Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapter Market to Grow 60% Annually Through 2003, IDC Forecasts

FRAMINGHAM, MASS., APRIL 4, 2000 – IDC's new analysis of the Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapter (HBA) market forecasts a market of 4.4 million ports in 2003, which represents $1.7 billion in factory revenues. This growth is driven by the demand for simplified storage management provided by storage area network (SAN) technology. IDC's 2000 Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapter Forecast and Analysis, 1997-2003 bulletin reports and forecasts this surging market.

"The unprecedented demand for server disk storage capacity and storage performance is fueling an increasingly hot market for storage area networks and the associated Fibre Channel interconnects," said Robert Gray, director of IDC's Worldwide Storage Systems research. "Fibre Channel is rapidly becoming the preferred external server storage interconnect for high-end storage solutions."

While Fibre Channel hub and switch suppliers have had extraordinary market attention in recent years, each hub or switch port requires a connection on the other end of the fibre. This connection is most often a HBA or HBA chip adapter. In addition, Fibre Channel HBAs are used extensively for direct connected storage that does not employ switches or hubs.

The HBA market posted a robust annual growth rate of 115% from 1998 to 1999. Sun Microsystems and Compaq Computer were the number two and three ranked suppliers, respectively, possessing a 36% market share. Both companies benefited from the higher port values that reseller and direct markets provide over OEM pricing levels. Other suppliers in this market include JNI, QLogic, Interphase, Adaptec, Agilent, ATTO, VMIC, Prisa, Delphis Engineering, and Cambex.

Bulletin Highlights

Emulex held the top-ranked revenue position in 1999 with 27% share and $72 million in revenue.

IDC predicts the 2000 market will be nearly double that of 1999.

JNI, among all suppliers, had the fastest relative revenue growth from 1998 to 1999 at 251% year over year.

The largest application shifts are from direct-connect external storage to SAN-connected storage.

QLogic held the top-ranked port-count position in 1999, with 76,000 ports (29.7% share).

IDC's bulletin 2000 Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapter Forecast and Analysis, 1997-2003 (IDC #B22058) includes supplier profiles and analysis of near-term prospects. The bulletin reports historical data on revenue and port counts. An analysis of the threat to Fibre Channel from SCSI over ethernet and from InfiniBand is also included. The bulletin will be available later this month. To order a copy, contact Patrick Steeves at 1-800-343-4952, ext. 6787 or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, relevant, and high-impact data and insight on information technology to help organizations make sound business and technology decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide IT markets and technology trends and analyzes IT products and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC is committed to providing global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

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