SOURCE: BLADE Network Technologies

April 23, 2008 13:00 ET

BLADE Network Technologies Delivers RackSwitch™ for IBM iDataPlex -- Industry's First Ethernet Switches for Rack-Level Network Virtualization

BLADE's "Virtual, Cooler and Easier" Switches Bring "Rackonomics" to the Cloud Computing Model -- Revolutionary Approach for Massive Scale-Out Data Centers to Drive Down Total Cost of Ownership

SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire - April 23, 2008) - BLADE Network Technologies, Inc., the industry leader in network virtualization for servers and storage, announces the availability of its new RackSwitch network virtualization switches -- the only switches designed specifically for IBM's iDataPlex, an inexpensive, custom-configured rack system featuring design innovations in cooling and efficiency to address Web 2.0-style computing.

"BLADE's new RackSwitch is an important networking component that makes iDataPlex ideal for massive scale-out data centers," said Vikram Mehta, President and CEO of BLADE Network Technologies. "RackSwitch helps to ensure that Web 2.0 companies and other segments such as financial services and high-performance computing can take full advantage of iDataPlex and the cloud computing model. These companies can deploy iDataPlex equipped with RackSwitch to realize the benefits of what's becoming known as 'Rackonomics' to respond faster to business demands, increase energy efficiency and reduce their total cost of ownership."

RackSwitch provides the high-bandwidth communications for IBM iDataPlex in today's massive scale-out data centers that run I/O-intensive Web 2.0 applications and seek to make the most efficient use of the cloud computing model. Leveraging IBM and BLADE's common blade server heritage, RackSwitch enables iDataPlex to increase the density networking within a single rack, use significantly less power for networking while maximizing bandwidth available to a single system, employ server-friendly cooling of the networking subsystem and provide 100-percent interoperability with existing network infrastructures. BLADE's RackSwitch delivers standardized networking with the lowest latency and highest throughput, line-rate/non-blocking switching performance at 1 Gigabit and 10 Gigabit, with stacking and unified management.

"BLADE's new RackSwitch is an integrated component of our new iDataPlex Internet scaled-out data center solution, helping to reduce data center cost, optimize power and cooling and enable flexible business growth," said Jim Gargan, vice president of modular computing for IBM. "BLADE has been an important technology collaborator for IBM's BladeCenter technology and clients. We are happy to expand our relationship with them to now meet the needs of Web 2.0-style computing."

RackSwitch is "Virtual, Cooler and Easier" for affordable, high-performance switching with 100-percent interoperability in existing network infrastructures. RackSwitch equips iDataPlex environments with networking that is:


--  Network Virtualization: Using RackSwitch's SmartConnect™ software,
    multiple switches located in multiple iDataPlex systems will be able to
    operate as one large virtual switch.
--  Flexible Server Provisioning: RackSwitch's ServerMobility™
    capability enables movement of servers and repurposing of standby servers,
    without changing the network address or identity.


--  Server-Optimized Cooling: RackSwitch's front-to-back airflow design
    allows it to be installed in any vertical slot in the iDataPlex rack --
    even next to Power Distribution Units. This avoids the costs of special
    baffles that are required with other vendors' side-to-side cooled switches
    allowing denser configurations with up to 8 switches in a single iDataPlex
--  Low-Power Green Networking: As the industry's first green networking
    products, BLADE's RackSwitch products consume just six watts per 10 GE port
    compared with 20 watts per 10 GE port for conventional chassis-based


--  Easy Connectivity: As an integrated networking component in iDataPlex,
    RackSwitch can be managed with the familiar Cisco®-like CLI and comes
    fully wired and networked so the client need only plug in one power supply
    and one networking cable.
--  High Availability: Built-in, redundant, variable-speed fans, redundant
    power supplies, and software availability features for maximum network

BLADE's RackSwitch G8100, a 1U top-of-rack switch equipped with 24 lossless, low-latency 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GE) ports, is designed to equip iDataPlex in high-performance clusters that require 10 Gigabit Ethernet bandwidth with latency of 300 nanoseconds or less. BLADE's RackSwitch G8000, a 1U top-of-rack switch equipped with 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and four 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports for uplinks and/or stacking, is designed for the use of iDataPlex for emerging high-volume cloud computing environments.

Pricing and Availability

BLADE's new RackSwitch products are available for iDataPlex in the US and Canada in June and globally by the end of the year. iDataPlex is a custom-built solution. Please contact an IBM sales representative for configuration and pricing details.

About BLADE Network Technologies

BLADE Network Technologies is a market-leading supplier of Gigabit and 10G Ethernet network infrastructure solutions that reside in blade servers and "scale-out" server and storage racks. The company's customers include half of the Fortune 500 companies across 26 industry segments. BLADE boasts an installed base of over 170,000 network switches representing more than four million switch ports. For more information, visit

Contact Information

    Tim Shaughnessy
    BLADE Network Technologies
    (408) 850-8963
    Email Contact

    Judy Plummer
    ZNA Communications
    (831) 425-1581 x204
    Email Contact