QLogic buys InfiniBand vendor PathScale

* Purchase of PathScale leaves few stand-alone InfiniBand vendors in the market

QLogic last week expanded its operations by acquiring PathScale, an InfiniBand vendor.

The company agreed to pay approximately $109 million to acquire PathScale, which makes products that allow large numbers of rackmounted and blade servers running Linux to be clustered with the high-performance InfiniBand interconnect.

QLogic makes Fibre Channel switches and host bus adapters, which attach servers to storage. The company also acquired Troika Networks in October 2005 to boost its virtualization business.

QLogic characterizes the acquisition as adding to the systems-area network - a unified network that supports LAN/WAN, cluster and storage traffic. PathScale develops fabric interconnects for system-area network environments. Among its products are InfiniPath InfiniBand Host Channel Adapter, which installs in the server and connects to other servers in the cluster, and Open IB, which resides on the HCA where it supports an updated version of the OpenIB software stack.

The company's acquisition of PathScale follows Cisco's acquisition of Topspin last April. The Topspin products were similarly integrated into Cisco's data center offerings.

The acquisition of PathScale also leaves few stand-alone vendors in a quickly consolidating market. There is SilverStorm (formerly Infinicon Systems), which manufactures InfinBand switches and Mellanox, a vendor of InfiniBand components.

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