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Blade Network Moves Switch to HP

Blade Network Technologies has supplied Hewlett-Packard with a 10-Gbit/s Ethernet switch blade for HP's BladeSystem servers.

This makes HP the second blade server vendor, after IBM, to offer a 10-Gbit/s switch for its blade server. Blade Network Technologies also supplies IBM. (See IBM Flashes 10-Gig Switch Blade.)

The switch blade connects all servers in the BladeSystem directly to a core router or switch. Dubbed the HP 1:10Gb Ethernet BL-c switch, it's available now for $5,000 -- though Blade can't make any customers available to comment, since it OEMs through IBM and HP.

Blade Network Technologies, which spun out of Nortel in February 2006, does not offer 10-Gbit/s NICs for blade servers. Instead, it typically partners with Netxen, whose NICs link the server modules to the blade server chassis. Blade Network's switch blade links the entire blade server to the outside world. (See G&H Creates Blade Company, Blade Commits To IBM, and IBM Flashes 10-Gig Switch Blade.)

This design eliminates the need for an extra patch panel or switch layer to connect the blade server to a core router or switch. Blade Network Technologies says it furthers network consolidation, particularly for customers using blade servers for clustering.

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