What Proprietary Switch ??
Uhhh .. Excuse me ?? Virtual Connect is NOT a switch. HP is correct that is will connect to any NPIV compatible SAN switch (which is ALL the major players.) VC is a PASSIVE device and neither adds to not subtracts from protocols (in either Ethernet or Fibre Channel flavors.
Also, the whole POINT of these "Virtual I/O" devices from both IBM and HP is to eliminate 1-1 wiring (which can only be done with Blades because they talk across a Midplane.)
Granted, IBM and HP (and everyone else) have proprietary blade chassis designs, but these essentially lock out upstart "Virtual I/O" vendors who MIGHT have a pretty good story in the rack mount space.
They both have pretty good stories (I can't wait to see what Dell says.) HP has been out in th real world longer, so IBM will have to play catch up (and considering the market share drubbing they've gotten from HP, it had BETTER be more than a "me-too" product.