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Startup Flashes Virtual Rack Switches

Startup Blade Network Technologies claims to have developed a fresh take on server virtualization with the launch of its RackSwitch hardware, and the company is already eyeing storage opportunities.

The RackSwitch devices are 1U 1- and 10-Gbit/s Ethernet switches that virtualize the I/O for an entire rack of multivendor servers, creating "one large pool of server capacity." The RackSwitch provides and manages network connectivity for server blades from multiple vendors, while removing the power and cooling requirements formerly associated with disparate rackmounted servers and switch blades.

Although it is not possible to slot blades from different vendors directly into the same rack, blades such as IBM's BladeCenter and HP's BladeSystem C-class can be slotted into separate chassis , which can be housed in the same rack.

If you do virtualization at the rack level, it makes the data center design a lot easier to deal with,” says Dan Tuchler, Blade’s VP of product management and strategy.

Blade Network Technologies is not the only vendor touting this type of technology, although the virtualization capabilities of rival HP's Virtual Connect offering are limited to its own BladeSystem C-class blade servers.

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