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Blade Server Adoption Accelerating, Fueled by Convergence of Virtualization, Consolidation, and 10 Gigabit Ethernet
TheInfoPro Server Study of Enterprise Users Projects That Blade Servers Will Soon Account for Half of All Server Shipments

SANTA CLARA, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 04/12/07 -- According to a report recently released by research firm TheInfoPro, blade servers are finally ready for mass adoption as Fortune 1000 and mid-sized enterprises turn to blades to empower virtualization, consolidation and 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity.

"Blade servers are poised to grab the lion's share of new server deployments as data center managers understand and embrace the hidden secrets of blade servers," asserts Jeffrey M. Birnbaum, who delivered the keynote address "Making the Business Case for Blades and Virtualization" at BladeSystems Insight Conference held in Savannah, Georgia. Former Global Head of Enterprise Computing for Morgan Stanley, Birnbaum is founder of 60East Technologies and Chairman of BLADE Network Technologies' Technical Advisory Board.

"Blade systems can be used for both desktop and server virtualization to lower costs and increase utilization," says Birnbaum. "Blade systems are more cost effective and energy efficient than conventional rack and stack servers, especially from a TCO perspective. And new technologies on the horizon make blade systems even more compelling as the right investment now and for the future."

Birnbaum's contentions are reinforced by TheInfoPro's Wave 4 Server Study of Fortune 1000 and mid-size enterprises server professionals. Based on 137 hour-long interviews, TheInfoPro concluded that blades as a proportion of newly installed servers are rising rapidly and are poised for tremendous growth. While more than half of the respondents stated that blade servers make up less than 5% of the total servers installed, 66% of respondents believe that by 2009, blades will make up over 50% of all new server units acquired. TheInfoPro study identified reduced footprint, costs savings, provisioning, and environmentals (heat and power) as the top reasons cited for using blade versus standalone servers. To view a rich media presentation of TheInfoPro's findings, visit: http://www.brainshark.com/brainshark/vu/view.asp?pi=565525789.

"Enterprises have become increasingly receptive to blade servers as a standard form factor since 2004, when users felt that blades were an immature and over-hyped technology," said Bob Gill, Managing Director of TheInfoPro's Server Sector. "Over the past three years, however, blade technology has advanced and now looks very attractive to corporate data centers that are simply running out of space or are burdened by a rapidly growing tangle of server and power connections."

"Blade servers have reached a critical inflection point," said Doug Balog, Vice President and Business Line Executive, IBM BladeCenter. "IBM has installed more than half a million BladeCenter systems for customers and maintained a durable infrastructure platform by delivering new technology advances that remain compatible with IBM's original design innovation. The convergence of virtualization, consolidation and 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity makes a powerful case for enterprises and mid-sized businesses to adopt blade-centric solutions."

Recent advances in switching technology also are enabling accelerated adoption of blade servers. "Because 10 Gigabit Ethernet has reached the critical $500 per port price point on blades well ahead of conventional chassis-based switches, blades now make economic sense for even the most throughput-intensive and latency-sensitive applications," said Vikram Mehta, President and CEO of BLADE Network Technologies. BLADE introduced the industry's first integrated all-10GE switch for blade servers in January for IBM BladeCenter. Mr. Mehta joined executives from IBM, Dell and Cisco Systems at BladeSystems Insight to address "How the current and next wave of blade-based technologies will help redefine the data center."

About Blade Systems Insight

Blade Systems Insight, the only national invitational summit focused on blade-based and other data center solutions, takes place April 10-12, 2007 at the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa in Savannah, Georgia. For general information on BladeSystems Insight, visit http://www.bladesystemsinsight.com.

About TheInfoPro

TheInfoPro's Wave 4 Server Study details technology adoption trends and timeframes, management techniques and trends, vendor performance data, and management strategies for the Server sector. Server companies covered in the Wave 4 Study include Microsoft, HP, IBM, Dell, Cisco, Sun, EMC/VMware, QLogic, APC, Brocade, NetApp, Emulex, Intel, McDATA, BLADE Network Technologies, Foundry, Adaptec, Emerson, Xiotech, Juniper, EqualLogic, Avocent, Rackable Systems, Nortel, HDS, Egenera, Cyclades, MPC, Gateway, Alacritech, Penguin, and XenSource.

TheInfoPro (TIP) is the only independent research network for the Information Technology (IT) industry. TheInfoPro, the "voice of the customer," helps IT professionals, technology providers, and the financial community make sound decisions on technology, business strategies and investments. Through a peer network of over 900 of the world's largest buyers and users of IT, TheInfoPro delivers detailed budget, vendor performance and technology data without spin or bias. For more information or to join the TIPNetwork visit: www.theinfopro.net or call 1-646-649-8539.

About IBM BladeCenter

IBM has shipped over half a million BladeCenter systems since the product's inception in 2002. According to data from industry analyst firm IDC, IBM led in blade server revenue share for the 13th consecutive quarter with 42.3 percent, seven points more than its closest competitor for the third quarter of 2006. (IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, 3Q06, issued on November 21, 2006.)

For more information about IBM BladeCenter, go to: www.ibm.com/bladecenter.

For more information on IBM, please visit www.ibm.com.

About BLADE Network Technologies

BLADE Network Technologies is the market-leading supplier of Gigabit and 10G Ethernet, IP, and Application Switches for blade server systems globally. BLADE is the first vendor to focus exclusively on serving the network infrastructure needs of the rapidly growing blade server market. The company's end-users include Fortune 500 companies across 26 different industry segments. As the number-one supplier of network switches for blade servers, BLADE boasts an installed base of more than 100,000 blade switches (representing approximately 2.1 million switch ports) around the world. In 2006, BLADE was established as a fully independent company when it purchased certain assets of Nortel's Blade Server Switch Business Unit. For more information, visit BLADE at www.bladenetwork.net.

CONTACT:

Vineeta Durani
IBM Media Relations
415-545-2350
Email Contact

Tim Shaughnessy
BLADE Network Technologies
(408) 850-8963
Email Contact

Judy Plummer
ZNA Communications
(831) 425-1581 x204
Email Contact

Bernadette Abel
TheInfoPro
(646) 649-8539
Email Contact

About Virtualization News
SYS-CON's Virtualization News Desk trawls the news sources of the world for the latest details of virtualization technologies, products, and market trends, and provides breaking news updates from the Virtualization Conference & Expo.

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