IBM's top network exec talks strategy

IBM reversed course on networking in 2010 when it acquired Blade Network Technologies, one of its key network suppliers. Network World Editor in Chief John Dix and Managing Editor Jim Duffy recently caught up with Vikram Mehta, founder of BNT and now vice president of IBM System Networking, for an update on IBM's network visions going forward.

IBM divested its network operations more than decade ago, so why did it decide it had to get back into the business?

IBM divested its network business in 1999 and acquired BNT in 2010, so interesting question. As enterprises have increased their reliance on IT to run their business the amount of infrastructure has gone through the roof. And what customers have come to realize is that, given the scale and the pace at which they need to deploy infrastructure, the old model of build your own using best of breed servers, best of breed storage and best of breed networking, just became untenable.

They said look, our core business is insurance or banking or running an airline or what have you, we need credible technology suppliers to put the entire solution together. IBM has a tremendous brand in servers, a tremendous brand in storage, but increasingly customers look at these systems as a combination of hardware, software and services and IBM was missing one key component which was networking so it was incredibly important for IBM to have a strong point of view on that.

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