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NVIDIA QM87-Series InfiniBand HDR Switches Comparison

Posted on Mar 13, 2024 by
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In today's rapidly evolving world of technology, the demand for high-performance computing has become more critical than ever before. To meet this demand, the performance and functionality of network switches have become crucial. In this regard, the NVIDIA QM87-series HDR switches have emerged as the preferred solution in many industries. This article will provide a detailed comparison of the NVIDIA/Mellanox QM87-series InfiniBand HDR switches, with a focus on the system specifications and management approaches of the QM8700 and QM8790 switches.

Overview of NVIDIA QM87-Series InfiniBand HDR Switches

HDR switches are high-performance networking devices used for high-speed data transmission and low-latency connections. The NVIDIA QM87-series HDR switches, in compact 1U rack size, offer non-blocking bandwidth of up to 16Tb/s and port-to-port latency of less than 130 nanoseconds. This means they can transfer data at extremely high speeds while maintaining very low latency, meeting the requirements of modern high-performance computing.

Comparison Between QM8700 and QM8790 InfiniBand HDR Switches

The following will mainly compare the M8700 and QM8790 series HDR switches in terms of system specifications and management differences.

Comparison of System Specifications

Here are the specification details for the four QM87-series HDR switch models:

Models
MQM8700-HS2R
MQM8790-HS2R
Ports Speed
40x 200Gb/s or
80x 100Gb/s
40x 200Gb/s or
80x 100Gb/s
40x 200Gb/s or
80x 100Gb/s
40x 200Gb/s or
80x 100Gb/s
Port Types
QSFP56
QSFP56
QSFP56
QSFP56
Power Supply (hot-pluggable)
1+1 redundancy (AC)
1+1 redundancy (AC)
1+1 redundancy (AC)
1+1 redundancy (AC)
Fans (hot-
pluggable)
5+1 redundancy
 
5+1 redundancy
 
5+1 redundancy
 
5+1 redundancy
 
Airflow
Rear-to-front(P2C)
Front-to-rear(C2P)
Rear-to-front(P2C)
Front-to-rear(C2P)
Rack Height
1U
1U
1U
1U
Management
Internally managed/managed
Externally managed/unmanaged

Note: In the table, P in P2C and C2P means power, C means cable (line interface), P2C (Power to Cable), C2P (Cable to Power). The reference system here is that the cable line interface side is the front, and the power side is the back.

Airflow

Each QM8700 and QM8790 switch has two models, in which HS2F and H2SR differ in the airflow direction. QM8700 and QM8790 have similar hardware configurations in terms of mechanical and environmental specifications, as well as switching performance. The port configurations of the QM8700 and QM8790 are both 40 200Gb/s HDR QSFP56, which can be split into up to 80 HDR 100G for interconnecting 100G HDR network cards. Besides, they also support direct connection with 40x 100G EDR via port speed reduction. Both the QM8700 and QM8790 switches can link to HDR and EDR network interface cards (NICs).

QM8700/8790
Feature
Value
Mechanical Specification
Input Power
100-127VAC 50/60Hz 4.5A;
200-240 50/60Hz 4.4A
Rackmount
19"
Weight
1 PSU: 11.4 kg; 2 PSUS: 12.488 kg
Size
1.7"x16.85"x23.2 (43.6x433.2x590.6mm)
Environmental
Specification
Operating Temperature
32°F to 104°F (0ºC to 40ºC)
Storage Temperature
-40°F to 158°F (-40ºC to 70ºC)
Humidity
Operating: 10%-85% non-condensing
Non-operating: 10%-90% non-condensing
Noise level
71.9 dB(A)
Performance
Throughput
16Tb/s
Forwarding Rate (64B)
390mpps
Port Forwarding Latency
130ns

Comparison of Management Approaches

Apart from system specifications, QM8700 and QM8790 differ in terms of management approaches. Let's compare them.

Model
USB
MGT
I2C
Console
QM8700
Front (micro USB)
Front (1 port)
NA
Front
QM8790
NA
NA
Front (micro USB)
NA

QM8700 is a fully managed Mellanox HDR switch (internally managed), with x86 dual-core processing power and the option to set up and control the switch via a web interface, command-line interface (CLI), or API. This switch offers IT managers entire control over the network, allowing them to monitor and regulate the flow of data and traffic, ensuring optimal efficiency and network availability.

QM8700 front panel

 

QM8790 is an unmanaged Mellanox HDR switch (externally unmanaged), hence it lacks the same level of control and configuration choices as QM8700. However, it continues to provide the high-speed connectivity and low-latency performance required by modern data centers. It makes use of the powerful NVIDIA Unified Fabric Manager (UFM) platform to help data center operators quickly provision, monitor, manage, troubleshoot, and maintain data center networks.

QM8790 front panel

The Mellanox QM8700 and QM8790 HDR switches have standard depth and a rail kit for easy installation and integration into existing data center infrastructures.

QM8700 and QM8790 rear panel

Conclusion

The demand for high-performance computing continues to grow, and selecting the right network switch is crucial for successfully achieving high-performance computing. The NVIDIA QM87-series InfiniBand HDR switches have emerged as industry leaders, offering excellent performance, low latency, and rich management features. By comparing the technical details of QM8700 and QM8790, you can make informed choices based on your specific requirements.

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