Analyst reports confirm InfiniBand growth

May 20, 2009 -- At Interop Las Vegas 2009, the InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA) released results from three analyst reports, demonstrating the continued market growth of InfiniBand products in the HPC and data center server and storage markets. The reports were published by IDC, Tabor Research and the Taneja Group.

May 20, 2009 -- At Interop Las Vegas 2009, the InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA) released results from three analyst reports, demonstrating the continued market growth of InfiniBand products in the HPC and data center server and storage markets. The reports were published by IDC, Tabor Research and the Taneja Group.

According to Addison Snell, GM of Tabor Research, InfiniBand is the clear leader in all new HPC shipments. A March 2009 Tabor Research report, "InfiniBand: Increases in Speed, Usage, Competition" reported, "60 percent of surveyed HPC systems installed since the start of 2007 use InfiniBand as a system interconnect. Among those systems, over 30 percent also use InfiniBand for a LAN or storage interconnect."

In addition, the report highlights increased demand for InfiniBand among customers consolidating their I/O fabrics. "HPC-using organizations that are considering converged fabric strategies are more likely to consolidate on InfiniBand than Ethernet," adds Snell.

The Tabor analysis also found that InfiniBand, due to its performance and latency benefits, has been implemented in and is now driving today's mission-critical, data center applications, such as Oracle database on top of the HP Oracle Database Machine. The HP Oracle Database Machine is a complete InfiniBand-connected server and storage system providing over 10x data base query performance.

Further, a new IDC Analyst Connection1 report, titled, "InfiniBand: Poised for Market Growth," included comments on InfiniBand and the push for a "Unified Wire" infrastructure within future data centers.

"InfiniBand already possesses the attributes needed to successfully implement unified wire infrastructures including, compliance with standards, highly secured lossless fabric, high bandwidth, and low latency," says Jie Wu, research manager, High Performance Computing at IDC. "Among the benefits envisioned for these future infrastructures are simplified administration, higher application and storage performance, and lower total cost of ownership."

IBTA notes that InfiniBand is the only unified wire solution shipping in volume today with approximately 5 million 10-40 Gbps ports total to date.

According to the IDC report, "Advances in multicore technology, the proliferation of virtualization in commercial data centers and the emergence of cloud computing all create new requirements for a more efficient network infrastructure. Today, in addition to delivering high bandwidth and low latency, InfiniBand offers a number of new features including improved scalability, I/O consolidations/simplicity, and improved price/performance."

The demand for even greater performance is driven by multi-core processor-based systems and is demonstrated by deployments of 40 Gbps Quad Data Rate InfiniBand adapters, maintains IBTA. While InfiniBand greatly outperforms Gigabit Ethernet, InfiniBand's broad industry support, maturity and choice of products make it more affordable than unproven 10 Gigabit Ethernet solutions, contends the trade association.

The Taneja Group's Jeff Boles comments, "When compared to a single 40 Gbps QDR InfiniBand fabric, traditional fabrics can more than double what it costs to operate and manage the IO behind the virtual server infrastructure."

InfiniBand's price/performance benefits extend to another cluster growth segment, cloud computing. The Taneja Group reports that web services firms are moving to InfiniBand to consolidate interfaces and obtain better management capabilities. "InfiniBand simplifies management, and brings better than SAN-like capabilities to every I/O interface, while reducing the number of interfaces," adds Boles. "For this reason, we see external service providers building InfiniBand infrastructures today."

According to IDC, InfiniBand's high bandwidth, low latency and scalability characteristics help meet the mixed workload requirements in the cloud. Jie Wu comments, "InfiniBand could play an important role in helping broaden cloud adoption, starting at sites that already employ InfiniBand."

The IBTA's 15th Compliance and Interoperability Plugfest took place last month with record vendor attendance and product submissions, showcasing the expanding InfiniBand ecosystem. The event hosted 21 participating InfiniBand vendors that were testing more than 200 devices - double the number of devices tested in March 2008, according to the trade association.

On the Web:
www.infinibandta.org
www.interop.com
www.idc.com
www.taborresearch.com
www.tanejagroup.com


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