InfiniBand's proponents are waving the flag again, declaring that their interconnect technology is on the rise.
We've been here before -- several times. (See Suppliers Push Unified Fabrics Based on InfiniBand, Users Bang InfiniBand Drum, and InfiniBand to Transcend HPC.) Every six months or so, InfiniBand promoters, including the InfiniBand Trade Assocation, launch fresh claims about how InfiniBand will take over the data center, even as the world waits for 10-Gbit/s Ethernet, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), 8-Gbit/s Fibre Channel, and other links-in-progress.
But InfiniBand isn't taking over every data center. Despite its robust growth, it's likely to remain a niche play -- albeit a lucrative niche play, particularly when it comes to storage.
"Overall, storage represents about a $40 billion market, which experiences single-digit growth," says Raj Das, VP of storage at SGI. "We think 10 percent of that market is high-performance storage. That's a $4 billion market growing at 10 to 15 percent, and we are growing faster than that... We're happy to be part of that; we think there's plenty of room for us and others in that segment."
Other InfiniBand market estimates are more modest. According to IDC's latest stats on InfiniBand, factory revenues from InfiniBand adapters will reach $279.7 million by 2011, with a 35 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Switch port factory revenues will reach $656.4 million in the same timeframe, with a 47.2 percent CAGR.