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InfiniBand Inches Closer as End Users Get Involved

The InfiniBand community began its fourth conference Wednesday with a new track for end users.

The switch from the tight focus on developers of InfiniBand technologies in the three previous conferences, to end users in this fourth conference is significant, says Dr. Tom Bradicich, co-founder and co-chairman of the InifiniBand Trade Association.

"We've shifted from the developer-centric focus to the end-user, solutions focus. That's indicative of the maturity of the technology now," Bradicich says of the IBTA's fourth conference.

Bradicich anticipates that the first wave of InfiniBand products -- host bust adapters, interconnect switches, software and silicon -- will hit the market in Q2 of 2002.

The push to InfiniBand would represent a move from the shared bus architecture of current PC and server computing to a fabric approach. Initially, the technology would connect servers with remote storage and networking devices and other servers. It is also expected to be used inside servers for parallel clusters.

Bradicich, who is also IBM eServer director of xSeries server architecture and technology, says the end user track of the conference is focused on quantifying the performance, reliability and scalability benefits of the technology. End users will also get a taste for how the technology will work with specific applications.

Bradicich acknowledges that the majority of the attendees continue to come from the technology developer side. The current conference is expected to draw about 300 attendees, a drop from previous conferences due to economic conditions, Bradicich says.

The trade association's members include Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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