Virtualization on the new switches is enabled by software that allows multiple switches to operate as one large virtual switch, providing network connections for an entire rack of servers. Bandwidth, virtual LANs, security policies and other network parameters can be set once for an entire rack of servers, regardless of the number or type of servers, Blade claims.
The switch software also allows server blades to be added, removed or replaced without address reassignment, which means that client devices will see no change in relevant network addresses as applications move from one physical server to another as in the case of failover, Blade says. Similarly, network and security policies follow as virtual machines are added or moved to meet changes in demand, the vendor says.
The switches also have front-to-back airflow for more efficient cooling; and lower power consumption -- six watts per 10G-Ethernet port compared with 20 watts per 10G-Ethernet port for conventional chassis-based switches, Blade says.
The RackSwitch switches are expected to be available in June at a starting price of $5,500. The company will demonstrate the new switches at next week's Interop conference in Las Vegas.