IBM is adding 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches from long-time data centre partner Voltaire to its roster of resold products.

Traditionally a maker of Inifinband switches for the data centre, Voltaire recently unveiled the Vantage 8500, a 10G Ethernet switch for converged data centre fabrics. The Vantage 8500 is now generally available and customers can purchase it from IBM under this week's resale agreement between the companies.

IBM has been reselling Voltaire Infiniband gear for five years. IBM also resells Ethernet switches from Juniper and Brocade.

In June, IBM added Voltaire's 40Gbps InfiniBand switch module for IBM BladeCenter to its product line. This module was custom designed by Voltaire for IBM.

Voltaire and IBM products help support the Roadrunner supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory, as well as other high-performance data centres.

IBM will offer the Vantage 8500 as part of its integrated System Cluster 1350 portfolio of products. Voltaire says the agreement with IBM to resell the Vantage 8500 came in part due to Cisco's entry into the data centre server market, a traditional stronghold of IBM and HP.

Voltaire says it will announce other resellers of the Vantage switch in the near future. HP also resells Voltaire products for data centre applications.

The Vantage 8500 is a high-density Layer 2 core switch that features less than 1 microsecond latency and 10 watts per port power consumption. Up to 12 of the switches can be clustered to support thousands of servers without degrading performance or latency, Voltaire says.

IBM this week also agreed to resell Voltaire's Grid Director 4700, a 40Gbps QDR InfiniBand director switch. The switch features 324 40Gbps ports with the option to double capacity to 648 ports using additional fabric boards.