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Hardware vs. software: user questions (part 2)

June 29, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

In my prior blog entry, I answered the first of Durga C.’s questions to me.  Here’s all three of his questions:

  1. What is the role of the hardware in an RDMA transaction?  In other words, why does one need special hardware (e.g., InfiniBand, iWARP, RoCE, etc.) hardware to do RDMA as opposed to a “normal” Ethernet NIC? (see prior blog entry)
  2. Further, can you explain why pure software solutions (e.g., Open-MX) are better than nothing when you don’t have hardware support?
  3. Also, what is the difference between “RDMA” and “RMA”?

Let’s explore the last two of those questions. Read More »

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Hardware vs. software: user questions

June 26, 2012 at 1:20 pm PST

Durga C., long-time listener, first-time caller, sent me a few interesting questions that I thought I’d share with everyone.  Here’s his first question:

  1. What is the role of the hardware in an RDMA transaction?  In other words, why does one need special hardware (e.g., InfiniBand, iWARP, RoCE, etc.) hardware to do RDMA as opposed to a “normal” Ethernet NIC?

This one question is surprisingly complex.  Let’s dive in…

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Playing Tetris in the Data Center

May 23, 2012 at 10:00 am PST

If I become hiring manager for a Data Center team, I’m asking candidates whether they have Tetris skills.  Anyone who can neatly fill a space with odd-shaped blocks falling at ever-increasing speed can oversee the rack-and-stack activities in my Data Centers.

I talked in my last two posts – on preparing for and then executing a Data Center move – about planning where you want to place your Data Center hardware.  That’s a good idea even if you’re not moving your server environment, because how you deploy your equipment affects how efficiently rack space is used, airflow patterns and more. Read More »

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Secrets to a Successful Data Center Move (part 2)

April 13, 2012 at 10:00 am PST

Ah, moving day.  You’ve spent weeks packing your valuables into boxes and are now fervently hoping your movers treat them like priceless artifacts rather than testing their bounce factor.  Sure, said movers are either complete strangers you’ve hired or friends you’ve enticed with beer and pizza, but what could possibly go wrong?

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Secrets to a Successful Data Center Move

April 11, 2012 at 10:00 am PST

One of the most daunting tasks a Data Center manager can face is a large scale hardware relocation.  While today’s technology often allows you to avoid physical moves – you bring new hardware online at your destination, migrate applications there and then decommission the old gear – sometimes you still have to roll up your sleeves and do some heavy lifting.

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