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Nortel updates switch for IBM blades

Sep 09, 20031 min

* Nortel beefs up switch that interconnects IBM blade servers

Nortel this week is upgrading the switch used in the IBM eServer BladeCenter with a module that does application switching and runs Gigabit Ethernet.

Blade servers are densely packed servers designed for taking on large tasks, and of course those servers need a communications mechanism. Nortel provides the switch for IBM’s blade product.

IBM claims that keeping the switch in the BladeCenter product itself makes it easier to deploy and manage the infrastructure, because it is centralized. The company also says that the architecture furthers its on-demand computing initiative by creating a way to adapt to changing workloads.

The switch routes traffic, checks the health of applications, balances traffic loads among the blade servers, and has security functions.

In addition, IBM is shipping the BladeCenter Optical Pass-thru Module. When used with Myrinet’s Cluster Expansion Card, the blades can be connected to one another at high speeds, for technical computing and cluster computing applications.

The Optical Pass-thru Module can also be used with a Fibre Channel card to connect to IBM storage-area network products.