Virtualization Technology News and Information
BLADE Network Technologies Delivers SmartConnect Software
BLADE Network Technologies, Inc. (BNT), the industry's leading provider of Ethernet-based network switching infrastructure for blade servers, announced the immediate availability of its new SmartConnect software. By stacking network switches across multiple racks of blade server systems, SmartConnect virtualizes blade server I/O thus dramatically simplifying administrative tasks (deployment, control, policy administration, etc.). The result is dramatic reduction in the TCO associated with blade server systems.

IT organizations are looking to reduce the time required to deploy and manage server I/O while improving availability and reducing costs. SmartConnect offers crucial advantages to server administrators:

  • Network Virtualization: Multiple switches located in multiple blade server chassis, even across racks, operate as one large virtual switch.
  • Single-Node Management: Multiple switches in the stack can be managed from a single node. In the unlikely event that the designated management node fails; management authority is instantly taken over by a pre-designated node.
  • Server Administrator-Friendly Networking: Easy-to-use, web-based configuration interface designed for server administrators rather than network administrators. Server administrators can also detect failures instantly so corrective action can take place immediately -- without requiring intervention from network operations teams.
  • ServerMobility™: Network mobility capability that allows server blades to be added, removed or replaced without the need of any address re-assignment -- reducing the coordination normally required between server and network administrators. ServerMobility handles address assignments as servers move between slots or chassis -- physically or in the case of a failover to a functioning server blade. This means that client devices will see no change in relevant network addresses as applications move from one physical server to another.

"Enterprises, large and small, are crying out for simple and extremely inexpensive network solutions when deploying blade server systems in their environment," said Mark Hudson, Chief Marketing Officer, of BLADE Network Technologies. "SmartConnect is the industry's most robust, simple, and inexpensive solution for this requirement."

SmartConnect provides a service-centric view of the blade server network, which can save IT staff significant time during deployment and ongoing management by:

  • Grouping servers with similar functions so that for example database servers, finance servers and file servers can each be administered with service-specific policies;
  • Applying network policies per group and failover and redundancy options for each application, service or function;
  • Ensuring greater resiliency through port trunking aggregation; 
  • Supporting Virtual Single-Node Management;
  • Increasing server bandwidth through active-active server connectivity;
  • Providing service-oriented security for network traffic so that traffic to various classes of servers is segregated and local blade server traffic does not need to traverse to distribution switches.


BLADE is the industry's leading supplier of Ethernet-based blade server network switches with a 45 percent market share. SmartConnect is available now and complements IBM BladeCenter Open Fabric Manager. New and existing IBM BladeCenter customers can reap the benefits of network virtualization, stacking and unified management and control by simply contacting BLADE Network Technologies or their local IBM representative.

Published Monday, March 17, 2008 7:12 AM by David Marshall
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