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Will Blades Cut Path for 10-Gig?

12:01 AM -- There has been plenty of talk about 10-Gbit/s Ethernet recently, but not much action, as vendors slowly add flesh to the bones of their 10-Gbit/s strategies. (See InfiniBand Vendors Embrace 10-GigE, Jim McCluney, CEO, Emulex, Anue Systems Intros Emulator, and Fujitsu Intros New 10-Gbit/s Ethernet Chip.)

For the most part, 10-Gbit/s Ethernet has been limited to high-performance computing applications, and we are far from seeing widespread adoption of the technology. (See Is It Time for 10-Gig?)

Could blades change all this? IBM thinks so. Big Blue is touting blade technology as the catalyst for some big transformations in the data center.

Today, the vendor is set to unveil a slew of new modules that fit into its BladeCenter chassis. These include a Cisco Fibre Channel SAN switch; gateway modules from QLogic for converting internal InfiniBand traffic to external Fibre Channel and Ethernet links; and a 10-Gbit/s Ethernet switch from Nortel spinoff Blade Network Technologies.

IBM is making some big claims about the Blade Network Technologies switch. "We believe that this is going to drive the adoption of 10-Gbit/s Ethernet," says Ishan Seghal, program director of IBM's BladeCenter division, adding that it will help firms further consolidate their infrastructures.

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