Cisco has teamed up with HP to integrate Cisco’s network switch architecture into HP’s blade system. The move follows a similar integration with IBM’s eServer Blade Center product last year.

The Cisco Gigabit Ethernet Switch Module Gigabit Ethernet Switch Module, which will be available from next month, will allow users to extend the Cisco network. It will enable users to scale down on the technology that they currently use within a data centre. The integration of the products will obviate the need to maintain two products within a company infastructure.

Marcus Chambers, EMEA director of Cisco's storage, optical and wide-area file services business, said that the partnership with HP was a step further than the company had achieved with IBM. He stressed that this was because of the pace with which technology was changing. “The integration with HP supports 24 ports, while the IBM product involved 16 ports. This is just a natural progression.”

“By incorporating Cisco standards into HP’s own blade offerings, HP continues to offer the industry-leading standards our blade customers demand, simplifying network and management integration while reducing complexity and cost, ” said Rick Becker, vice president and general manager, BladeSystem Organisation, HP. “Today’s announcement with Cisco is another important step from HP to help accelerate BladeSystem adoption and allow enterprise customers to achieve the performance, scalability and security they demand.”