Brocade Buys Software Management Player

Storage switch maker Brocade Communications Systems has
acquired software management startup Therion Software for $9.3 million in

Brocade made the buy after working with Therion for more than a year on server configuration and management software.

Brocade is mum about further details, promising only to unveil new
software written as a result of the acquisition at the Brocade Conference
2005 on June 1 in Santa Clara, Calif.

“The Therion team is developing technology with a strong value proposition for server customers in the enterprise data center,” Leslie Davis, a Brocade spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “The strategic investment of Therion will play an
important role in strengthening and broadening Brocade’s portfolio and competitive position in new growth segments.”

Davis said Therion’s 9 employees will join Brocade, remaining at the startup’s Redmond, Wash.-based headquarters.

Brocade CEO Michael Klayko said in a statement the San Jose, Calif., company will add Therion’s team of engineers, who have experience in shared storage and system management, into its engineering group to ramp up product development.

IDC analyst Rick Villars said the move is indicative of a trend in the SAN switch space. That market is
growing at a limited scale, forcing vendors like Brocade, Cisco Systems and McData to look elsewhere for revenue streams.

“Given the need for growth in these markets, vendors are going to have to
expand their intellectual property into more software and management-driven
areas,” Villars said. “This is very much in line with investments that Cisco
has made to expand their reach.”

The purchase is Brocade’s second strategic investment in two days. On
the company agreed to
pump $7.5 million into Tacit Networks. Tacit builds wide area file services
(WAFS) gear that helps enterprises cope with shuttling files between branch
offices in a company.

Brocade is in a slugfest with SAN switch makers McData
and Cisco Systems . Brocade is largely believed to be the
leader of the big three
storage switch makers in terms of units shipped.

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