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IBM’s Blade Networks Buy Boosts Cloud Efforts

IBM is buying Blade Network Technologies to bolster its cloud enterprise networking capabilities and better compete with the likes of HP and Cisco

IBM is buying Blade Network Technologies in a move that gives it greater networking and cloud capabilities and more ammunition as it competes with the likes of Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems in the burgeoning converged data centre space.

IBM officials announced on 27 September that the company intends to acquire Blade in a deal that is expected to close in the fourth quarter. No financial details were announced.

Blade makes blade server and top-of-rack switches and software designed for cloud computing and virtualised environments. IBM officials said the company plans to incorporate Blade’s products into its servers, which are being optimised to handle the large streams of data generated in areas such as cloud computing environments and “smart” infrastructure, from power grids to traffic systems.

Converged infrastructure

“Blade will help IBM better integrate networks with its systems, optimising them for workloads that require high-speed and low-latency performance such as cloud computing and business analytics,” Brian Truskowski, general manager of IBM’s System Storage and Networking business, said in a statement. “For example, faster data transport enables faster decisions important for analytics workloads. Blade will increase IBM’s system networking development, sales, support, skills and awareness and help IBM build smarter systems that are optimised for client requirements.”

The deal makes a lot of sense for IBM, Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with The Yankee Group, said in an interview with eWEEK. It enables IBM to incorporate strong networking capabilities into its systems, and it also enables the company to compete with HP, Cisco, Oracle, Dell and others looking to provide businesses with converged data centre packages that tightly integrate compute, storage, networking, management and virtualisation capabilities into single offerings.