Big Blue to buy BLADE Network Technologies

IBM announced plans to acquire privately-held networking vendor BLADE Network Technologies for an undisclosed sum as it continues to build out its end-to-end cloud computing portfolio.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) expects to close the deal in the fourth quarter of 2010, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and applicable regulatory reviews. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

BLADE provides blade server and top-of-rack switches as well as software to virtualize and manage cloud computing and other workloads. It boasts a customer roster that includes more than half of the Fortune 500 and, along with IBM, counts HP, NEC and SGI among its OEM partners.

IBM and BLADE have worked together since 2002 and have thousands of joint clients. More than 50 percent of IBM System x BladeCenters currently attach to or use BLADE products, according to Big Blue.

In a statement, Brian Truskowski, general manager for IBM System Storage and Networking, said "BLADE will help IBM better integrate networks with its systems, optimizing them for workloads that require high-speed and low-latency performance such as cloud computing and business analytics. For example, faster data transport enables faster decisions important for analytics workloads. He continued, "BLADE will increase IBM's System Networking development, sales, support, skills and awareness and help IBM build smarter systems that are optimized for client requirements."

BLADE provides software that helps address the virtualization requirements of cloud computing environments. BLADE software allows servers to more closely integrate with the network so that clients can deploy thousands of virtual machines (VM) to run large application workloads in the cloud.

BLADE recently began shipping VMready 3.0 with Virtual Vision, a technology for automating, provisioning and securing data center networks in virtual environments. The Virtual Vision technology “sees” virtual machines (VM) as they migrate from server to server and protects them as they move throughout the data center. The software automatically synchronizes network policies and configurations across both physical and virtual networks.

VMready 3.0 equips a single switch or a stack of switches for live VM migration, and now with Virtual Vision, can unify physical and virtual networks across an entire data center and even between geographically dispersed data centers, according to the company.

VMready works with BLADE’s RackSwitch Ethernet switches or BLADE switches for IBM BladeCenter, HP BladeSystem or NEC SIGMABLADE.

BLADE’s switch-resident VMready 3.0 with Virtual Vision is available for BLADE’s RackSwitch and embedded blade server switches for the IBM BladeCenter, HP BladeSystem and NEC SIGMABLADE.

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posted by: Kevin Komiega

Kevin Komiega, Senior Editor
by Kevin Komiega
Senior Editor

Kevin Komiega has been the Senior Editor of InfoStor since 2005. He was previously a senior news writer with SearchStorage.com and held a position as a public relations account executive with Porter Novelli, Boston. Kevin also spent four years running tape backup operations at the University of Rhode Island's Academic Computer Center. He can be contacted at kkomiega@quinstreet.com.

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