Back in 2002, Intel and Microsoft decided to leave from Infiniband (IB) field to focus on Ethernet and Wireless/Mobile in regards to neworking, but 10 years later, Intel is now coming back with making a big footprint by acquiring Qlogic resource. Microsoft also states they will support RDMA on Windows 8 server. This news is a kind of eye catch to me since I’m in 10GbE market.
What does indicate to 10GbE market? Well, Infiniband is still well perceived as a good choice to achieve high speed interconnect. It won’t change and could be facilitated more although 10GbE is rapidly growing accoring to Dell O’ro report. One of the reasons is typically cost. Yes, IB is cheap. It’s true that there are still cost difference price per port 10G Ethernet port and IB. Roughly, IB is 1/2 of 10GbE. However, I think the gap can come close in 2013-2014 since the scale merit of 10GbE will be visible around the time. I see the premonition that Mellanox is the first spearhead to break into the pricing barrier.
From customer perspective, is IB going to be prominent choice in enterprise cloud? I guess not, well it could be but those customers would be strictly demand latency per price, which is not vast majority. If you would want to use IB, you would need to be tolerant such as to learn second language which is never close to your native tongue. The technical implementation is painfully complex. Obviously, Intel needs IB to achieve ExaFlop (100 times faster than Kei.). They are not planning to push IB to enterprise.
Therefore, I think these are the customer profile who compare with IB/10GbE seriously.
– IB is already implemented but need “scale out” architecture to increase # of cores.
– Need lower latency with lower cost for a large cluster.
– RDMA is required to run their applications.
– (Any other use case is appreciated!)
Who are they? HPC user, Oil/Gas, and some financials… any idea?
Otherwise, 10GbE is going to be mainstream for the server attach but we would see more “spot war” at the specific customer like above.