Recently, 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.

HPC Market Growth

For those following InfiniBand, the March 2009 Tabor Research report, “InfiniBand: Increases in Speed, Usage, Competition,” noting that “60 percent of surveyed HPC systems installed since the start of 2007 use InfiniBand as a system interconnect,” should come as no surprise. What is most promising is that “among those systems, over 30 percent also use InfiniBand for a LAN or storage interconnect.” In my view, that serves as a leading indication that customers are leveraging InfiniBand’s capabilities as the “unified wire”.

The report goes on to highlight 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.”

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.”

Plugfest Momentum

Closer to home, the InfiniBand Trade Association’s 15th Compliance and Interoperability Plugfest featured 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. View the latest Integrators’ List here.

Chet Mehta
IBTA Steering Committee Co-Chair