I don't often get the opportunity to speak with companies offering a different take on network virtualization, a blade networking approach. A week ago, I had a chance to speak with Dan Tuchler, VP of Strategy and Product Management, for BLADE Network Technologies (BLADE) about network virtualization for blade servers. Until my conversation with Dan, I had never come across the term "rackonomics" before.
How does BLADE Networks describe what it does?
BLADE’s Ethernet switches serve as the network backbone for more than 800,000 blade server systems deployed at some of the world’s largest enterprises across 26 industry segments, including automotive, telecom service providers, education, government, finance, healthcare and defense.BLADE Network Technologies (BNT) is a market-leading supplier of Gigabit and 10G Ethernet network infrastructure solutions that reside in blade servers and “scale-out” server and storage racks. The company’s customers include half of the Fortune 500 companies across 26 industry segments.
BLADE boasts an installed base of over 170,000 network switches representing more than 4 million switch ports. For more information, visit www.bladenetwork.net.
What is "Rackonomics?"
BLADE is doing its best to offer the benefits of server virtualization at the rack level within a datacenter. It is offering RackSwitch products that provide organizations with the ability to make many switches operate as one large virtual switch that can provide connections for an entire rack of servers. Bandwidth, VLANs, security policies and other network parameters can be set once for a whole rack of servers.
Server blades can be added, removed or replaced without requiring IT administrators to re-assign network parameters for the computers in that rack. BLADE's VMReady moves networking and security policies for virtual machines as they are added or moved. The Web-based administratie console makes it simple for administrators to provision server, storage and I/O capabilities.
Organizations are increasingly deploying blade-based industry standard systems as a way to reduce footprint requirements, power consumption and heat production in their datacenters. BLADE appears to have internalized this trend and has been working for a number of years to make networking and I/O configurations for these blade-based systems more powerful, more cost effective and easier to manage.
BLADE has OEM relationships with HP, IBM and NEC to date. If your organization has deployed IBM BLADECENTER®, HP BLADESYSTEM® or NEC SIGMABLADE® systems, you're already using BLADE's intelligent networking solutions.
It is very interesting technology for those trying to integrate Web traffic, video traffic and even backup traffic on the same basic network infrastructure.