Network Interface Cards work with BladeCenter eServers.

Press Release Summary:

Nortel Networks Layer 2-7 GbE Switch Module Option for BladeCenter server chassis resides in network slot. It connects to server blades via 14 internal GE interfaces over BladeCenter mid-plane and provides 4 external GbE interfaces. BladeCenter Gigabit Ethernet Expansion Card provides processor blade with 2 additional Gb interfaces. Myrinet Cluster Ethernet Adapter functions with Linux and Microsoft(TM) Windows OS.

Original Press Release:

IBM eServer BladeCenter Switch Module, Optical Pass-thru Module, Myrinet and GbE Cards - Expanding the Networking Capabilities for BladeCenter eServers

At a glance

Nortel Networks Layer 2-7 GbE Switch Module Option , a new GbE Switch Module for BladeCenter.

o Serves as switching fabric for the BladeCenter server chassis
o Resides in a network slot of the BladeCenter chassis
o Connects to the server blades via 14 internal GE interfaces (server ports) over the BladeCenter mid-plane
o Provides four external GbE interfaces that connect to networks

BladeCenter Gigabit Ethernet Expansion Card, a gigabit I/O adapter.

o Provides the processor blade with two additional Gb interfaces that are routed to compatible GbE switches in the BladeCenter chassis

Myrinet Cluster Ethernet Adapter , an ANSI/VITA 26-1998 Host Adapter used in conjunction with the BladeCenter offering.

o Functions with most Linux and Microsoft(TM) Windows operating systems

BladeCenter OPM and SC or LC Cable are used to transfer data between the BladeCenter units and the networks.

For technical support:

Call IBM at 800-IBM-SERV (800-426-7378)


Request technical information via the Personal Computing Division Web site at:


The new Nortel Networks Layer 2-7 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Switch Module for BladeCenter(TM) serves as a switching and routing fabric for the BladeCenter server chassis. It also introduces Layer 4-7 functionality for application and server based load balancing, advanced filtering, content-aware intelligence, embedded security services, and persistence support. Up to two GbE modules can reside in the switch module bays of the BladeCenter chassis. The modules can be hot-plugged into BladeCenter without disrupting normal operations.

The switch connects to the server blades via the 14 internal GbE interfaces (server ports) over the BladeCenter mid-plane. It supplies four external GbE interfaces for outside communication. The GbE switch is managed via two internal 100 Mbps ports for communication to the BladeCenter management module. A console interface is available for diagnostics and direct communication between the GbE switch and the BladeCenter Management Module.

The BladeCenter GbE Expansion Card provides the blade server with two additional gigabit ports. Increases capacity and allows for expansion of the Ethernet I/O subsystem, enables additional bandwidth and allows for connection to multiple LAN segments.

The Myrinet Cluster Expansion Card for BladeCenter is a host adapter used in high-performance computing environments. It provides high-speed/low-latency system to system connection for distribution of computing over several blades. It functions with Linux and Windows® operating systems.

The BladeCenter Optical Passthru Module (OPM) is an unswitched/unblocked optical connection to each blade server and delivers additional flexibility in data center network architectures. The OPM provides seamless integration into existing infrastructures that have already standardized on a specific SAN fabric. The OPM delivers compatibility with the TotalStorage(TM) family of products including FAStT family, Enterprise Storage Server(TM), and IBM SAN Switches.

Conforms to mechanical and electrical requirements for BladeCenter

Transmits and receives network data between blades and the following network environments:

o Gigabit Ethernet
o Fiber channel
o Myrinet
o Auto-sense capability to allow single design to work in network
o Self test and diagnostics capability

BladeCenter OPM SC Cable provides connection between the OPM and an external environment. This 1.5-meter cable presents four SC connections.

BladeCenter OPM LC Cable provides connection between the OPM and an external environment. This 1.5-meter cable presents four LC connections.

Key prerequisites

BladeCenter Server

Planned availability date

September 30, 2003


Nortel Networks Layer 2-7 GbE Switch Module for BladeCenter

The new Nortel Networks Layer 2-7 GbE Switch serves as a switching and routing fabric for the server chassis while introducing Layer 4-7 forwarding decision capabilities and security features as well. Up to two GbE modules can reside in the network slots of the BladeCenter chassis in addition to the current installation. They can be hot-plugged into BladeCenter without disrupting normal operations.

The Network Layer 2-7 GbE Switch provides enhancements to the standard Layer 2 switching functions by introducing Layer 3 Routing, and Layer 4 through Layer 7 Virtual Server Load Balancing, Application Availability, and Security Features consolidated into the same small form factor as its Layer 2 predecessor. It supports up to 300,000 simultaneous Layer 2 through Layer 7 sessions and full wire-speed packet forwarding for all connections.

The switch supports up to 2048 MAC addresses, 4096 address resolution protocol (ARP) entries, and up to 2048 dynamic route entries to ensure a high level of support for a number of users. The IEEE 802.1D Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) support can be enabled or disabled on a per-port basis. Multiple instances of STP are supported; 16 STP groups' total Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) support includes 802.1Q tagged VLANs and support for 128 VLANs. Link aggregation is provided with IEEE 802.3 support on four external ports for up to two static trunk groups. Routing Information Protocol version 1 (RIPv1), Border Gateway Protocol version 4 (BGPv4), and Open Shortest Path First version 2 (OSPFv2) are the routing standards supported.

The Layer 4 Virtual Server Load Balancing enables computing optimization. Application Health Checking minimizes user-perceived downtime. Content-based Load Balancing for Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), and Domain Name System (DNS) is provided. HTTP cookie and secure sockets layer (SSL) session ID are examples of included application persistency methods. Using the virtual Router Redundancy Protocol along with the Alteon extensions and the Inter-Chassis Redundancy Link (ICRL), the GbE switch module facilitates High Application Availability in the event of an Application, Operating System, Server Blade, Switch Module, or Chassis failure.

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