InfiniBand Takes Root, but Market Maturity Still a Ways Off, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JUNE 18, 2001 – The InfiniBand ecosystem is taking root. According to IDC, products associated with the architecture could rapidly move from the early design and test stage into the early acceptance stage by late 2001. However, ongoing economic challenges, alternative product announcements, and lack of public awareness about InfiniBand could slow its adoption.


"Although there is economic uncertainty, InfiniBand’s ability to improve the overall efficiency of Internet data centers makes it an extremely popular architecture," said Vernon Turner, vice president of IDC’s Global Enterprise Server Solutions. "Once the benefits of InfiniBand are realized in Internet data centers, similar operational challenges will be tackled in traditional enterprise environments."

Vendor interest in server blades will be crucial to fueling InfiniBand’s acceptance and growth. IDC believes the new form factor’s focus on density, power, and all aspects of server and workload installation and management has allowed InfiniBand to team up with a new server platform and a new system interconnect to create an unusual opportunity in the industry. "Server blade vendors are expected to seek out InfiniBand partners to provide the high-speed I/O connectivity in this dense server market," Turner said.

The growth in appliance servers will also influence InfiniBand. Given the appliance server market is best suited to a rack-optimized environment, the notion of server-to-server connectivity, clustering, and server to storage represent InfiniBand opportunities.

According to IDC, significant InfiniBand opportunity exists in the midrange and high-end server markets; however, these markets represent less than 10% of total server unit sales. Given new markets tend to go for the largest opportunities, IDC believes the entry server market offers the best short-term returns.

IDC’s bulletin The InfiniBand Market Forecast, 2001-2005: The Momentum Continues (IDC #B24747) examines how the InfiniBand initiative has progressed since its specification was released to the public in late fall 2000. This bulletin analyzes the ongoing challenges, alternative product announcements, and public awareness about InfiniBand in the near and long term. To purchase this bulletin, contact Patrick Steeves at 1-800-343-4952, extension 6787, or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 700 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

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