Blade Network Technologies, a maker of data center switches and other data center gear, has secured $10 million in funding from a group led by NEC and Juniper Networks.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said the Series B funding round will be used to accelerate research and development as well as expand the its global sales and marketing efforts.

Blade was established as a division of Nortel in 2002, and was spun out as an independent company with the financial backing of Garnett & Helfrich Capital in February of 2006. Under Chief Executive Vikram Mehta, the company is carving out a space as a supplier of Ethernet switches for blade servers, as well as developing software to manage cloud-ready data centers.

With Cisco’s decision to move into the server market and compete directly against partners such as IBM, HP and Dell, Blade is looking to position itself as a potential replacement partner.

“Since we established Blade Network Technologies as an independent company in 2006, we have achieved impressive growth and an unsurpassed series of technology and industry first, as well as establishing ourselves as the market leader in cloud-ready networking,” Mehta said in a statement announcing the funding round.

The latest funding round values the company at about $230 million.

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