BladeLogic (NASDAQ:BLOG) and Voltaire (NASDAQ:VOLT) build technologies for data centers, and both had their IPOs last week. But that's where the similarities end. While BladeLogic's offering surged, things were mostly awful for Voltaire's debut. The company priced its IPO at $9, raising only $48.2 million, and the stock price dropped to $8.40.

Voltaire develops software and hardware systems to increase the performance of data centers. The company's go-to-market approach is to leverage relationships with original equipment manufacturers such as IBM (NYSE:IBM), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ:SUNW), and NEC. In 2006, it was able to follow that approach and nearly double its revenues to $30.4 million, although it still suffered a net loss of $8.8 million.

The company relies on a technology standard known as InfiniBand, which is still in its early stages. Based on data from International Data Corp., the market for InfiniBand-based products is expected to grow from $157 million in 2006 to $649 million in 2010.

But such predictions are far from guaranteed. After all, back in the late 1990s, the buzz was that InfiniBand would be the next big thing.

And even if the market does grow to $649 million in a couple of years, that's still relatively small. Keep in mind that Voltaire must compete with heavyweights such as Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) and QLogic (NASDAQ:QLGC). Perhaps that's why Voltaire has been moving into other categories, such as Ethernet.

Despite the sputtering IPO, Voltaire still trades at frothy 5.8 times trailing-12-month revenues. Considering that this company faces intense competition and is moving into new market segments, investors may want to remain standoffish.

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Fool contributor Tom Taulli, author of The Complete M&A Handbook, does not own shares of companies mentioned in this article. He is ranked 1,590 out of more than 60,000 participants in Motley Fool CAPS.