back to article The Six Billion Dollar LAN: Intel hopes to gobble network kit biz Mellanox 'for $6bn'

Intel has offered up to $6bn to buy Israeli InfiniBand and Ethernet networking manufacturer Mellanox, according to local reports. The firm – which was said to have hired an investment bank to help it find a buyer in October last year – has been reportedly courted by both Microsoft and Xilinx, with whispers about a $5bn price …

  1. Korev Silver badge
    Coat

    Monopoly?

    With Infiniband and Omnipath wouldn't that give Intel a near monopoly over high performance interconnects? I can see the regulators* forcing Intel to spin off the IB part if the rumours turn out to be true.

    * Perhaps they could call the regulators the OFEDs in this case

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Monopoly?

      yes, good point on Infiniband.

      Ethernet

      Fibre-Channel

      NVMe

      lots of current and future options for high performance interconnects. GenZ will also change some of this.

    2. theblackhand

      Re: Monopoly?

      I fear that Intel maybe the best hope for Infiniband - as long as Ethernet continues to make advances in traditional Infiniband markets and Intel continues to increase it's market share, the two options are likely to be Mellanox struggling to maintain the required investment in newer, faster Infiniband as they lose market share and revenue to Intel or Mellanox and Intel working together to make Infiniband a more viable competitor to Ethernet (i.e. lower cost through volume and build on it's performance advantages, particularly given the potential for Infiniband in cloud providers where the better solutio is more likely to win...)

      I'm not trying to advocate a monopoly, but the market data does not look good for Mellanox in spite it being the superior product.

      1. whitepines Bronze badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Monopoly?

        We've got a strict no-Intel policy where firmware is involved due to Intel's severe firmware security issues. Given the amount of firmware on the Mellanox cards, it looks like we're going to need to plan a migration to Ethernet, despite it being the inferior product.

        Real shame.

      2. Justin Clift

        Re: Monopoly?

        > I'm not trying to advocate a monopoly, but the market data does not look good for Mellanox in spite it being the superior product.

        Mellanox had a very large headway - nearly a decade - to make Infiniband popular.

        Unfortunately, they did their level best to kill all possible grass roots uptake by ensuring SysAdmin's, Hobbiests, etc couldn't use the gear unless it came directly from them.

        Mellanox (on purpose) drop driver support for any cards that are not current models for sale, and remove their older drivers.

        So, the large supply of super cheap Mellanox cards cards on Ebay (for years)... were useless for the majority of people.

        It's a good thing FreeBSD and Linux included working drivers in the OS distribution, as if it was up to Mellanox they'd have stopped that too.

        Ask a question on their "Community" forums about a non-current model, and you're told it's an old card, ending the "conversation".

        End result... most SysAdmin's & System Architects haven't ever played with Infiniband, so when the time comes to include or recommend network gear for new projects, guess what's never included as it's "exotic"? The only place it then gets a look in, is for things where "exotic" is ok.

        A decade of consistently doing this, and it's literally no wonder Infiniband never "caught on" despite being the better tech. Friggin Morons for their "Sales and Marketing" leadership. "Short term thinking" played out for a decade.

    3. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Monopoly?

      Remember that in the US, it's 100% legal to be a monopoly. What's illegal is abusing your monopoly position.

  2. pyite42

    This is a much better option than MS

    Take a look at how terribly Microsoft handled the Skype and Minecraft acquisitions -- there is no way they can be allowed to do the same to Mellanox. The first thing they did was make it so Linux users can't use either product.

  3. fredesmite

    Maybe they will then have compatible products

    Mellanox doesn't play well with other infiniband or GeB offerings and they have no reason to want to - 100 % vendor lock in.

  4. fredesmite

    Monopoly is just

    A GAME

    Not to be confused with real life corporations . Who is going to complain ? There are no other competitors to Mellanox Infiniband. Mellanox went looking for a buyer . It's not like Intel in doing a forced take over.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019