Voltaire's IPO Plans Spotlight InfiniBand

InfiniBand vendor finally takes the plunge

July 11, 2007

2 Min Read
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5:40 PM -- Storage IPOs are like buses -- you wait an eternity for one and then a bunch arrive all at once. (See Data Domain Closes IPO, BladeLogic Looks to $80M IPO, and EMC Still Rules VMware.)

Yesterday's headlines were grabbed by VMware, which announced plans to raise around a billion dollars from its imminent IPO.

Next up is InfiniBand specialist Voltaire, which after months of speculation, finally unveiled its IPO plans today. (See Voltaire Files IPO Statement, IPO Talk Strikes Voltaire, and InfiniBand Boasts Growth.)

Although yet to price its stock, Voltaire confirmed that it will offer 7,693,000 shares as part of its IPO, which is being run by JP Morgan Securities, Merrill Lynch, and Pierce, Fenner & Smith. Thomas Weisel Partners and RBC Capital Markets are acting as co-managers for the offering.

Voltaire is no doubt hoping to follow in the footsteps of InfiniBand chip vendor Mellanox, which kicked off the first of this year's many storage IPOs back in February. (See Mellanox Exceeds IPO Hopes, Mellanox Goes Public, and Mellanox Ready for IPO .)Mellanox's shares traded well above the vendor's $14 to $16 target price on its first day of trading. Today, the shares had reached $20.90, underlining the growing momentum behind InfiniBand.

InfiniBand may not have the market penetration (or the same levels of vendor hype) as virtualization, although recent months have seen a flurry of activity around the technology, thanks to its low latency and high bandwidth. (See Users Bang InfiniBand Drum, InfiniBand Goes Mainstream, Cisco Joins 20-Gig InfiniBand Party, Cisco Doubles Up InfiniBand, and Voltaire Adds to 20-Gig Portfolio.) In particular, InfiniBand is cited as opening up the possibility of major storage grids capable of coping with users' ongoing data explosion. (See Interop: Mixed Messages on InfiniBand and InfiniBand Ambivalence.)

InfiniBand switch vendors such as Voltaire are sitting in the sweet spot of this growth. In a recent report, for example, analyst firm IDC predicted the InfiniBand switch market will grow from $94.9 million in 2006 to more than $612 million by 2011. (See InfiniBand to Transcend HPC.)

Voltaire, like Mellanox, looks set to reap the benefits of being an early mover in this space.

James Rogers, Senior Editor Byte and Switch

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • IDC

  • JP.MorganChase

  • Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: MLNX)

  • Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc.

  • RBC Capital Markets

  • Thomas Weisel Partners

  • VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW)

  • Voltaire Inc.0

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