IBM launches beefy OpenFlow switch for data centers, cloud

Big infrastructure upgrades are pushing demand for hardware for data centers, especially networking switches. IBM (s IBM) is the latest to join the party and has just launched a new switch based on the OpenFlow specifications provided by the Open Networking Foundation. OpenFlow is a network protocol that was developed over the past six years at Stanford University and has since  been adopted by many companies. It’s part of the software-defined networking movement we have covered extensively over past few months. IBM showed off the switch in May 2011.

From IBM’s website:

The IBM BNT RackSwitch G8264 is a 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switch specifically designed for the data center, providing speed, intelligence and interoperability on a proven platform. The RackSwitch G8264 offers up to 64×10 GbE and up to four 40 GbE ports—1.28 Tbps—in a 1U footprint.

IBM’s switch is one of the many devices based on OpenFlow currently under development. Hewlett-Packard (s HPQ) is working on embracing Open Flow and focusing on flexible programmable networks. (Related research from GigaOM Pro: OpenFlow & beyond: Future opportunities in networking, subscription req’d.) IBM, HP and others are trying to eat into Cisco’s (s CSCO) domination of the switch market.