Topspin Delivers Industry's First Open Solution for Utility Computing

New VFrame(tm) software suite enables provisioning of virtual servers on-demand through programmable infrastructure

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., - May 5, 2004 - Topspin Communications, a leader in switched computing, today announced general availability of its VFrame(tm) server virtualization software suite, a flexible solution that enables Topspin's end user customers, system vendor OEMs, and software partners to easily program Topspin Server Switches with the policies necessary to provision virtual servers on-demand.

With this capability Topspin has completed the industry's first truly open solution for utility computing, allowing customers, for the first time, to choose whatever industry-standard servers, storage, and management tools they prefer and seamlessly integrate these components together across Topspin's standards-based server switching infrastructure.

The new VFrame software suite represents the fourth building block in Topspin's server virtualization infrastructure, rounding out the solution by providing the intelligence that converts policy into actions, leveraging the unique capabilities of the Topspin Server Switch.

The four building blocks include:

  1. High Performance Server-to-Server Connectivity - Leveraging the unmatched price/performance of the InfiniBand standard, Topspin server switches interconnect industry standard servers and/or server blades into a flexible fabric or grid.

  2. Seamless I/O and Storage Connectivity - Topspin's unique Topology Transparency software, coupled with Topspin's Ethernet and Fibre Channel Gateways enable the high performance server fabric to be seamlessly connected with existing LANs and SANs with no management or infrastructure changes required.

  3. Virtualization and Boot Services - Announced in March, these capabilities allow standard diskless servers to be deployed in a "stateless" fashion and enable customers to provision any combination of application, operating system, storage, and I/O resources to a server on-demand in the time it takes to reboot.

  4. The new VFrame server virtualization software suite - VFrame embeds policy and provisioning intelligence into the server switch. This allows the Topspin server switch to be programmed with the policies it needs to determine when and how to create virtual servers out of shared resources.

The VFrame software suite consists of three main components:

  • VFrame Embedded System Logic - system software running on the server switch to receive, interpret, and enforce policies

  • VFrame APIs - middleware and a software developer kit (SDK) to enable partner- or customer-created management and provisioning tools to program the switch fabric

  • VFrame Director - software package that centralizes policy intelligence for better system-wide decision making and disseminates policies to the server switch fabric

"With VFrame technology, Topspin customers can now deploy new applications in a fraction of the time, re-purpose servers instantly from one function to another, and respond rapidly to server or network failures," said Ross Schibler, chief technology officer at Topspin. "This contributes to lower management costs and dramatically reduced downtime."

Several end customers, including Burlington Coat Factory, among others, are already using Topspin's VFrame software in conjunction with their Server Switches.

"Topspin's server virtualization solution gives us all of the advantages of a utility data center, plus standards-based price/performance, significant scalability, and the flexibility to choose our own servers and storage," said Mike Prince, CIO, Burlington Coat Factory. "To meet our growing application requirements with reduced spending, we required a solution that combined the price/performance curves of commodity components with the ability to do more with less."

To ensure open, integrated solutions, Topspin has been working with a variety of industry leading software partners with the management and provisioning tools that make up the server virtualization eco-system, including: Opsware, Oracle, Platform Computing, Qlusters, and VMware. Topspin has formed a VFrame Developers Program with these inaugural members. Others are invited to join as well - for more details please visit:

VFrame also brings tremendous value to Topspin's system vendor OEM partners. The VFrame APIs and SDK help the Topspin solution fit in seamlessly with their existing server virtualization solutions, allowing them to leverage the core functionality of the server switch but also to differentiate their offerings on their own strengths.

VFrame software is available now to both partners and customers.

About Topspin

Topspin is a leader in server virtualization, delivering the industry's first programmable server switch -- a new category of data center infrastructure designed to allow virtual servers to be created by interconnecting server, storage, and networking resources on-demand. Additional information can be found at or by calling 1-866-TOPSPIN.