Feeds

Mellanox rides networking upgrade wave

QDR InfiniBand, 10 GE taking off

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

The quad data rate InfiniBand and 10 Gigabit Ethernet upgrade cycles within big data centers are well under way as the global economy continues to thaw and companies like Mellanox are benefiting from a strengthening upgrade cycle.

Mellanox, which makes InfiniBand silicon and switches as well as InfiniBand and Ethernet adapters, saw revenues jump by 60.5 per cent in the first quarter, to $36.2m. And even though research, development, sales, and marketing costs all rose sharply, revenues climbed a lot faster than costs, so Mellanox was able to more than double net earnings in the quarter to $5.2m.

Mellanox ended the quarter with $217.4m in cash and short-term investments, plenty of cash to continue to do the development necessary to compete in the cut-throat networking space. That's also enough money for the company to jump into the Ethernet switching market, should it decide that is a good idea. But thus far, Mellanox seems content to make InfiniBand chips (which it sells to Voltaire and uses in its own switching products), make InfiniBand-Ethernet gateways, and make ConnectX adapters that support InfiniBand and Ethernet protocols.

The cheapest way to enter the 10 GE switch market might be to acquire Voltaire, which is within Mellanox' reach financially given that Voltaire has a current market capitalization of $124m and had about $44.6m in cash and equivalents at the end of the December quarter. With Voltaire not profitable in both 2008 and 2009 (on an annual basis), there may never be a better time to buy Voltaire. And if Mellanox can't see that, maybe the private equity firm, Garnett & Helfrich Capital, behind Blade Network Technologies can see it and will make a move.

In a separate announcement, Mellanox said that its 10 GE and 40 GE adapters for servers will support the new RDMA over Converged Ethernet protocol that the InfiniBand Trade Association announced earlier this week. The RoCE protocol basically uses a tweaked version of the InfiniBand drivers from the OpenFabrics Alliance's, called the OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED) collectively, to allow InfiniBand's Remote Direct Memory Access protocol - the secret sauce that gives InfiniBand such low latency - to run on a server but communicate through Ethernet adapters that support lossless data transmission.

This is yet another key feature that InfiniBand had all to itself for many years, giving it its high-performance niche. While RoCE will never offer the same performance of native InfiniBand, if it gets close, Mellanox may find itself wishing it had jumped into the 10 GE switching market when it had the cash and the chance. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.