Following the announcement of its NonStop software for Windows NT clustering (CI No 3,161), and coinciding with today’s Microsoft Corp Scalability Day, Tandem Computers Inc has launched its six- port ServerNet switch to enable the building of large, scaleable NT clusters. The new switches enable clusters of dozens of servers to be built, as they can be cascaded to form an enormous switching fabric that can support up to 1 million networked elements, including servers, storage and input/output devices. The switches themselves are intelligent Application Specific Integrated Circuits or ASIC’s, each with six low-latency switched ports. As a cluster grows, a new switch can be added, giving an extra 1.3Gbps bandwidth to the network. Tandem says an aggregate of 150,000Gbps can be achieved in this way, which is 150,000 times one Gigabit Ethernet. The system can also be fault tolerant, Tandem’s hallmark, by using dual, or mirrored ServerNet switching fabrics. The switches are transparent to the user, in that extra switches can be added as required, without any changes being made to the system. The ServerNet switches were part of the demonstration staged by Tandem last week in San Francisco, where the company ran live decision support queries on a 2 terabyte database running on the world’s largest NT server, a cluster of 16 four-processor Tandem S1000 machines (CI No 3,162). The company says these are the first products to come out of the Virtual Interface Architecture specifications being driven by Microsoft Corp, Intel Corp and Compaq Computers Corp (CI No 3,142), and it says it already has a large number of vendors signed up to take the switches. The six-port switches can also be used for multi-node Unix-based clusters, Tandem says, and are available now, along with the ServerNet PCI adapters.