New NEM for the Blade 6000 series
You can have several reasons for a certain feature or design choice in your system: There are enough customer that want it otherwise. Initially there weren´t any options for the Blade 6000 to consolidate all networking cables to one or two cables. There are good reasons to do so, but well … customers wanted an option to do so. But with the Sun Blade 6000 Virtualized Multi-Fabric 10GbE Network Express Module this changed. But it isn´t a switch, the blades talk via PCI Express with this module talking to a specialized ASIC. The blades can talk to each other directly via this ASIC. The ASICS are transparent to the network. There are just two real 10 GBe interfaces on the NEM and those are used for the outbound connections. Additionally there is a SAS fabric on board and 10 1-Gigabit-Ethernet ports. The later ones aren´t shared, each GigabitEthernet port is connected to one blade.