SOURCE: BLADE Network Technologies

March 04, 2008 08:00 ET

BLADE Network Technologies Expands Leadership Position in Blade Server Networking

Company Grows 10 Gigabit Ethernet Business by More Than 470 Percent in 2007; Expands Installed Base by Nearly 50 Percent In One Year

SANTA CLARA, CA--(Marketwire - March 4, 2008) - BLADE Network Technologies, Inc. (BNT), the leading provider of network switching infrastructure for blade servers, announced that during 2007 the company grew its 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GE) business by more than 470 percent and increased its installed base by more than 50 percent over the past four years combined. Based on the strength of its 2007 shipments of Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet embedded blade server switches, BLADE has now shipped more than 150,000 blade switches.

BLADE has emerged as the leading supplier of Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet blade switches. This comes at a time when blade servers are taking market share from conventional rackmount servers; the Ethernet switch market is experiencing solid growth; and the 10GE market is poised to grow rapidly across the next three years.

According to IDC, blade servers are the fastest-growing sector of the overall server market, with revenues that surpassed $1 billion for the first time in a single quarter and for the first time in 2007 accounted for 10 percent of all servers shipped. * According to IDC's Network Equipment QView, 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch ports grew 58 percent from 2006 to reach $2 billion in 2007. BLADE's 10GE blade switches for IBM BladeCenter and HP BladeSystem, priced at well below $1,000 per port, are leading the way.

BLADE has partnered with the world's leading providers of blade servers -- HP, IBM and NEC -- to deliver the essential Ethernet networking required for interoperability with existing business and telco networks and for use in High Performance Computing (HPC), IP SAN storage, Video on Demand (VoD) and other I/O-intensive environments. For the Small and Medium Business (SMB) market, BLADE has joined with blade server system vendors to create solutions with integrated networking to simplify the IT environments for these businesses.

"Our industry-leading focus on blade network infrastructures -- combined with our rich software portfolio, superior price/performance, 'green blade' switches and value-added OEM business model -- has translated into our market-leading position," said Vikram Mehta, President and CEO of BLADE Network Technologies. "I want to thank our customers, business partners, suppliers and employees for helping us become the most trusted name in blade server networking and the leading supplier of 10 Gigabit Ethernet blade switches."

BLADE celebrated its second anniversary as a private company on February 10, 2008. Formerly Nortel's Blade Server Switch Business Unit (BSSBU), BLADE was established as a private company with the backing of Garnett & Helfrich Capital and Nortel. BLADE switches provide high-performance Ethernet, IP, and Application switching, including the industry's first native Layer 2-7 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches for blade server systems.

BLADE's recognition and milestones during the past year included:

-- Received Frost & Sullivan's 2008 North American Product Innovation of the Year Award for its innovative development of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GE) blade switches that will help data centers improve their efficiency and performance. "Not surprisingly, the company has experienced robust growth and is estimated to have a 44 percent share in its market," writes Frost and Sullivan.

-- Named to Red Herring Global 100 top private companies as one of the world's leading startups.

-- Named to AlwaysOn GoingGreen 100 as the first "Green Networking" company.

-- Selected as Network Products Guide Hot Company 2008 for 2nd year in a row.

-- Launched its partnership with NEC to round out its alliances with the world's leading providers of blade servers, including HP and IBM.

-- Teamed with NetApp and Chelsio Communications on a joint study through the industry consortium demonstrating that blade servers equipped with embedded 10 Gigabit Ethernet networking can support large-scale business applications at near wire-speeds in consolidated blade server architectures.

-- Shipped its 150,000 blade server switch -- representing more than 3.5 million switch ports providing connectivity for over 750,000 HP, IBM and NEC server blades worldwide.

"BLADE's network switch technology continues to be a valuable part of our HP BladeSystem c-Class architecture and has contributed to its broad base adoption by all types of customers," said Jim Ganthier, Director, BladeSystem Division, HP. "BLADE's success as an industry leader in this space has made them valuable to our HP BladeSystem Solution Builder Program, and with them, we look forward to delivering additional blade technology innovations to our customers."

"BLADE's ability to innovate quickly and consistently to meet customer needs has made them an important partner in our worldwide IBM BladeCenter business," said Alex Yost, Vice President, IBM BladeCenter. "We are confident that our continued relationship with BLADE will produce additional industry-leading technology innovations and solutions for our customers. And as members of, IBM and BLADE are jointly focused on accelerating the development and adoption of open blade server platforms in the industry."

"In partnership with BLADE, NEC is enabling our customers to implement fully functional integrated blade server networking while also conserving valuable energy," said Kimihiko Fukuda, General Manager of Client and Server Division, NEC. "In today's rapidly emerging era of green datacenters, BLADE's commitment to delivering energy-efficient blade network switches helps enterprises fulfill their commitment to social responsibility."

Based on its success in its core embedded blade server switching business, BLADE intends to fuel its growth in 2008 with new products that provide lossless, low-latency, low-cost, low-power Ethernet I/O infrastructure solutions for scale-out server and storage data center environments. These new products will enable the use of "Ethernet Everywhere" as a converged I/O fabric instead of today's mixed interconnect topologies for networking, storage and clustering. The forthcoming products will leverage BLADE's feature-rich, field-proven Layer 2-7 Ethernet software stack, virtualization extensions and element management software, hardware engineering expertise and status as a trusted supplier to HP, IBM and NEC.

"As blade servers come into the mainstream with both SMB and data center customers as a new flexible dense computing architecture, embedded blade switching extends the value of blade servers to cut costs and complexity," said Lucinda Borovick, Research Vice President, Datacenter Networks, IDC. "BLADE Network Technologies is furthering the adoption of blade-centric networks and showing the way forward to the capabilities of Ethernet for I/O fabric convergence and data center consolidation."

About BLADE Network Technologies

BLADE Network Technologies (BNT) is the market-leading supplier of Gigabit and 10G 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 150,000 blade switches representing more than 3.5 million switch ports around the world. For more information, visit

* Demand for x86, Unix, and Blade Servers Helps Otherwise Dull Market to Modest Third Quarter Growth, according to IDC press release, "Worldwide Server Market Experiences Modest Growth in Fourth Quarter as Market Revenues Reach Seven-Year High in 2007," Doc #prUS21114208, February 27, 2008.

Contact Information

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

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