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InfiniBand: Hot or Not?

The latest online survey conducted by Byte and Switch has turned up some surprising results on InfiniBands chances of success as a key technology for storage area networks.

Ever the skeptics, we’d have predicted that most respondents, like us, believe InfiniBand has about as much chance of success as a free energy converter. (In other words, not very much.) Not so, you say. Almost 60 percent of the 259 respondents to our poll believe InfiniBand will prove to be an important technology for SANs.

But it looks as though Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), one of the fathers of InfiniBand, needs to work on improving its message, as plenty of respondents (42 percent) still think InfiniBand will be the successor to the PCI bus. Intel has other ideas. It is currently working on a separate protocol -- 3GIO, codenamed Arapahoe -- for the next-generation PCI bus (see 'Wrap-A-Ho? Wazzat?').

Fifty-seven percent of survey respondents believe InfiniBand will find widespread use in server clusters, which is where Intel is currently positioning it. Just under a third of readers who took part in the poll believe it will replace Fibre Channel in storage networks -- hardly a vote of confidence for the FC community.

InfiniBand seems to pose less of a threat to Ethernet: Only 17 percent of respondents believe it will replace the networking standard within data centers. More readers (23 percent) think it won’t actually make it beyond marketing hype.

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