IBM Has A Fire Sale on BNT Rack Switches
July 25, 2011 Timothy Prickett Morgan
I guess that IBM has a bunch of Gigabit Ethernet switches sitting in the barn and it wants to get rid of them real bad before the end of the year without having to make any sales calls to get the job done.
Last week, in announcement letter 311-101, Big Blue, which is now a network equipment maker thanks to last year’s acquisition of Blade Network Technologies for an estimated $400 million, slashed the price on one of its top-of-rack switches. Specifically, IBM chopped the price on the RackSwitch G8052, a 1U rack-based switch with 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and four SFP+ ports running at 10 Gigabit Ethernet speeds. IBM list price for this switch is $8,949, but if you buy one from IBM’s online store between now and December 31, then IBM will chop 38.5 percent off the list price.
At that price, the RackSwitch G8052, which has 176Gb/sec of switching bandwidth and latencies as low as 1.7 microseconds, has a lower price than the similar RackSwitch 8000, which has the same bandwidth but a slower latency of 4.6 microseconds hopping from port to port. The RackSwitch 8000 also costs $6,999 when you buy it through IBM’s Web site. So obviously, if you are shopping for Gigabit Ethernet switches with 10GE uplinks, buy the faster switch, not the slower one.
IBM is not capping the number of RackSwitch G8052 units that you can buy under this deal, which probably is an indication of how many Big Blue has sitting around as well as the intense competition among switch providers these days. Cisco Systems, Mellanox Technologies, Force10 Networks (just bought by Dell last week), Juniper Networks, and a slew of others are all grinding against each other to get a slice of the $6 billion data center networking racket.