The Need for Increased Bandwidth and Capacity Will Drive Infiniband Adoption Through 2011, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MAY 23, 2007 – The need to handle expanding server and storage workloads and provide critical business services beyond traditional interconnect capabilities is driving IT executives to seriously examine their existing network environments and the future viability of InfiniBand adoption. According to new research from IDC, high-performance computing (HPC), scale-out database environments, shared virtualized I/O, and increasing demands from financial applications will propel worldwide InfiniBand host channel adaptor (HCA) factory revenues from $62.3 million in 2006 to $224.7 million in 2011. Additionally, factory revenue from InfiniBand switch port sales is expected to grow from $94.9 million in 2006 to $612.2 million in 2011.

InfiniBand has been gaining share in the Top 500 supercomputer sites for high-performance computing (HPC) and has doubled its share for usage in these sites in each of the last two years. Infiniband has continued to gain share as a preferred interconnect technology at these supercomputing sites, at the expense of some more widely used solutions. Infiniband is also casting new light in the datacenter.

"CIOs are looking beyond point solutions and treating the datacenter more holistically," said Steve Josselyn, research director for IDC's Global Enterprise Server Solution. "There is evidence that InfiniBand is beginning to find its way into commercial data centers for use in support of applications and workloads with HPC-like characteristics. As the need for more of these types of applications increases in the commercial world, InfiniBand provides a viable and cost-effective alternative to existing network infrastructures."

Other key findings from the report include:

— Infiniband takes the I/O outside of the server

— The combination of low latency and high bandwidth enables InfiniBand to offer a high-performance solution

— InfiniBand and related products provide a solution for provisioning both servers and I/O

The study, Worldwide InfiniBand 2007-2011 Forecast (IDC #206902), presents a worldwide forecast for InfiniBand adoption as a server interconnect for 2006-2011. IDC explores the underlying demand that is driving customer choice and presents some challenges that suppliers face in their effort to expand customer usage over time. As with most technologies, InfiniBand will be adopted at different rates based on workload requirements, regional variation, customer perception, and cost.

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