Big infrastructure upgrades are pushing demand for hardware for data centers, especially networking switches. IBM [is the latest to join the party](http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/x/options/networking/bnt8264/index.html) 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](https://www-304.ibm.com/connections/blogs/VMstg/tags/interop?lang=en_us) 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 is working on embracing Open Flow and focusing on flexible [programmable networks](http://h30507.www3.hp.com/t5/HP-Networking/HP-Networking-s-Innovation-Leadership-in-OpenFlow/ba-p/99165). (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 domination of the switch market.
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