Large Flat Networks for Virtualization, Cloud Computing and High-Frequency Trading

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March 28th, 2011

By BLADE Networking Technologies, an IBM Company

Today, virtualization, cloud computing and high frequency trading place new demands on the system network fabric to deliver non-stop, ultra low-latency traffic flows. This traffic is increasingly “east-west” in nature to enable machine-to-machine communications versus the “north-south” traffic that characterizes conventional client/server and Web-based application environments. To deliver this east-west traffic using the most efficient flows, large flat networks are becoming increasingly popular. These flat Layer 2 networks eliminate extra hops to decrease latency, do not block any paths across the network, and are simple to configure. Such flat networks are built with large numbers of inexpensive top-of-rack switches, scale horizontally by simply adding more switches, and enable VLANs to span across a data center to provide larger server pools for virtualization. TRILL or TRansparent Interconnection of Lots of Links is fundamental to IBM’s approach and is explained in this white paper.

What the BLADE Network Technologies Acquisition Does for IBM and Its Customers

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March 15th, 2011

By Clabby Analytics

Other reseach and analysis firms seem to see IBM’s acquisition of BLADE Network Technologies (BLADE) as a competitive response to
Hewlett-Packard’s acquisition of 3Com and Cisco’s entry into the blade server business, but there’s much more to this deal than competitive dynamics. Clabby Analytics believes that data center virtualization is accelerating, and the demand for more I/O per server is on the rise. Additionally, networks are converging around a single Ethernet wiring plant. These industry changes are the true driving factors in this deal.

In this Research Report, Clabby Analytics examines what the acquisition of BLADE could mean to IBM and its customers. We take a closer look at the DCB convergence that is taking place in the networking marketplace; we examine why virtualization logic at the network level makes sense; and we discuss what this acquisition may mean from a competitive positioning perspective. Finally, we conclude that now is an ideal time for IBM to re-enter the networking business.

IBM iDataplex and BLADE Network Technologies RackSwitch Fill Kings College London, Need for Speed

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February 14th, 2011

By BLADE Network Technologies, an IBM Company

King’s College London medical researchers, who specialize in the field of genetics, strive to better understand the causes of a range of serious health issues, including skin disease, diabetes and cancer. Such research depends heavily on its new IBM iDataplex HPC system with IBM BNT RackSwitch G8124 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches for maximizing compute processing power to deliver data analysis in the fastest possible time. This white paper details the design and outcome of the Biomedical Research Centre’s (BRC) High Performance Computing (HPC) and storage solution.

Data Center Network Virtualization—the Final Frontier

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January 17th, 2011

By BLADE Network Technologies, an IBM Company

Server virtualization brings both benefits and drawbacks to the data center: it can maximize underutilized resources and minimize infrastructure spending—but add complexity and administrative overhead for the network administrator. BLADE Network Technologies’ VMready™ software addresses this problem by automatically migrating network policies along with virtual machines as they migrate across different physical servers.

Find out how by downloading this white paper

Lippis Report 162: Why Network Performance of Data Center Ethernet Switching Products Matter More Now Than Ever

November 30th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgEthernet networking is now the single most important data center technology to assure the new IT economic model of centralized application delivery. Yes that’s right—Ethernet as the data center fabric is the stability point in data center design that will dictate if a data center or cloud facility can scale to support huge application and storage traffic loads. And if you think that Ethernet switch performance is not important then you would be as right as the engineers who designed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we explain why network performance of data center Ethernet switching products matter more now than ever.

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BLADE’s CEO Vikram Mehta on Virtualization and Being Acquired by IBM

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November 1st, 2010

Vikram MehtaMove a Virtual Machine (VM) from one physical server to another, and network port profiles, VLANs, security settings, etc., have to be manually reconfigured, adding cost, delay, security issues and rigidity to what should be an adaptive infrastructure. BLADE Network Technologies’ data center 1/10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet blade and top-of-rack switches incorporate what its calls VMready with Virtual Vision that enables data centers to deploy VM-aware networks that automate network change management as VMs come online and move between physical servers within or across data centers. Vikram Mehta, CEO of BLADE Network Technologies (BLADE), joins me to talk about BLADE’s data center network virtualization strategy, plus the company’s pending acquisition by IBM. It’s a great talk, and we hit lots of industry nerves in this thought-provoking podcast.

Lippis Report 154: Is Networking Too Rigid?

August 10th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgNetworking has become “rigid”. Yes I know it’s almost absurd to attribute inflexibility or rigidity to networking. Look what TCP/IP has done for us. There are nearly 2 billion people connected to the internet and according to the Internet World Stats internet user growth rate increased by 380% between 2000-2009. With 2 billion people and growing online, accessing a plethora of applications via a wide range of end-points there is no doubt that the internet and TCP/IP has been a much bigger success than anyone would have imagined back in the early ’90s. But there’s always a give and take between computing and networking where one drives and changes the other. Right now we are in a compute innovation cycle that’s driving a fundamental change in networking which screams out the need for more flexibility.

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Lippis Report 153: Why Ethernet will be the dominant Two Tier High End Data Center Network Fabric

July 27th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgIn Lippis Report 151: A Two or Three Tier High-End Data Center Ethernet Fabric Architecture? we detailed the new two tier data center Ethernet fabric that is becoming conventional wisdom amongst business leaders of high end data centers and cloud computing service providers. The networking industry is headed for a major innovation and competitive cycle fueled by a multi-billion dollar addressable market for data center network fabrics. Over the last eighteen months, every major Ethernet infrastructure provider has announced or taken a position on two tier network fabrics for high-end data centers. Companies such as Cisco, Arista Networks, Force10, Voltaire, HP/3Com, Juniper, Extreme, Brocade, BLADE Network Technology, et al have announced network fabrics for data centers with two thousand and more servers that either support storage enablement or not. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we review why it is Ethernet that will be the network fabric of high performance computing or HPC and cloud computing deployments.

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