Dell has released FlexAddress, an I/O virtualisation tool for its blade servers.
Without I/O virtualisation, IT departments have to manually assign Media Access Control (MAC) addresses and World Wide Name (WWN) identifiers each time they put in a new blade server. FlexAddress abstracts the MAC and WWN addresses from the blade hardware, instead tying the identifiers to slots within Dell's PowerEdge M-Series blade chassis.
Rivals IBM and HP already have I/O virtualisation tools for their own blade servers.
Charles King of analyst firm Pund-IT says Dell is competing most directly with HP, because both vendors rely heavily on the x86 architecture.