FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — IBM Corp. is buying privately held data center switching company Blade Network Technologies Inc. to expand its data center portfolio into networking and heighten competition with rivals.
Financial terms of the deal, announced Monday, were not disclosed. Investors in Blade include Garnett & Helfrich Capital, NEC and Juniper Networks Inc.
Blade is the No. 2 vendor of 10Gbps Ethernet Blade switches for the data centre, behind Hewlett-Packard Co. and ahead of Cisco Systems Inc., according to Dell’Oro Group. Of the 762,000 fixed 10G Ethernet ports that shipped in the second quarter, 46 per cent were from top-of-rack switches and 31 per cent were from Blade switches, Dell’Oro notes.
Blade had a 0.9 per cent share of the US$16 billion overall Ethernet switching market in 2009, according to Dell’’Oro. Gartner also placed Blade second in terms of port shipments of data centre Ethernet switches in 2009, with a 17.4 per cent share of the 10 million ports shipped. Cisco was first in both port shipments (53 per cent) and revenue share (48 per cent of the US$1.9 billion market) in data centre Ethernet in 2009, according to Gartner. HP was second in revenue and fourth in port shipments.
IBM was a non-player, according to the Gartner data. Blade changes that.
“Blade will help IBM better integrate networks with its systems, optimizing them for workloads that require high-speed and low-latency performance such as cloud computing and business analytics,” Brian Truskowski, general manager of IBM system storage and networking, said in a statement.