RealTime IT News

Topspin Bundles Utility Computing Package

Underscoring the flexibility many analysts believe is necessary in modern IT architectures, Topspin Communications Monday unveiled a starter kit that facilitates utility computing.

The Grid-to-Go package, which includes switches and adapters for tying servers, storage and applications together, is designed for commodity servers from IBM , Dell , HP and Sun Microsystems .

Stu Aaron, Topspin vice president of marketing, said the kit will cost customers as little as one-twentieth what proprietary utility computing packages cost, because it allows them to use their legacy machines and resources as opposed to buying new gear.

For Topspin, the notion of utility computing comes in the form of a grid architecture, where the company's connectivity products help customers automatically provision servers, storage and software to handle asks.

The kit comes in full or half rack configurations, and customers must provide their servers and storage. For $64,995, the full rack consists of one Topspin 360 Server Switch that supports up to 24 InfiniBand-attached servers and up to 12 expansion slots for Ethernet and Fibre Channel gateways.

There is also one Topspin EX Ethernet Gateway with six Gigabit Ethernet Ports for connecting the Grid-to-Go infrastructure to Ethernet LANs and/or network-attached storage . One Topspin FC Fibre Channel gateway offers two 1 gigabit per second or 2Gbps Fibre Channel ports for connecting the infrastructure to storage.

Rounding out the full rack are 24 10Gbps InfiniBand Host Channel Adapters (HCAs) for PCI-X with remote boot capabilities, 24 3M InfiniBand cables and Topspin VFrame Director software.

Aaron told internetnews.com that customers requiring less infrastructure can pick the half rack for $43,995. Capable of powering up to 12 servers, the half rack comes with one Topspin 360 Server Switch with 12 InfiniBand ports, one EX Ethernet Gateway providing 6 Gigabit Ethernet Ports, one Fibre Channel gateway, 12 InfiniBand HCAs, 12 cables and VFrame Director.

As the key component of the package, the server switch connects via Ethernet, Fibre Channel or InfiniBand, mapping resources into virtual servers, which can then be provisioned with the correct application. The VFrame virtualization software is used to program the switch with business policies.

The Grid-to-Go program will run through December 2004.