IBM is partnering with Voltaire to bring the networking vendor's new Vantage 8500 10GbE switches to its own System Cluster 1350, a cluster offering that is built on BladeCenter or iDataPlex systems. In addition, IBM is integrating QLogic's 8100 FCoE adapters into its Power Systems as a way of offering enterprises a converged networking fabric that can reduce costs and complexity in the data center.
IBM is continuing to bulk up its networking capabilities through
partnerships, most recently by expanding its work with Voltaire and
Officials with Voltaire and QLogic announced Oct. 20 that IBM is
working with each company to offer new Ethernet capabilities in their
IBM is selling Voltaire's new 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches with its
integrated System Cluster 1350 portfolio. The cluster offering is built
on IBM's BladeCenter blade servers and iDataPlex server array, and is
aimed at everything from departmental-level compute clusters to
Voltaire launched its Vantage 8500 10GbE switch Oct. 20. The new
switch is aimed at scale-out and virtualized infrastructures and offers
less than a microsecond of latency and an energy-efficient 10 watts of
power consumption per port.
IT administrators can cluster up to 12 Vantage 8500 switches together.
Including Voltaire's 10GbE switches is part of a larger strategy
from IBM to give customers a choice of networking options, according to
Alex Yost, vice president of IBM's Systems and Technology Group.
That strategy was illustrated in July, when IBM announced expanded partnerships
with a variety of networking vendors, including Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks and Brocade Communications Systems.
The expanded partnerships were seen as a key step in IBM's move to
offer a more unified data center solution, a trend that also is being
driven by such competitors as Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and Dell. Unlike
Cisco and HP, IBM is looking to alliances as a way of bringing in the
networking aspect, rather than developing products itself.
IBM has been working with Voltaire since 2004, and in June announced
it was adding Voltaire's 40 Gb/s InfiniBand switch module to
BladeCenter for HPC (high-performance computing) and enterprises
offerings. In that vein, IBM also said Oct. 20 that it is offering
Voltaire's Grid Director 4700 40 Gb/s QDR InfiniBand director switch.
With QLogic, IBM is integrating the vendor's 8100 Series converged
network adapters for FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) connectivity
into its Power Systems line of servers.
"The addition of converged networking capabilities with QLogic 8100
enables customers to network their Fibre Channel storage over their
pervasive Ethernet infrastructure at 10Gb speeds," Kelvin Hawkins, vice
president of Power Systems development at IBM, said in a statement.
FCoE also was part of the expanded partnerships with Brocade and
Cisco in July. Enterprises are looking for a single network fabric that
can tie together their server and storage environments as a way to
drive down costs and complexity.
QLogic's 8100 Series handles both server and storage traffic, moving
it at 10GbE line speeds, while consuming a third of the power of other
converged network adapters.