IBM rolled out the HS22 systems in March, one of several new x86 servers the vendor unveiled to coincide with the launch of Intel's Xeon 5500 Series "Nehalem EP" chips. IBM officials at the time said the HS22 offered three times the memory of current blade servers and a nine-to-one consolidation ratio.
The partnerships with QLogic and Emulex were announced May 26.
IBM will offer QLogic's new 8100 Series converged network adapters for FCOE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) connectivity not only on its new blades, but across all of its System x x86-based rack and tower servers. QLogic officials said the 8100 Series also will drive down power consumption and heat dissipation, saving on energy costs.
The announcement comes less than two months after QLogic rolled out its 8100 Series adapters, which converge Fibre Channel and Ethernet onto a single 10 Gigabit Ethernet base. The converged network adapters enable network administrators to run both storage and data networking traffic over the same base at full 10G Ethernet speeds.
Most network technology vendors have such converged network adapters in their arsenal. Demand for FCOE will continue to grow, according to research company Dell'Oro Group, which predicts a 200 percent growth annually over the next four years, with the market reaching almost $400 million by 2013.
QLogic's 8100 Series will help improve the performance and virtual machine support of IBM's systems by taking the FCOE protocol processing off the CPUs, according to Alex Yost, vice president of IBM's Systems and Technology Group.
As part of its agreement with IBM, QLogic also announced its new 10 Gigabit CEE (Converged Enhanced Ethernet) high-speed Pass-Thru Module, which gives IBM BladeCenter systems with the 8100 Series 14 connections between the converged network adapters and external 10G Ethernet or 10G CEE switches and devices.
Emulex also announced May 26 that its LightPulse 8G-bps Fibre Channel CIOv Expansion Card is optimized for use with the BladeCenter HS22, giving users better dual-channel I/O throughput and improving the efficiency of the system's CPU.
The Emulex technology will improve performance and reduce energy costs, according to Emulex officials.