IBM licenses patents to BLADE

Deal will accelerate BLADE's development of products in unified computing, I/O virtualization

Licensing agreement with IBM could help BLADE deliver new products to counter Cisco’s recent entry into the blade server market.

BLADE Network Technologies this week announced a patent cross-license agreement with IBM.

BLADE has been providing IBM with data center blade server switches for the past three years. The products include a 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch for IBM BladeCenter, a top-of-rack switch for iDataPlex, and network virtualization products to automate the data center for dynamic virtual machines.

BLADE currently delivers its embedded Ethernet switches for IBM BladeCenter under the "BNT" name and its top-of-rack RackSwitch data center switches for IBM's iDataPlex and IBM System Cluster 1350.

Licensing IBM patents will accelerate BLADE's development of products in unified computing, I/O virtualization, data center network provisioning and cloud networking, BLADE says. The move may be in preparation for new products to compete with Cisco's recent entry into the blade server market

IBM holds more than 40,000 patents worldwide.

BLADE is the No. 3 vendor in 10Gbps fixed, managed Ethernet ports shipped in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to Dell'Oro Group. Cisco and HP ProCurve are No 1 and No. 2. BLADE is No. 5 in 1Gbps fixed, managed Ethernet port shipments in the fourth quarter, according to Dell'Oro.

BLADE's switch portfolio for IBM BladeCenter includes the BNT six-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; and BNT Layer 2/3 Fiber Gigabit Ethernet Switch Module.

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