BLADE Network Technologies

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BLADE Network Technologies
Industry Network hardware
Founded 2006
Headquarters Santa Clara, California, United States
Key people
Vikram Mehta, Vice President, System Networking, IBM Systems and Technology Group
Revenue Increase Now part of IBM
Parent IBM
Website /

BLADE Network Technologies, based in Santa Clara, California, was a supplier of Ethernet network switches for blade servers and server and storage data center racks.[1] BLADE became part of IBM System Networking in 2010.


On February 13, 2006, Garnett & Helfrich Capital[2] established BLADE Network Technologies, Inc., as a privately held company from a spin-out of Nortel's Blade Server Switch Unit, focused on networking for the blade server market.[3][4] Vikram Mehta was president and CEO.[5]


In 2008, the company introduced its RackSwitch[6] line of top-of-rack 1-10 Gigabit Ethernet data center switches. The company’s customers included Fortune 500 companies across 26 industry segments, with more than 220,000 network switches and over 5 million switch ports connecting more than 1,100,000 servers.

IBM acquired BLADE in October 2010.[7]

Technology and products[edit]

BLADE[8] called its products "top-of-rack" and bladed 1-10 Gigabit Ethernet switches[9] for high-performance computing (HPC), multimedia (VOD, IPTV, VoIP), online gaming, financial analysis, security, cloud networking, Web 2.0 and other applications.

BLADE used the marketing slogan "Rackonomics" – an economical approach for provisioning essential server, storage and networking.[10] BLADE’s RackSwitch top-of-rack data center switch products leverage the company’s blade server networking heritage and unique focus on Rackonomics to perform with up to 12.4× less latency, 73 percent less energy and 6.5× better price/performance than comparable top-of-rack data center switches.[11]


BLADE’s RackSwitch was a data center switch with Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections. The RackSwitch product family was promoted as extending benefits of virtual machine from server computers to the network. RackSwitch was the only switch designed for IBM’s iDataPlex, a custom-configured rack system featuring cooling and efficiency to address I/O-intensive applications and cloud computing.[12]

BLADE RackSwitch products include:
RackSwitch G8100 and G8124 10G Low Latency Switches
RackSwitch G8000 1-10G Aggregation Switch

Blade server switches[edit]

BLADE’s embedded Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet Switches are available for IBM BladeCenter, HP BladeSystem, NEC SIGMABLADE and Verari BladeSwitch to consolidate server I/O, enable network virtualization, and reduce data center complexity by adding network intelligence within the blade server chassis.

BLADE’s switch modules for IBM:
BNT 10-port 10G Ethernet Switch Module
BNT 6-port 10G Ethernet Switch Module
BNT 1/10Gb Uplink Ethernet Switch Module
BNT Layer 2-7 Gigabit Ethernet Switch Module
BNT Layer 2/3 Copper Gigabit Ethernet Switch Module
BNT Layer 2/3 Fiber Gigabit Ethernet Switch Module

BLADE’s switch modules for HP BladeSystem include:
HP 10Gb Ethernet BL-c Switch
HP 1:10Gb Ethernet BL-c Switch
HP GbE2c Layer 2/3 Ethernet Blade Switch
HP GbE2c Ethernet Blade Switch

BLADE’s switch modules for NEC SIGMABLADE include:
NEC 1Gb Intelligent L2 Switch
NEC 1Gb Intelligent L3 Switch
NEC 10Gb Intelligent L3 Switch

Other products[edit]

Network management and virtualization software included SmartConnect with VMready, and BLADE Harmony Manager. BLADEHarmony professional services offered integration of systems, software, services and support for rack-level server environments. BLADE had agreements with the vendors: HP, IBM, NEC and Juniper Networks.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]