InfiniSwitch Bucks Boost InfiniBand

InfiniBand momentum builds, as company announces plans to ship product by the end of the year

August 16, 2001

3 Min Read
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InfiniBand switch maker InfiniSwitch Corp. has secured $26 million in a second round of funding, which will enable it to hire more sales and marketing staff and step up development on its second generation of switches (see InfiniSwitch Bags $26M). The investment is the largest early stage financing in the InfiniBand space this year, and represents an important boost for companies developing technology in this sector.

The round brings the total invested in InfiniSwitch to $30 million since its founding in September 2000. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round, with participation from founding investors OneLiberty Ventures and Newcogen Group Inc. New investors included Columbia Capital, TL Ventures, and Moore Capital Management. Bessemer, Columbia Capital, and TL Ventures will have seats on InfiniSwitch's Board of Directors.

Since dotcom” lost its cachet in the IT world, “InfiniBand” has become the latest buzzword, and, generally speaking, that's all it is right now. It was originally designed as a replacement for the PCI (peripheral component interconnection) bus in servers, but with momentum building behind InfiniBand switch makers, it could turn out to have wider applications as an alternative to Fibre Channel in storage networks.

The technology got its first public airing at the InfiniBand Trade Association developers' conference in June (see InfiniBand in the Spotlight). Real products should appear on the market by the end of the year.

The current InfiniSwitch device has 32 ports and only supports InfiniBand. It will be generally available by the end of the year, the vendor says. InfiniSwitch demonstrated it at the June conference, and it will have pride of place in Intel Corp.'s (Nasdaq: INTC) booth at the chip giant’s developer forum later this month (see InfiniSwitch Demos InfiniBand).”We need to round out our sales and marketing,” says Jean Hoxie-Wasko, VP of marketing at InfiniSwitch. The company has a staff of 60 but plans to bump this up to 70 by the end of the year. The majority of new appointments will be in sales, Hoxie-Wasko said.

Meanwhile, InfiniSwitch is starting development on its second-generation, director-class (high-end) switches. These will be more scaleable, starting at 64 and 156 ports and scaling up to thousands of ports, according to Hoxie-Wasko. They will support all major protocols, including Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet, and iSCSI, in addition to InfiniBand, the company asserts.

Other companies developing InfiniBand switches, software, and components include VIEO Inc., Paceline Systems Corp., Crossroads Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CRDS), Lane15 Software, Mellanox Technologies Ltd., and Banderacom Inc.

Research from IDC estimates that more than 75 percent of all servers shipped in 2004 will have InfiniBand connectivity.

— Jo Maitland, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch http://www.byteandswitch.comWhat to know more? InfiniBand is up for debate at StorageNet, Byte and Switch’s annual conference, being held in New York City, October 2-5, 2001. Check it out at StorageNet2001

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