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Browse Prior Art Database

An Entry-Level SAN Interconnect for WindowsNT Clusters

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000124002D
Original Publication Date: 1999-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-05
Document File: 3 page(s) / 167K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Callender, R: AUTHOR

Abstract

Current entry-level barriers to Windows SAN-based clusters

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 59% of the total text.

An Entry-Level SAN Interconnect for WindowsNT Clusters

   Current entry-level barriers to Windows SAN-based clusters

   Currently there is much effort being put forward in
developing System Area Networks (SAN) which will provide the
interconnect fabric for building Windows-based cluster solutions.
There are two predominant architectures accepted by the industry: VIA
(Virtual Interface Architecture) and WSDP (WinSock Direct Path).
Both architectures attempt to bypass the standard kernel-mode TCP/IP
stack and provide direct user-mode access to the interconnect
hardware, usually a network adapter (NIC) of some type.  The
currently available network adapters supporting VIA or WSDP are
expensive, due to the cost of implementing a VIA-like interface in
hardware.

   Figure 1 shows a basic WSDP configuration.  The VIA
configuration would appear very similar and therefore no
illustration is provided.

   The cost and availability of VIA-enabled NICs impedes the
adaption of Windows-based clustering solutions by entry-level
customers.  It is very important that entry-level solutions be
provided.  This allows customers to "scale-up"  their clusters
without changing their cluster-enabled application software.

   The "JBONE"  solution

   The solution preposed is to use groups of commodity
network adapters, either Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet, with each
NIC port being used to carry one VIA connection.  A group of NICs,
e.g. Just a Bunch of Network adapters (JBONE), w...