IBM announced an effort to drive the global expansion of the blade industry, in collaboration with one of the world’s leading venture capital firms, San Francisco-based Walden International. also announced today the addition of seventeen new members, including top Intel OEMs and channel customers.

IBM and Walden International are teaming to foster growth and accelerate innovation around IBM BladeCenter, the industry’s leading blade system. Walden International plans to invest up to $100 million of its venture fund in BladeCenter ecosystem partners over the next five years. Over 50 percent of this investment will be focused on the Asian market. With committed capital of $1.6 billion, Walden International is known as the premier Asian venture capital company and was named Venture Capital Firm of the Year for Asia by Private Equity International in 2005.
“I’m a big believer in the future of the datacenter built on blades. Blades are solving fundamental problems in the datacenter, such as power and cooling issues, space restrictions and provide an excellent platform for virtualization,” said Lip-Bu Tan, founder and chairman, Walden International. “IBM has taken a leadership role in the market with their forward-thinking design approach and collaborative approach to accelerate the market through an ecosystem of partners developing components and solutions for customers.” also announced today that Intel OEMs and channel customers have joined the industry community supporting IBM BladeCenter. These and other OEMs and channel customers around the world are selling the blade design pioneered by IBM and Intel: Anders & Rodewyk, Germany; Arrow Rapac Ltd., Israel; ASBIS Enterprises Ltd., Cyprus; Bell Micro, U.S.; Bull, France; Ex-Channel Limited, Hong Kong; Esys Technologies Pte. Ltd., Singapore; Hammer, UK; Lenovo Group, China; Intech & Company, South Korea; NCR Corporation, U.S.; S&I Co. Ltd., Japan; Synnex Corporation, U.S. Additional members joining today include Double-Take Software, Silverback Systems, Symbol Technologies, Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., all headquartered in the U.S.

IDC anticipates annual customer revenues for the global blade market will grow from an estimated $2.2 billion in 2005 to approximately $10 billion in 2010. The blade industry has seen exceptional growth in the past two years alone, and much of that growth has been spurred by IBM and Intel’s move to open specifications to IBM BladeCenter in September 2004. Since then, more than 350 companies have received the specifications to build products and solutions for BladeCenter, and in the past four months alone, the ecosystem community has grown to more than 75 members.

To date, Walden International has invested in nearly a dozen component and solution developers in the blade market and plans to double its portfolios in the blade industry over the next two to five years. Some examples include members Clovis Solutions and Teak Technologies. “IBM continues to create market and revenue opportunities for cutting-edge startups,” continued Mr. Tan. “IBM’s open platform approach will continue to drive the industry and I expect we’ll continue to see phenomenal growth in the ecosystem.”

“Collaboration is the new model for success, and we continue to embrace our growing ecosystem community. We are pleased to see top venture capitalists, such as Walden International, influencing the future direction of the blade market by funding new companies to build products and solutions for customers,” said Doug Balog, vice president and business line executive for IBM BladeCenter and chairman of “And the addition of important OEMs to today is a very exciting move that demonstrates the power of our open design point, solution focus, and our collaboration with Intel.”