InfiniBand company OmegaBand closes

InfiniBand manufacturer OmegaBand Inc. is the latest victim of the economic downturn and reduced venture funding.

The company, based in Austin, Texas, is shutting its doors and laying off the majority of its employees as a result of its inability to find additional funding. Earlier this year the company had picked up US$6.5 million in funding.

"Despite the tight investment climate, we were confident we would be successful with the new funding," said Wendy Vittori, OmegaBand CEO. "We found an investor committed to our proposition and to funding the next round. However, the difficult economic environment prolonged the syndication process beyond the point we were able to sustain operations."

OmegaBand had several things going for it -Vittori previously headed up Intel's server components division, and OmegaBand had brought in one of the brightest minds in InfiniBand, Bill Swortwood, author of much of the InfiniBand management specification.

The company was making a server consolidation and protocol translation appliance, called the IC4000, which offloads TCP protocol processing from servers, thus freeing the processors to run applications.

The IC4000 had seven InfiniBand ports that attach to servers containing Host Channel Adapters (HCA), the equivalent of network adapters, and four Ethernet ports to connect the servers to a Gigabit Ethernet network and two to four Fibre Channel ports to connect the servers to a storage-area network.

The IC4000 was intended to be used in high-performance computing clusters, where it would consolidate CPU processing for the servers.

OmegaBand competed with three other startups in the InfiniBand market - Voltaire, TopSpin and Infinicon Systems. TopSpin is just readying the release of its product, which it says, will virtualize server and storage processing power in the data center.

In other news, Brocade said that it too would step away from InfiniBand. The company, which had announced that the Silkworm 12000 Fabric Switch would become InfiniBand-enabled, said it would no longer make an InfiniBand blade and instead would use InfiniBand-to-Gigabit or Fibre Channel gateway products from other manufactures when customers want InfiniBand capability, said a company spokesman.

Vieo too, an early InfiniBand management company, has refocused on a systems management appliance that uses InfiniBand to speed connections between servers, storage and applications attached to it.

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