Brocade Expands Deal with Sun

San Jose, Calif.-based Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. announced plans this week to expand its reseller agreement with Sun Microsystems.

A maker of Storage Area Network (SAN) infrastructure, Brocade has been a long-standing Sun supplier of fabric switches, devices that route a path or circuit for sending data to its next destination.

By expanding the terms of their current agreement, Sun will make Brocade’s SilkWorm 3200 8-port Entry Fabric Switch available through its reseller and direct sales channels worldwide, the company said.

Financial terms of the deal were not available.

The SilkWorm 3200 8-port Fabric Switch will be marketed by Sun as a SAN building block for small and medium businesses and enterprises implementing SANs.

The eight-port SilkWorm 3200 is designed for companies that are migrating from direct-attached storage (DAS) to entry-level SANs, and is priced around $1,000 per port.

The 3200 supports Windows NT/2000, Linux, and Unix server clustering applications, the company said, and aims to replace legacy hub or loop switch devices.

The SilkWorm 3200 was recently tapped as one of the best networking equipment products of 2002 by the editors of Storage and

Sun currently includes the Brocade SilkWorm 12000 Core Fabric Switch and the SilkWorm 3800 16-port Enterprise Fabric Switch in its SAN offerings.

According to Brocade, its products will be sold and supported by Sun as stand-alone products and as part of Sun-supported SAN or storage configurations.

In addition, Sun provides technical support and consulting services for customers looking to develop their own SANs using Brocade products, including the Brocade Fabric Access API for the management of Brocade fabric switches.

In November of 2002 Brocade cut its workforce by 12 percent as a direct result of sluggish spending in the information technology sector. But on an upward note, the company bought up Fremont, Calif.-based rival Rhapsody Networks for $175 million in stock, giving it market lead in the SAN fabric switch sector.

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