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Nortel helps link HP blade servers

Aug 14, 20032 mins

* Nortel teams with HP to provide communications for blade servers

Nortel last week teamed up with another major server blade vendor, lending Ethernet switch functions to HP’s latest blade servers.

Nortel’s Ethernet switch module fits into the HP ProLiant BL p-Class GbE2 Interconnect Switch and will be sold by HP. The module provides fully redundant Gigabit Ethernet network adapter signal consolidation, 24 ports of Gigabit Ethernet switching, and management and network protocol support, Nortel says.

In the future, Nortel is expected to bring Layer 3-7 switching and IP content switching to the device, as well as uplink upgrades for IP-based storage.

Nortel unveiled a similar partnership with IBM in February, where Nortel would provide the switching functions for IBM’s server blades. One interesting difference between the two arrangements is that HP has its own network hardware division, while IBM does not.

HP’s own interconnect switch facilitates communication among the blade servers in a chassis, and Nortel’s module will be added to that.

Blade servers are simply densely packed servers that can be clustered together to perform tasks. HP says that one of the benefits of deploying blade servers is the ability to rapidly deploy and provision server resources. Further, those resources can be re-deployed as necessary. The company says it has shipped more than 30,000 blades worldwide.