With the explosion of data over the past few years, data storage has become a hot topic among corporate decision makers. It is no longer sufficient to have adequate space for the massive quantities of data that must be stored; it is just as critical that stored data be accessible without any bottlenecks that impede the ability to process and analyze data in real time.
Traditionally, accessing hard disk storage took tens of milliseconds, and the corresponding network and protocol overheads were in the hundreds of microseconds, a negligible percentage of the overall access time.
At that time, networks ran on 1Gb/s bandwidth, and SCSI was the protocol used for accessing storage locally while iSCSI based on TCP was developed for remote access.
However, once storage technology improved and Solid-State Disks (SSD) became the norm, access time dropped by two orders of magnitude to the hundreds of microseconds. Unless network and protocol access times decreased by a similar factor, they would create a bottleneck that negated the gains made by the new media technology.
This meant that the network had to handle larger bandwidths, such as 40Gb/s and now even 100Gb/s driving faster data transfers. For remote access, iSCSI is still the protocol of choice; however, TCP was no longer efficient enough, such that RDMA (RoCE) became the transport of choice for data plane operation and iSER was developed as an enhancement of iSCSI.
Mellanox held its annual sales conference from January 21-23 in San Francisco, with its largest turnout ever, about 250 people. This is in stark contrast to its first sales conference 15 years ago, which included only 6 of the company’s founders. After 15 years of development, the company has taped out seven generations of technology to become the world’s leading provider of data center interconnect, including the introduction in late 2014 of EDR InfiniBand 100Gb/s solutions.
Today, Mellanox provides both end-to-end and top-to-bottom data center interconnect solutions. Not only do we provide the hardware from adapter card to cables to switch to the other machine, PCI to PCI, but Mellanox also creates solutions that reach from the application API down to the electron, down to the cable, down to the fiber and optical devices that run the cable.
While the traditional roadmap indicates that interconnect technology doubles in speed every two to three years, Mellanox takes things one step farther. Not only do we drive the bandwidth higher and the latency lower, we also introduce new, innovative capabilities in every technology cycle. One of these innovations is to drive the cloud toward high-performance computing. It is commonly said that there is a waterfall from high-performance computing that leads its technology into the cloud, which is completely true, but Mellanox is also steering the cloud to high-performance, enabling clouds to deliver highest applications efficiencies while reducing total cost of ownership.