Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December I

Browsing thru the latest "Top 500" list of Supercomputers, I noticed that the type of interconnect technology used is still shifting towards Infiniband: currently the statistics show a total of 43% of all sites using this technology (only topped by Ethernet at 46%).

I would be really surprised if the next list due in Spring 2011 will not show Infiniband as the most used interconnect?
Even though there will be only two major vendors left: Qlogic and Mellanox.

On the storage side, IDC shows a very healthy growth in the external disk market with an amazing Netapp gaining share from almost everybody else. Will they be able to keep the momentum in 2011? I personally think so, but maybe not as an idenpendant company? Where they certainly excel is in terms of close integration with VMware and this will be a key factor for success next year and beyond as Chris Mellor outlines here: Watch this space!

Robin Harris' observations are along the same lines, although he starts his argument from a "processor technology" point of view: Is the industry going to hit "Moore's Wall"?

But even though we will not see faster processors being roll out at the same pace we have been used to in the last thirty years, there seems to be room for growth in terms of faster connections between processors: basically replacing electronic communication with optical links inside the systems (see picture).
Read the IBM Research press release here.

The HDD industry (and I mean HDD, not SSD!) at least seems to have more years of double-digit density increases ahead, these two articles (one, two) show how "microwaved disks" will allow dense data packaging.

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