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Dell teams for new blade switches

The company forms a partnership with McData on a pair of switches that link servers and storage devices.

Dell announced a new hardware partnership it says can help improve the connection between storage devices and blade servers for data centers.

Blade servers are thin models that slide into a chassis that provides shared power and networking infrastructure.

Dell said its PowerEdge 1855 blade servers can now connect to two network switches made by McData. Pricing for a single switch starts at $8,639 and includes optical transceivers for faster data transfer.

The hardware is designed to fit in Dell's blade server box and automatically connect with a company's existing storage area network, or SAN.

The market for blade servers more than doubled, to $426 million, in the first quarter, according to IDC's most recent server report.

IBM extended its lead in that market with 170 percent growth and 36.3 percent share. No. 2 HP, No. 3 Sun Microsystems and No. 4 Dell all lost share in the market.