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

Santa Clara, Calif., Jan. 15, 2007 -- BLADE Network Technologies Inc. (BLADE) 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 costs 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.

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.

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 rack mount 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.

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.

Like other BLADE switch modules, BLADE's 10GE switch comes preloaded 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.

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 a supplier of Ethernet, IP, and Application Switches for blade server systems globally. For more information, visit BLADE at