Gigabit Ethernet is a stronger candidate for replacing FC, because its already being widely deployed and its already proving to be low cost. InfiniBand could also be low cost because of its likely widespread adoption by the PC industry, but its tough to tell whether this will translate into low-cost storage networking equipment.
Against this background, its hardly surprising that vendors are hedging their bets on InfiniBand.
An example of this occurred yesterday, when QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC) announced an InfiniBand blade for its existing FC products (see QLogic Demos Infiniband Module) -- catering to customers that wanted to connect servers with InfiniBand interfaces to FC infrastructure. The blade will ship by the end of the year, according to QLogic, which hasnt released pricing details.
In explaining its new product, QLogic downplayed the fact that it also has an InfiniBand switch for customers wanting to use InfiniBand everywhere.
Qlogic inherited this switch as a development project when it acquired Ancor Communications for $1.7 billion in May 2000, and the company appears somewhat ambivalent about it. We really wanted [Ancor] for the Fibre Channel side of the business, but they were also building InfiniBand, says Rob Davis, QLogics VP of advanced technology and planning.