SOURCE: IBM

June 12, 2006 08:30 ET

IBM Extends Lead in Blade Compatibility and Innovation

IBM Unveils Industry's First 10 Gigabit Ethernet Blade Switch; Delivers Open Management Capabilities for IBM BladeCenter

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 12, 2006 -- IBM, the leader for eleven consecutive quarters of the rapidly growing blade market,* announced today the industry's first 10-Gigabit (10G) Ethernet blade switch, from Blade Network Technologies (BLADE), and new open management capabilities for IBM BladeCenter.

IBM offers the widest range of networking and storage switches than any other blade vendor, and has shipped more than 1.5 million one-Gigabit Ethernet ports to date. Borne from collaboration between IBM and BLADE, IBM is unveiling the Nortel 10G Uplink Ethernet Switch Module for BladeCenter, providing breakthrough performance for applications with high bandwidth demands, such as video on demand, Internet protocol television (IPTV), and other mission-critical and real-time applications. The new switch is designed to work in BladeCenter, BladeCenter H, and BladeCenter T systems.

"The IBM BladeCenter ecosystem of partners and solutions continues to see phenomenal growth," said Doug Balog, vice president and business line executive for IBM BladeCenter. "Strategic relationships with technology providers such as BLADE are providing customers with unparalleled performance as they migrate to IBM BladeCenter."

The new switch provides multiple features for customers, including three 10-Gigabit uplink ports with an aggregate throughput of 90 Gigabits per second (Gbps) full duplex, providing breakthrough performance. In addition, it offers enhanced security with easy-to-configure Layer 2 and Layer 3 filters, as well as improved quality of service through traffic queue prioritization.

"We see 10Gbps connectivity in IBM BladeCenter as bringing further simplification and lower cost-of-ownership to the data center," said Vikram Mehta, president and CEO of Blade Network Technologies. "Today's announcement is a significant milestone; Blade Network Technologies is the first to bring 10Gbps to blade servers, and IBM is the first blade server vendor to offer its customers the 10G connectivity necessary for their bandwidth intensive applications."

The Nortel 10G Uplink Ethernet Switch Module for BladeCenter is available immediately from IBM in June priced starting at US$4,999.

Open Management Capabilities

IBM and Intel are opening the management capabilities of BladeCenter. IBM is announcing that it has co-developed and implemented, in conjunction with Intel, the Systems Management Architecture for Server Hardware (SMASH) for BladeCenter, available in July. SMASH is a cross-platform management protocol that allows customers to create a management standard across their data center.

In February 2006, IBM introduced the Advanced Management Module (AMM) to provide system level management across all BladeCenter systems. The AMM helps automate blade management functions, and is based on open standards, including Linux TCP/IP stack, Open Secure Socket Layer (OpenSSL), as well as standards being established by the DMTF. The AMM works in concert with IBM Director and Tivoli systems level management tools to provide enterprise-level management. Because the AMM is built on open industry standards, IBM can easily adapt support for SMASH and other emerging standards.

Building upon these open management capabilities, the BladeCenter ecosystem of ISVs and IHVs will be able to accelerate its product time to market with additional tools.

--  IBM is donating to Blade.org a BladeCenter hardware validation tool
    that helps firms creating blade solutions to quickly validate their
    compatibility with the blade design pioneered by IBM and Intel.
--  IBM intends to release a software developer's kit (SDK) for the blade
    specification supported by IBM and Intel, allowing third party vendors to
    speed the development of hardware plug-ins and management, while allowing
    them to take advantage of the features and functions of BladeCenter as they
    develop new blades and switches.
    
For more information about IBM BladeCenter, go to: www.ibm.com/bladecenter.

* Q1 2006 Factory Revenue, IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Forecaster, Q106

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