Cisco has revised its SFS 7000D InfiniBand switches, doubling their speed to 20Gbps and adding a management interface compatible with its IOS-based Ethernet and Fibre Channel switches. The company claimed this means that anyone familiar with one of the three network types can manage the other two as well. The change recognizes that "data center fabrics" will inevitably incorporate more than just Ethernet, said Dante Malegrino, Cisco\u2019s senior marketing manager for data center solutions. "The main application for InfiniBand is high-performance computing, and clustering is driving a lot of data center computing," he said. "It\u2019s a matter of capabilities and needs; for example, high-performance computing needs five to\u00a010 microsecond latency, and Fibre Channel and Ethernet can\u2019t offer that." He added that Cisco is trying to sell InfiniBand to its existing customers by making it look familiar: "We are trying to make the barrier to adoption as low as possible. The most important point is how you manage things, and that\u2019s what we want to make consistent." That\u2019s a big change from the days when we were told\u2014by Cisco and others\u2014that Ethernet would triumph over every other network technology. Malagrino said it\u2019s partly because Fibre Channel is now too heavily embedded to be dislodged, but added that there\u2019s now a realization that one size does not fit all. "It\u2019s not Ethernet killing off the competition," he said. "Today there are very clear requirements for all these technologies to exist because they address different needs; the roles of each are clearly defined. "Even if Ethernet were to take over the world, it wouldn\u2019t be Ethernet as we know it. It would need to evolve to take on Fibre Channel or InfiniBand characteristics." The move to 20Gbps InfiniBand means that Cisco has caught up with rivals such as Mellanox, SilverStorm and Voltaire. Other InfiniBand developers are already working on 40Gbps quad data rate, however.-Bryan Betts, Techworld.com (London)Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.