Feeds

IBM back in networking

BNT its cutting edge

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

IBM is buying Ethernet switching company Blade Networking Technologies and so returning to the networking business. Why?

Big Blue says "BLADE specializes in software and devices that route data and transactions to and from servers." With Blade; "IBM can drive innovation at the systems networking level to enable clients to speed the delivery of key information from system to system - for workloads such as analytics and cloud computing - while also reducing data centre costs."

IBM has seen that ownership of its own data cent networking technology is essential in a data centre world embracing converged IT stacks, where the three basic hardware building blocks are servers, storage and networking, and the basic software building blocks also include networking.

It chose to buy Ethernet-only BNT rather than Brocade with its Fibre Channel and Ethernet technology. Long term, Fibre Channel is thought to be giving way to FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) so BNT is a better place for IBM to invest than Brocade.

This move reverses the strategy that caused IBM to divest its System Networking Architecture business to Cisco in 1999. Now Cisco is building servers that compete with IBM's servers, and has entered into the vBlock alliance with VMware and EMC. Dell, HP and Oracle are busy building out their own converged IT stack product sets. Virtualised data centres built from stack-in-a-box software + servers + storage + networking combinations are rocketing towards us.

The rewards for the major system vendors could be huge and the purchase of BNT gives IBM the beginnings of the networking it needs to have creditable table stakes in the new data centre dominos game.

Dell has just announced its first networks business VP. Like storage, networking is no longer a peripheral interest; it is front and centre, and Dell, I'm betting, will have to buy its table stakes in that part of the grand game as well. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
Forrester says Australia, not China, is next boom market for cloud
It's cloudy but fine down under, analyst says
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.