Storage Connectivity Specialist Mellanox Acquires Voltaire for $218M

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-11-29 Print this article Print

Voltaire makes both Infiniband and 10G-bit Ethernet switches for high-performance and cloud computing environments.

Storage connectivity specialist Mellanox Technologies, in a move to add Infiniband to its catalog of products for the high-performance data center market, Nov. 29 announced the acquisition of high-end switch maker Voltaire for $218 million in cash, or $8.75 per stock share.

Mellanox President and CEO Eyal Waldman said he expects the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2011.

Thirteen-year-old Voltaire, based in Ra'anana, Israel, with U.S. headquarters in Chelmsford, Mass., makes both Infiniband and 10G-bit Ethernet switches for high-performance and cloud computing environments.

Mellanox, with headquarters in both Yokneam, Israel, and Sunnyvale, Calif., said it is adding Voltaire to expand its customer base and to upgrade its overall product line.

Gartner Research has reported that worldwide server shipments are expected to increase from 9 million in 2010 to 11.2 million by 2014, and that worldwide storage systems are expected to grow from approximately 1.8 million in 2010 to 3.2 million in 2014.

Less than 10 percent of that market, however, is based on high-end Infiniband wired connectivity, largely because it is far more expensive than conventional Fibre Channel or Ethernet data center fabrics.

Infiniband, however, has become the standard interconnect for high-performance computing (HPC) environments, such as scientific labs and oil and gas exploration deployments, and is gradually becoming more commonly deployed in enterprise data centers that require a high-performance fabric.

Following the merger, the combined businesses will have about 700 employees and an annual revenue of $217 million.

Mellanox, founded in 1999, expects to run the newly combined business from both companies' current offices located in Israel. The company also said it will retain Voltaire's existing product line and will converge it with its own for future product generations to ensure continuity for customers and partners of both companies.

Ronnie Kenneth, chairman and CEO of Voltaire, will join the Mellanox board of directors, Waldman said.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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