Obsidian's Longbow X100 devices maintained a coast-to-coast 20Gbits/s InfiniBand link from Supercomputing in Portland to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington DC in a challenge entry prepared by NRL and the University of Illinois, at the Supercomputing 2009 show.

The Bandwidth Challenge Award is presented each year to the entry demonstrating long-haul high-bandwidth networks judged to be the most efficient, innovative and technologically advanced. Extremely fast and efficient InfiniBand networks are widely deployed between servers inside data centers and supercomputers, but require devices such as Obsidian's Longbow family of products to span more than 100m of distance. Longbows are designed to transparently carry native InfiniBand traffic over standard optical wide area networks, using protocols such as OC-192 SONET or 10Gb Ethernet.

For InfiniBand's first entry into the Bandwidth Challenge competition, ultra-high resolution remote visualization streams were carried full-duplex in real time via two 10Gbits/s paths across the country over layer 2 and layer 3 IPv6 10Gb carrier Ethernet as InfiniBand RDMA traffic. The wide area links were supplied by National Lambda Rail (NLR) using Cisco equipment.

“By winning the bandwidth challenge at first attempt, InfiniBand is clearly proving its mettle as a superior interconnect both within and between data centers, where bandwidth efficiency, low latency and quality of service matter,” said Obsidian's President Dr. David Southwell. “Obsidian looks forward to building on this excellent result by continuing to push the technology envelope in future years.”