Big Blue will sell the products under its own name for use in its higher-end Intel-based servers such as the Neterion Chief Executive Dave Zabrowski. The product uses the company's second-generation Ethernet chip and plugs into a PCI-X 2.0 slot. IBM also will use the company's driver software to support the adapters., said
"It's very significant," Zabrowski said of the deal. "IBM has the most market momentum of any server vendor out there."
Neterion also has signed deals with, Silicon Graphics Inc. and Sun Microsystems.
Neterion, formerly called, is one of the companies trying to . Most servers today come with 1-gigabit Ethernet, while personal computers generally are another step down with 100-megabit Ethernet.
Such transitions take years, though. Faster networking usually first catches on to connect high-end switches before propagating to servers and eventually to mainstream computers.
The internal data traffic within IBM's x460 is managed by a. One feature of the servers is virtual input-output--a feature that makes it possible to shift networking resources assigned to software without disrupting that software.
That virtualization ability in x3 dovetails with a similar ability in the Neterion adapters, Zabrowski said. The total 10-gigabit-per-second capacity of the adapter can be sliced up in any of eight different ways, for example, to be assigned to different independent partitions of a server.
"You can assign a certain amount of bandwidth uniquely to those partitioned workloads. The partitions don't even know they're sharing the adapter," Zabrowski said. And the capacity allocations can be changed on the fly, he added.