SOURCE: BLADE Network Technologies

January 15, 2007 06:00 ET

BLADE Network Technologies Delivers Industry's First Native 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch for IBM BladeCenter

BLADE's Market Disruption Strategy Sets Stage for Broad Adoption of Blade-Driven Networks -- BLADE 10GE Switch Price/Performance Undercuts Cisco Catalyst 6509 by More Than 90 Percent

SANTA CLARA, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 15, 2007 -- BLADE Network Technologies Inc. (BLADE), the leading provider of network switching infrastructure for blade servers, announced the industry's first 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GE) switch for blade servers.

IBM, BLADE's first OEM partner for the 10GE switch, today announced its new Virtual Fabric Architecture for BladeCenter including BLADE's 10 GE switch with native blade switching and breakthrough connectivity speeds to enable advanced technologies such as High Performance Computing, Web 2.0, IPTV and Online Gaming.

Setting the stage for broad market adoption of 10GE blade networks, BLADE's 10GE switch offers by far the industry's best price/performance value of any 10GE switch at just $24 per Gbps -- compared with $375 per Gbps for the Cisco Catalyst 6509. According to a recent Tolly Group test summary comparing BLADE's 10GE blade server switch with the Cisco Catalyst 6509 10GE chassis switch, the BLADE switch excels with 9x lower latency and 2x better throughput performance than the tested Cisco 6509. (See Tolly "Up To Spec" Certified Test Summary, For increasingly popular iSCSI storage environments, the cost per Gbps of BLADE's 10GE switch is one quarter that of current 4 Gbps Fibre Channel blade switches.

"As the number-one provider of network switches for the blade server industry, BLADE Network Technologies is the only company shipping 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches that bring 10GE both to the blade chassis and individual server blades in the enclosure," said Vikram Mehta, President and CEO of BLADE Network Technologies. "Our new 10GE blade switch for IBM BladeCenter delivers 400 Gbps of full-duplex, non-blocking throughput so BLADE customers can confidently adopt and broadly deploy the latest 10GE blade servers for bandwidth-intensive and latency-sensitive applications. We expect strong demand for 10GE blade servers for High Performance Computing (HPC) workloads, Video on Demand/IPTV, Internet Telephony/VoIP, new Web 2.0 applications and Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming applications."

The BLADE 10GE switch is designed to work in blade servers from leading blade server vendors, with IBM being the first to incorporate it into the industry-leading BladeCenter H and HT systems. It provides six 10GE uplinks and 14 10GE downlinks for individual server blades.

"Once again IBM's collaboration with BLADE Network Technologies has delivered an industry first. The new Nortel 10GE switch from BLADE provides the highest levels of connectivity and ensures optimal throughput between each BladeCenter server in a system and to the network core," said Doug Balog, Vice President and Business Line Executive for IBM BladeCenter. "IBM continues to dominate the market with the world's most popular blade computing system. Our collaboration with BLADE Network Technologies is another example of our commitment to offer leading technology innovation to our customers."

The BLADE 10GE switch can eliminate the need for aggregation layer switches because of its high bandwidth and rich Layer 2 and Layer 3 feature set. Collapsing network access and aggregation layers in blade network topologies can help to lower a datacenter's total cost of ownership. For example, BLADE switches eliminate up to 85 percent of cabling compared to conventional rackmount solutions, lower power consumption by a factor of 4x over standalone switches from Cisco and other vendors and reduce the potential for outages caused by cable failures and network complexity.

"Today's data centers must handle an unprecedented amount of computing power and network traffic for High Performance Computing and other bandwidth-intensive applications, which in turns leads to the need for blade server systems equipped with 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches," said Lucinda Borovick, Director Datacenter Networks, IDC. "IBM's new BladeCenter equipped with BLADE Network Technologies' 10GE switches will provide high density and bandwidth for data centers where performance per rack unit and data center real estate are key concerns."

The new Nortel Layer 2/3 10G Ethernet Switch Module (10GbESM) from BLADE can be deployed individually or in pairs within IBM BladeCenter H and HT enclosures. BLADE switch firmware provides rich Layer 2-3 switching, advanced QoS, support for Layer 3 static and dynamic routing protocols, Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP)-based high availability, and a choice of Command Line Interfaces. Filter-based security is configurable to allow or deny traffic based on MAC address, IP address or virtual local area network (VLAN) ID. A dedicated VLAN for traffic between the BladeCenter Management Module and the BLADE switch segregates management traffic from data traffic. Support for 802.1x ensures dynamic, port-based security and server authentication.

"Financial services firms that require High Performance Computing for their grid-based analytics and low-latency bandwidth-intensive market data and FIX (Financial Information eXchange) messaging applications are increasingly adopting blade servers," said Jeffrey M. Birnbaum, former Managing Director, Global Head of Enterprise Computing and the Chief Technology Architect in Morgan Stanley's Institutional Securities Division and Chairman of BLADE's Technical Advisory Board. "Blade server systems equipped with BLADE's native 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches come at a perfect time to help quench Wall Street's insatiable demand for greater bandwidth and lower latency in the IT network and compute infrastructure."

Like other BLADE switch modules, BLADE's 10GE switch comes pre-loaded with a default configuration that saves deployment and administration time. Additional configurations can be performed three different ways -- via the AOS CLI, an industry-standard CLI, or the browser-based management interface.

"At twice the throughput, and with nine times better latency of the Catalyst 6509, we expect the BLADE product will garner serious consideration by any enterprise considering blade server deployments," said Kevin Tolly, Founder and CEO of The Tolly Group.

Pricing and Availability

BLADE's 20-port Nortel Layer 2/3 10GbESM will ship from IBM for its BladeCenter H in February 2007, priced at $9,799.

BLADE Network Technologies is a governing member of the open community dedicated to creating solutions based on the blade server platform pioneered by IBM and Intel. For more information visit:

About BLADE Network Technologies

BLADE Network Technologies is the market-leading supplier of Ethernet, IP and Application Switches for blade server systems globally. BLADE is the first vendor to focus exclusively on serving the network infrastructure needs of the rapidly growing blade server market. The company's end-users include Fortune 500 companies across 26 different industry segments. As the number-one supplier of network switches for blade servers, BLADE boasts an installed base of more than 97,000 blade server switches (representing approximately 1.9 million BLADE switch ports) around the world. In 2006, BLADE was established as a fully independent company when it purchased certain assets of Nortel's Blade Server Switch Business Unit. For more information, visit BLADE at

Contact Information

    Tim Shaughnessy
    BLADE Network Technologies
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    Zee Zaballos
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