It’s not easy being green, or is it? Blade Network Technologies, a global provider of Gigabit and 10G Ethernet, IP and application switches for blade server systems, launched its Green Value initiative last February and is now looking towards Canada to help boost its business moving forward.
Previously a business unit of Nortel, Blade was spawned as a private company in February of 2006, the same time in which it decided to go green. The company has its worldwide headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif. and has a research and development facility located in Ottawa, known as Blade Network Research (BNR). Since the implementation of its Green Value initiative, Blade hopes to be the industry leader in green blade server networking products.
Vikram Mehta, CEO at Blade, highlights the importance of Blade’s decision to go green.
“We decided to make our products green because that’s what a lot of our customers wanted,” Mehta said. “We started this initiative when we became an independent company last February. Today, we’re focused on trying to educate the marketplace about the importance of having energy efficient equipment and servers.”
Mehta says when it comes to making energy efficient products, all innovations and production processes are carried out through its BNR facility. From here, Blade takes on the role of an OEM supplier for IBM, NEC and HP and distributes its 10 Gigabit Ethernet “Green Blade” switches to these companies.
Mehta also boasts that Blade products consume 80 per cent less power when compared to that of other conventional network equipment. Where heat is also often an issue, Mehta says Blade products are 30 to 40 per cent less than other conventional network equipment.
“Our products are designed for the generic use in data centres,” Mehta said. “We’re addressing a broad market segment and so far we’ve seen a lot of interest in our green products because people are concerned about the environment. We have close to 2,800 customers and when it comes to market share, we have 42 per cent of the market covered.”
To help sell its products, Blade works closely with IBM, NEC and HP channel partners to train and provide resources to them. Mehta said Blade also recently launched a new service and consulting package that channel partners can also take advantage of to help maximize their service offerings and opportunities.
“Partners can expect to see about five to 10 per cent better margins than what they normally see from comparable companies selling similar products,” Mehta said.
Mehta maintains confidence that the products will almost sell themselves since he says Blade’s green blade switches in addition to being environmentally friendly, also offer twice the performance and functionality at only half the cost.
Reflecting back over the past year and a half, Mehta is proud of Blade’s growth within Canada, which initially only started out with two employees. At present day, the staff has now grown to include 20 staff members.
“Canada is a very strategic part of Blade Network Technologies going forward,” Mehta said. “We’re going to expand on our portfolio in order to grow as a company. We want to make sure we continue to invest in Canada and continue to come up with greener alternatives for data centres. We also want to expand our business from the blade server space to also being able to provide other network equipment as well.”