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For non-system networking, IBM will continue its reseller and OEM relationships with Brocade, Cisco, Juniper, and others, the spokesperson said.
With BNT, IBM will drive innovation at the systems networking level to help enable clients to speed the delivery of information from system to system for workloads such as analytics and cloud computing, the IBM spokesperson said.
A spokesperson for Juniper, which has an equity stake in BNT, termed the planned acquisition as beneficial for Juniper. The acquisition will enable Juniper, BNT, and IBM to collaborate more closely when the three companies' products and services are deployed together, the spokesperson said.
Aaron Rakers and Matthew Nahorski, analysts with Stifel Nicolaus, a Baltimore-based equity research firm, wrote in a Monday research paper that IBM's planned acquisition could cancel some of the speculation about IBM as a potential suitor for Brocade.
Because of BNT's and Juniper's OEM relationships with IBM, such an acquisition could actually bring IBM closer to Juniper, while driving Brocade into a closer relationship with Dell as the only major system vendor without its own networking technology, Rakers and Nahorski wrote.
The planned acquisition of BNT will accelerate the industry's move to provide a converged infrastructure architecture, Rakers and Nahorski wrote. "We believe (this is) yet another example of how the consolidators in IT are focused on the drive toward converged infrastructure solutions," they wrote.
In addition to its reseller relationship with IBM, BNT also sells blade networking switch modules for HP's C-class blade server chassis.
Brocade, Cisco, and HP declined to comment on this article. IBM and Juniper were unable to comment other than through their spokespersons' statements.
Chad Berndtson contributed to this article.