I haven't much thought about the role of networking equipment in more energy-efficient data centers. But switch maker Voltaire, a specialist in InfiniBand technology, is now co-opting this rallying cry.
What gives it the right? Well, for starters, it's worth noting that some flavor of the company's switches are used as the interconnect option for Top Four most efficient supercomputers on the annual Green500 list.
The business case for re-evaluating your data center networking infrastructure for energy efficiency is pretty simple, according to Asaf Somekh, vice president of marketing for Voltaire. The faster the switches, the better you can utilize your other hardware, especially in a grid cluster situation. That means you can do more with your existing servers and software, rather than having to increase your infrastructure footprint for better performance. Which saves on cooling infrastructure, too. (My words, not his.)
Voltaire is a big deal in solutions that enhance the performance of Oracle Real Application Clusters, a distributed architecture that uses shared servers to help provide better reliability and speed for heavy-duty database applications. The company's Grid Director InfiniBand switches deliver bandwidth of 20 or 40 Gb/per second, with power consumption of less than 5 watts per port.
Some of Voltaire's named customers include China Mobile, Loyalty Partner Solutions and Turkcell.