Voltaire Strikes IPO

Clustering vendor prices its final offering and busts public move

July 27, 2007

3 Min Read
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InfiniBand specialist Voltaire became the latest storage vendor to take the IPO plunge today and is looking to raise around $46 million through its offering. (See Voltaire Announces IPO Pricing.)

Trading under the ticker symbol 'VOLT', the clustering firm made its Nasdaq debut this morning, following in the footsteps of a growing list of storage vendors. (See Netezza Closes IPO, Netezza Files for IPO, Double-Take Files for IPO, and Data Domain Closes IPO.)

Last night the vendor priced 5,770,000 shares at $9.00 per share, and expects to make net proceeds of $46 million from the offering, after an underwriting discount and offering expenses.

Unlike recent storage IPOs such as Data Domain, Double-Take, Isilon, Riverbed, and fellow InfiniBand vendor Mellanox, which all enjoyed brisk trading on their first day as a public company, trading in Voltaire's shares has been much less frenzied. (See Data Domain Goes Public, Quantum Gains on Rival's IPO, Data Domain Prices IPO, Double-Take, Isilon Go Public, Isilon Announces IPO, Riverbed Comes Out at $9.75, and Mellanox Exceeds IPO Hopes.) After opening at $9, Voltaire's shares were trading around $8.50 shortly after midday.

The shares closed at $8.33, down 7.44 percent from the $9 opening price.Voltaire significantly cut both the size and the pricing range of its IPO over recent weeks. Earlier this month, the vendor filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pricing 7,693,000 shares at $12 to $14. (See Voltaire Files IPO Statement.) An amended F-1 filing later cut this figure to 5,770,000 shares priced between $9 and $11.

Although once seen as a storage underachiever, recent months have seen a flurry of activity around InfiniBand, thanks to its low latency and high bandwidth. (See Isilon Embraces InfiniBand, Users Bang InfiniBand Drum, InfiniBand Goes Mainstream, Cisco Joins 20-Gig InfiniBand Party, Cisco Doubles Up InfiniBand, and Ericsson Holds Meeting.) 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.)

At least one analyst believes that all the signs suggest that InfiniBand, which was once perceived as the domain of conehead academics and shadowy government research labs, is about to break out of its high performance computing (HPC) niche.

"We're seeing a lot of examples now where the technologies that have been waiting over the last five or six years in HPC environments are starting to come out of the technical spots, like NASA Ames," says Mike Karp, senior analyst at Enterprise Management Associates.

The two best examples of this are InfiniBand and grid computing, according to the analyst. "I really think that InfiniBand are breaking out of its niche," he says, using the example of Wall Street, where the technology is being used to support complex currency exchange calculations. (See Wall Street Virtually Guarded and Wall Street Gets Set for XBRL.)InfiniBand switch vendors such as Voltaire are sitting in the sweet spot of this growth, experts say. In a recent report, 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.)

Networking giant Cisco is also ramping up its InfiniBand efforts, as CEO John Chambers and his minions alluded during this week's Networkers Live event in Anaheim, Calif. (See HP Teams With Cisco, Cisco Doubles Up InfiniBand, Cisco Joins 20-Gig InfiniBand Party, and Cisco Launches Products.) Although he did not reveal specifics, Chambers confirmed that Cisco's InfiniBand sales are "doing pretty well" during a press briefing earlier this week.

James Rogers, Senior Editor Byte and Switch

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

  • Data Domain Inc. (Nasdaq: DDUP)

  • Double-Take Software Inc. (Nasdaq: DBTK)

  • Enterprise Management Associates

  • IDC

  • Isilon Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ISLN)

  • Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: MLNX)

  • Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD)

  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

  • Voltaire Inc.

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