one impacting data storage interconnects. John Kim summarizes why the Fibre Channel has no future.


  1. Making Ceph Faster: Lessons From Performance Testing Remember the quintessential pop quiz, the bane of school kids everywhere? John Kim enlightens as to how performance testing can make Ceph faster. And, just like summer vacation, no pop quiz at the end.


And the number one summer read from Mellanox?


  1. Ceph Is A Hot Storage Solution – But Why? Back with John Kim again, he keeps his cool in the mist of a blazing hot trend, Ceph, the open source, software-defined storage maintained by Red Hat. John will coolly explain why Ceph is unique and why it’s one of the hottest storage trends around.