IBM and Intel have announced joint plans to open up the BladeCenter switch specification to the Server Systems Infrastructure Forum on a royalty-free basis.
The two tech giants hope that the move will help drive adoption of an open industry specification for blade switches, fostering healthy competition between vendors and giving customers a wider range of choice.
"The extension of the BladeCenter switch specification to SSI Forum advances open specifications for blade systems," said Alex Yost, vice president of IBM BladeCenter.
"Making the switch design in our open BladeCenter specification available to a broader set of vendors demonstrates IBM's commitment to foster openness in the blade server market."
The SSI Forum is an industry organisation established over 10 years ago to enable server builders to develop compliant and interoperable building blocks for blade, chassis and manageability software technology.
The inclusion of a switch specification is the last piece in the blade server puzzle for the SSI Forum which now has access to design references for all the components of a complete low-cost blade system.
"Continued IBM and Intel collaboration will go further to expanding the entire blade server market," added Kirk Skaugen, general manager of the server platforms group at Intel.
"This is good for customers who will benefit from increased choice from a breadth of server, networking and storage vendors while enabling each product to maximise return on the R&D invested."
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