Press Release: May 24, 2007

HP Expands High-performance Computing Offering with InfiniBand Solutions from Cisco

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 24, 2007

HP today announced two agreements with Cisco that target the fast-growing market of high-performance computing with HP hardware and Cisco’s InfiniBand solutions.

First, HP will offer Cisco double data rate (DDR) InfiniBand-based Server Fabric Switches (SFS) as part of HP’s Unified Cluster Portfolio. Additionally, HP BladeSystem c-Class servers are now supported with Cisco’s standards-based InfiniBand host driver software.

The combined offerings accelerate business growth for high-performance computing (HPC) environments by providing high bandwidth, low latency, fabric stability and scalability.

HPC configurations are used for projects requiring millions of calculations running simultaneously, such as financial data analysis, data mining, market data analysis, computational chemistry, database tiers, and computational fluid dynamics. Cluster computing is one of the drivers of the HPC market because of its flexibility and price-performance advantages.

“HP is pleased to add the Cisco double data rate InfiniBand switches to our Unified Cluster Portfolio,” said Winston Prather, vice president and general manager, High Performance Computing Division, HP. “The Cisco switches fit well within HP’s scalable solutions for high-performance computation, data management and visualization and our continuing focus to deliver innovation, choice and performance for our HPC customers.”

The Cisco InfiniBand HPC drivers work with the HP 4X DDR IB Mezzanine Host Channel Adapters (HCAs) within BladeSystem c-Class blade servers. The c-Class systems are then connected with 20 Gbps per line rate InfiniBand uplinks to SFS 7000 series InfiniBand fixed and modular switching chassis, as part of larger InfiniBand HPC clusters. These clusters enable high performance and scalability for message-passing distributed-parallel applications with all the advantages of HP BladeSystem.

InfiniBand DDR host interfaces and fabric switches offer industry-leading bandwidth and low-latency communications between servers for optimizing highly distributed, compute-intensive applications. HP’s rack-mount and blade servers combined with Cisco DDR switches deliver exceptional bit error rates, troubleshooting and high-availability capabilities. As a result, customers can experience predictable and reliable fabric stability, which is becoming increasingly important for complex job and simulation runs and fast time-to-market product delivery expectations.

“We are delighted to be working closely with HP, the leader in providing accessible and affordable HPC solutions to research teams around the globe,” said Krish Ramakrishnan, vice president and general manager, Server Virtualization Business Unit, Cisco. “The Cisco SFS switches are ideal for supporting HPC environments that require rigorous fabric stability and the reliable uptime needed for tight job completion requirements.”

The Cisco family of SFS DDR switches offers low microsecond latency from end to end and an exceptionally low DDR bit error rate. This low bit error rate provides higher fabric uptime and faster job completion times, especially as the size of the fabric grows larger. Additionally, Cisco has designed the SFS High Performance Subnet Manager with database synchronization and fast link recovery to ensure fabric stability and successful job completion in large 1,000 to 5,000 node networks.

The Cisco SFS DDR InfiniBand switches range from a 24-port fixed chassis configuration up to a 288-port modular chassis. Cisco also fully supports Open Fabric drivers as well as its own driver stacks for enterprise high-availability and virtualization requirements.

The HP 4X DDR IB Mezzanine interface card, now bundled with Cisco InfiniBand drivers, enables HP BladeSystem c-Class servers to use Cisco Linux-based Commercial IB fabrics, Cisco Linux-based Open Fabrics Enterprise Edition IB fabrics and Cisco Windows®-based IB fabrics (Windows driver availability expected this fall). These drivers work with the Cisco InfiniBand Fabric Manager to deliver high scalability, high performance and high reliability.

For more than 18 years, Cisco and HP together have strategically focused on the delivery of global, integrated IT solutions and products that provide advanced intelligence for the IT infrastructure, enabling customers to protect, optimize and adapt their businesses. More information about the Cisco and HP global strategic alliance is available at and

Further information about HP high-performance computing is available at

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About HP

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