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InfiniBand-based ATCA blades meet the open standards

Posted: 12 Dec 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Diversified Technology? DTI? ATCA? AdvancedTCA? blades?

ATS2148 ATCA blades

Communications-board maker Diversified Technology Inc. (DTI) announced its new ATC5232 and ATS2148 ATCA (AdvancedTCA) blades that will provide an InfiniBand-based fabric for blade systems using the ATCA open-architecture standard. These blades will be ready for deployment in January of 2006, so get ready.

When it ships for real, the ATC5232 will cost about $4,300 a piece. The companion ATS2148 will be priced at about $6,400.

A node board
The ATC5232 is an Intel Xeon processor-based so-called node board. This next-generation board is equipped with dual Xeon 3.06-GHz processors, each with 2MB of L2 cache.

The ATC5232 blade itself is a reasonably low-cost PICMG 3.2-compliant (PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group) system. It's intended for wireless access/edge, telecom fiber transport, media gateways, soft switches, and other Internet-based applications. Significantly. the ATC5232 blade meets the open industrial standards for hardware platforms in carrier-grade networks.

The ATC5232 also is equipped with high I/O-bandwidth Intel E7520 server-class chipsets. These provide 800-MHz FSBs (front side buses) and support for up to 16-Gbytes of memory. The ATC5232 uses a standard 2.5-inch IDE-compatible so-called micro hard drive for storage.

More I/O
Additional I/O peripherals include two auto-negotiating Gigabit Ethernet controllers for the Base interface, two 10Gbps x4 InfiniBand ports for the Fabric interface, one 64-bit/66MHz PMC (PCI mezzanine card) site for user configuration, and other peripherals designed for high-performance telco needs. Rounding out that impressive mix are a pair of 2.5GHz x8 PCI Express links, available at the board's RTM connectors.

Note that this board also fully supports the ATCA concept of separate data and control plane traffic when paired with the ATS2148. The ATC5232 is compliant with the ATCA 3.2 spec via Option 1, including two backplane Ethernet connections and two backplane InfiniBand connections.

The ATC5232 uses an AMI Embedded BIOS with boot from a hard disk, CD-ROM, or a network. Console re-direction, plug-and-play, and PCI auto-configuration are also supported. Operating systems supported include Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SuSE and Fedora.

The hub board
For its part, the ATS2148, dubbed a Hub Board, is an ATCA 3.0 and 3.2 Option 1 switch. It provides separate control plane switching, data plane switching, and storage plane switching for ATCA shelves, supporting Gigabit Ethernet on the base control network. The fabric features a 10Gbps InfiniBand switch with built-in InfiniBand SMA (Subnet Management Agent) and PMA (Performance Management Agent).

The fabric switch supports sub-net management, fabric discovery and initialization and quality of service. The switch's PMA monitors fabric health and link and packet errors, as well as detecting and isolating potential problems before they occur.

Multi-pathing and automatic path migration are also supported, enabling fault tolerance and fail-over, as well as providing notification that a self-healing fabric event occurred and maintenance may be required.

The ATS2148 also features 24-port Gigabit Ethernet switches for ATCA base switching. Ports are provided to support the full 16-slot shelf, with both redundant switches and redundant shelf managers.

Up to eight up-link ports on base can be provided for connections between shelves and to outside networks. The base Ethernet switch features Layer 2 switching and Layer 3 routing, as well as features such as a DHCP server, independent VLAN (virtual local area network) learning, and routing schemes such as VRRP, RIP, OSPF, as well as rapid spanning tree, DiffServ, and access control lists, among others. Support is also included for industry-standard CLI, telnet/SSH, SNMP, RADIUS and a Web interface.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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