Internal and external networks

A cluster includes two networks: an internal network to exchange data between nodes and an external network to handle client connections.

Nodes exchange data through the internal network with a proprietary, unicast protocol over InfiniBand. Each node includes redundant InfiniBand ports for a second internal network in case the first one fails.

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If there are IsilonSD Edge, nodes exchange data through the Ethernet switch. For more information about the internal and external network requirements for IsilonSD Edge, see the IsilonSD Edge Installation and Administration Guide.

Clients reach the cluster with 1 GigE or 10 GigE Ethernet. Since every node includes Ethernet ports, the cluster bandwidth scales with performance and capacity nodes are added.

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Only Isilon nodes should be connected to the InfiniBand switch. Information that is exchanged on the back-end network is not encrypted. Connecting anything other than Isilon nodes to the InfiniBand switch creates a security risk.