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Bottleneck Buster Gathers Support: Page 2 of 2

Infiniband has universal support as a server bus, but some vendors are predictably resistant to the idea of it as a challenger to 10-Gbit/s Ethernet and Fibre Channel in SANs, data centers, and COs. "The Infiniband target is to replace the PCI bus. That's it. Hype that it has the potential to displace a well-established incumbent technology like Fibre Channel just doesn't make sense," says Jay Kidd, VP of product marketing at Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), the Fibre Channel market leader. Incidentally, Brocade is a member of the Infiniband Trade Association.

"No one wants to replace a technology that works well and costs a lot with one that works marginally better and costs a lot," adds Dan Tanner, senior analyst at the Aberdeen Group. Still, he says that 7 to 10 years down the road, it could prove an alternative when it's time to replace an initial Fibre Channel or 10-Gbit/s Ethernet investment.

Others see Infiniband's significance to carriers as more immediate. "Infiniband opens up the most accessible computer architecture to telecom," says Nayel Shafei, president of Enkido Inc., a startup carrier. "I think it's absolutely great. And I like that everyone's fighting about it. That means that something good will come of it. The carrier will win in the end."

-- Mary Jander, senior editor, Light Reading