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Analyst Reports Confirm InfiniBand Growth; According to Tabor Research, 60 Percent of HPC Systems Shipped Since 2007 Use the High-Speed Interconnect

The InfiniBand® Trade Association (IBTA), a global organization dedicated to maintaining and furthering the InfiniBand specification, today 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” said, “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.”

InfiniBand implemented in – and driving – data center applications

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.

A new IDC Analyst Connection1, also released today and 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,” said 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.”

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

Meeting the needs of multi-core and virtualization

According to IDC, “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 40Gbps Quad Data Rate InfiniBand adapters. 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. Jeff Boles commented, “when compared to a single 40Gbps QDR InfiniBand fabric, traditional fabrics can more than double what it costs to operate and manage the IO behind the virtual server infrastructure.”

Cloud computing: a new market with strong I/O requirements

InfiniBand’s price/performance benefits extend to another cluster growth segment, cloud computing. The Taneja Group reported 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. 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 commented that “InfiniBand could play an important role in helping broaden cloud adoption, starting at sites that already employ InfiniBand.”

Plugfest Momentum

The InfiniBand Trade Association’s 15th Compliance and Interoperability Plugfest took place last month with record vendor attendance and product submissions, showcasing the ever-expanding InfiniBand ecosystem. The April event hosted 21 participating InfiniBand vendors that were testing more than 200 devices – double the number of devices tested in March 2008. Products that successfully pass the Plugfest testing gain inclusion on the IBTA Integrators’ List. The Integrators’ List has steadily grown since October 2007 and now includes more than 160 devices. The latest Integrator’s List may be viewed at:

About the InfiniBand Trade Association

The InfiniBand Trade Association was founded in 1999 and is chartered with maintaining and furthering the InfiniBand specification. The IBTA is led by a distinguished steering committee that includes IBM, Intel, Mellanox, QLogic, Sun and Voltaire. Other members of the IBTA represent leading enterprise IT vendors who are actively contributing to the advancement of the InfiniBand specification. The IBTA markets and promotes InfiniBand from an industry perspective through public relations engagements and unites the industry through IBTA-sponsored developer conferences and workshops. For more information on the IBTA, visit

InfiniBand (TM/SM) is a trademark and service mark of the InfiniBand Trade Association. Other names and brands are the property of their respective owners.

1 IDC Analyst Connection, Infiniband: Poised for Market Growth, Doc # 784 May 2009

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