SOURCE: BLADE Network Technologies

April 29, 2008 08:00 ET

BLADE Network Technologies Introduces "Virtual, Cooler and Easier" RackSwitch Family -- First Data Center-Class Switches for Network Virtualization

"Top-of-Rack" Switches Demonstrate Promise of "Rackonomics" -- Revolutionary Approach for Scaling Out Data Center Networks to Drive Down Total Cost of Ownership

LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - April 29, 2008) - BLADE Network Technologies, Inc., the industry leader in network virtualization for servers and storage, announced the first public demonstration of its RackSwitch products, the industry's first "top-of-rack" data center-class switches with extensive capabilities for network virtualization. At under $500 per 10 Gigabit Ethernet port, RackSwitch applies the principles of "Rackonomics" to "scale out" data center networks, driving down the total cost of ownership associated with massive Web 2.0 environments, high-performance clusters and virtualized data centers.

"Our new RackSwitch products empower data center architects to standardize on a unified and affordable rack-level network infrastructure," said Vikram Mehta, President and CEO, BLADE Network Technologies. "The first public demonstration of RackSwitch at Interop Las Vegas will show how a new class of data center networking enables IT departments to contain total cost of ownership, deliver greater return on investment and increase business flexibility."

BLADE announced its new RackSwitch product family on April 23, 2008. The first public RackSwitch demonstration at Interop Las Vegas in BLADE's booth #1659 will show how top-of-rack networking can be "Virtual, Cooler, and Easier." The RackSwitch demonstration will highlight how a rack-level switch designed for easy management by server administrators can achieve network virtualization for more flexible deployment in Virtual Machine environments. BLADE's RackSwitch provides sensible, energy-efficient operations with server-rack compatible front-to-back airflow, lower power consumption than conventional switches and streamlined cabling. BLADE will also demonstrate how RackSwitch and BLADE's embedded blade server switches support the "loss-less" I/O required to carry Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) storage traffic across Ethernet networks based on the emerging standards for Converged Enhanced Ethernet™ (CEE).

"BLADE's RackSwitch saves data center managers from being forced to continually buy and deploy super-expensive, power-hungry, high-speed core switches," said Joe Clabby, President of Clabby Analytics. "BLADE refers to RackSwitch's rack-based, economically differentiated approach as 'Rackonomics.' BLADE's 'Rackonomics' concept and its new RackSwitch design are highly innovative especially when it comes to air flow design and energy efficiency; highly integrated especially when it comes to the integration of disparate network fabrics; highly virtualizable and extremely cost effective especially when compared to Cisco core switching options."

BLADE's RackSwitch demonstration will reveal a better, more economical way to scale network bandwidth for consolidated rack/blade server/storage environments through "Rackonomics." Rather than tying racks and blades into expensive, external core switches, BLADE's RackSwitch modules can easily fit into existing blade server/rack environments -- enabling networking bandwidth to be scaled cost effectively within a blade or rack cabinet, rather than external to it. BLADE's RackSwitch demonstration at Interop Las Vegas will examine rack-level capabilities for data center-class networking including:

--  Rack-Level Network Virtualization: BLADE's SmartConnect™ software
    enables multiple RackSwitches and/or BLADE's existing embedded blade server
    switches to operate as one large virtual switch. BLADE's Server
    Mobility™ capability allows server blades to be added, removed or
    replaced without the need of any address re-assignment -- reducing the
    coordination normally required between server and network administrators.
--  Server-Friendly Airflow and Power Efficiency: Reduced cooling costs
    are achieved via server-rack friendly thermodynamic airflow. 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 switches.
--  Unified FCoE-capable Fabric: BLADE's 10 Gigabit Ethernet RackSwitch
    G8100 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches for IBM BladeCenter and HP
    BladeSystem provide the loss-less I/O for storage area networks based on
    Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) via support for the emerging standards
    for Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE).
--  Server Administrator-Friendly Networking: Unified management with
    BladeHarmony™ Manager provides a comprehensive replicated data center
    view of I/O, single-click updates to thousands of top-of-rack and blade
    server switches and integrates with HP Systems Insight Manager and IBM

BLADE's RackSwitch G8100, a 1U top-of-rack switch equipped with 24 lossless, low-latency 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GE) ports, is designed for emerging high-volume 10 GE application environments, high-performance clusters that require latency of 300 nanoseconds or less and/or as a 10 GE aggregation switch. 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 rack-level server connectivity, Web 2.0 cloud clusters and/or as a Gigabit aggregation switch.

To highlight the performance and reliability of BLADE's Ethernet products, DataCom Systems, a leading provider of critical video solutions, will preview a demonstration of its advanced video surveillance solution running within an HP BladeSystem c-Class chassis using the integrated HP 10Gb Ethernet BL-c Switch by BLADE Network Technologies. DataCom will also show their existing solution with the IBM BladeCenter using BLADE's 10Gb Ethernet Switch Module.

Pricing and Availability

Announced on April 23, 2008 and first demonstrated at Interop Las Vegas 2008, BLADE's new RackSwitch products are available in June 2008. RackSwitch G8000 is priced starting at $5,495. RackSwitch G8100 is priced starting at $11,950 -- under $500 per 10 Gigabit Ethernet port. Also at Interop Las Vegas, BLADE President and CEO Vikram Mehta will discuss the impacts of network virtualization and "Rackonomics" in the "Storage and Networking in a Virtual World" panel on Tuesday, April 29 at 11:30 a.m.

About BLADE Network Technologies

BLADE Network Technologies (BLADE) 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 4 million switch ports. For more information, visit

BladeHarmony, SmartConnect, VMReady and Server Mobility are trademarks of BLADE Network Technologies. Converged Enhanced Ethernet™ is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation in the US and other countries. All other names are or may be trademarks of their respective owners. Converged Enhanced Ethernet™ is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation in the US and other countries.

Contact Information

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

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