IBM announced it has teamed up with QLogic, a provider of high-performance networking solutions, to offer the ability to run a full 8 gigabit (Gb) Fibre Channel data center from the blade to switch and to storage. The new end-to-end technology will be featured on the entire family of IBM BladeCenter offerings and deliver transfer rates up to twice as fast as current blade servers.
Compared with current 4 Gb technology products, this means enough computing power to potentially reduce costly host bus adaptor (HBA) and switch hardware in the data center by nearly 68 percent, IBM says.
"With advancements like end-to-end 8 Gb technology, IBM is moving to offer a faster, self-managed technology that increases client network's efficiency, while protecting their current BladeCenter investment," according to Alex Yost, vice president for IBM BladeCenter.
To achieve these benchmark-leading transfer rates, IBM BladeCenter will take advantage of the company's self-managing virtualization software BladeCenter Open Fabric Manager. The Open Fabric Manager, along with the 8 Gb Fibre Channel performance enhancements available on BladeCenter, is intended help IT managers not only accelerate traffic flow on a growing number of corporate networks, but maintain the performance their mission-critical input/output applications such as virtualization, databases and collaboration software.
In a related announcement, Voltaire Ltd., an IBM business partner, says it will design a next-generation, high-performance switch for IBM BladeCenter, designed to deliver 40 Gb/s InfiniBand connectivity-intended to be twice as fast as traditional InfiniBand-to accelerate performance of applications running on BladeCenter. In addition, ServerEngines announced the availability of two 10 Gb Ethernet Converged Network Adapter (CNA) cards for IBM BladeCenter and System x customers earlier this month.
IBM's BladeCenter Open Fabric Manager enables networks to become self-managed, providing network virtualization with an open architecture from a range of vendors. Open Fabric Manager also can manage up to 100 chassis from a single management screen at no additional cost, IBM says.
For more information about IBM and BladeCenter, go here. For more information on QLogic, go here.