Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Voltaire Revenue Up 25% to $18.1 Million, But Says "Ethernet" More than "InfiniBand"

By David Gross

Voltaire reported quarterly revenue yesterday of $18.1 million, up from $14.5 in the year ago quarter.   The company also said annual revenue would come in near the top end of its previously issued guidance of $67-70  million.

The company is a leader in InfiniBand switch systems, but like its supplier Mellanox, is very eager to show that it's hedging its bets with Ethernet.   Reading through the call transcript on Seeking Alpha, I counted seven mentions of "Ethernet" excluding the Q&A, and just three mentions of "InfiniBand", the technology Voltaire's long been associated with.

InfiniBand continues to gain share in supercomputing, and is used as the interconnect in 207 of the top 500 supercomputers, up from 121 two years ago, according to Top500.org.   Yet Voltaire, Mellanox, and the InfiniBand Trade Association they're both affiliated with are terrified of being considered "niche" vendors, so they've released Ethernet products, in addition to developing InfiniBand-over-Ethernet, a.k.a. RDMA over Converged Ethernet, in spite of InfiniBand's strength.

Nonetheless, Voltaire's Ethernet strategy is fairly focused, and like the Juniper EX2500, its top-of-rack 6024 switch appears to be an OEM of the Blade RackSwitch G8124.   But while the talk/actual-percent-of-revenue ratio is way out of line with cloud services, Ethernet's strength with PR people is far more impressive, especially considering that it's older than many of them are.

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