A smart network switch is a "blade" server that supports special applications such as protocol sessions, remote mirrors, tape emulation, and internal network files and data sharing. From the architecture of the extra processing capability for each port and the high integration of the bandwidth between the blade servers to the relatively simple architecture of each server is equipped with a dedicated processor, memory and the input and output functions for communication between various ports, the smart network switch
has many different architectures.
Different businesses use different words to name their switches, there are "smart exchange", "application exchange", "organization exchange" and so on, which are used to make themselves outstanding in competition. Cisco's MDS 9000 series, for example, has blades that support Veritas volume managers and IBM SAN volume controllers (SVCs). These blades can coexist with other blades, including fiber channel ports and IP servers.
The Brocade 7420 multi-protocol router is another example of advanced smart switches, which was originally used to support protocol conversion (from minicomputer interface to fiber channel), SAN segmentation and routing, and IP based remote storage that uses the FCIP protocol.
Other switches support special blades, these servers cover everything from Maxxan to Marranti. CNT and McData also announced their plans to support special blades.
Since the word "smart" can have many different understandings in the field of data network communication, we should first define the "smart switch" or "smart network managed switch". Before defining such a type of switch, we should start with a traditional switch product category to understand why there is a strong demand for such a product category on the market.