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Hewlett-Packard Adds High-Speed Switch To Its Blade Servers

Hewlett-Packard is looking to jump into the lead in the growing server-blade market--at least temporarily--with its announcement Wednesday that it will integrate Brocade Communications Systems Inc.'s recently introduced 4-Gbps Fibre Channel switch module into its BladeSystem architecture.

The offering will provide a reduction in fabric-infrastructure cost of 50% or more compared with separate server and fabric switch infrastructure, says Rick Becker, VP and general manager of HP's BladeSystem organization. "Our customers will know now that every BladeSystem they deploy into their current infrastructure is 100% fully interoperable with the spectrum of Brocade Fibre Channel switches," he says.

HP and IBM are engaged in a heated battle for the fast-growing server-blade market. IBM introduced offerings previously in its BladeCenter portfolio with integrated 2-Gbps Brocade Fibre Channel switch module but hasn't yet announced plans for a 4-Gbps model.

Brocade disclosed original equipment manufacturer availability of its 4-Gbps module, called SilkWorm 4100, on Oct. 25.

Becker says the embedded 4-Gbps Brocade module will be available with BladeSystem beginning in the second quarter of 2005.