IBM delivers super computing from the cloud

Businesses, research institutes, designers or financial institutions will be able to process applications in IBM's cloud data centers starting in the fall, which would previously require super computers. Allows the InfiBand as an optional network standard in SoftLayer.

IBM extends the network offering of cloud subsidiary SoftLayer. In the future, users will also be able to choose InfiniBand network technology, which is primarily based on High Performance Computing (HPC). InfiniBand accelerates data transfer between bare-metal servers and reduces latency within the server architecture.

This allows data to be transferred between two compute nodes of up to 56 gigabits per second. Theoretically, within one day, the information from 30,000 Blu-ray Discs can be sent between two server nodes. For comparison: With Gigabit Ethernet 40 GBps are possible. InifiniBand is currently the prevailing standard among the world's fastest 500 supercomputers. 222 systems are currently running on Infiniband. Gigabit Ethernet, on the other hand, is only used on 127 systems.

Users can also use this to outsource workloads to the cloud that were previously handled by supercomputers. The new option is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2014, as IBM claims . This also allows IBM SoftLayer to be an option for very compute-intensive projects. In addition, the InfiBand standard also has other advantages over other network technologies, such as reliability, availability and manageability.

"More and more companies are moving the most demanding workloads into the cloud, and they are demanding that providers deliver the appropriate network performance to keep pace," said Lance Crosby, CEO of IBM's SoftLayer.

The new option allows users to connect bare metal servers in a private cluster within the SoftLayer services. In this way, several hundred nodes can be connected. InfiniBand not only ensures higher bandwidths, but also shorter response times. This can also applications from the financial industry, CAD or research in the cloud can be realized, as IBM tells.

This service is also interesting for organizations that do not need this computing power all the time, but only for specific or individual projects. As a connection between the enterprise and the IBM data center, IBM offers the Direct Link option, enabling companies to extend their on-premise network to the SoftLayer cloud. As transmission rates are available here via various providers either 1Gbps or 10Gbps available.

The connection between the SoftLayer data center and the user network allows IBM to use the Direct Link feature. From autumn, users can also connect server clusters in the SoftLayer data center via InfiniBand. Source: IBM

IBM had paid about $ 2 billion in 2012 for the company SoftLayer. In addition, IBM intends to spend another $ 1.2 billion on the expansion of the SoftLayer infrastructure, thus building 40 data centers worldwide by 2015. In addition to 100 business services, IBM plans to invest another billion in the development of the Blue Mix framework.

IBM has not yet announced prices for the new network option. However, IBM says that users in particular will benefit from the new offering, which works with IBM Elastic Storage, IBM Platform LSF, or Platform Symphony workload management.