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Brocade & Emulex Shake Hands

Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX) and Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) today decided to push a pesky lawsuit to the side and pool their efforts to capture the SMB market (see Emulex, Brocade Expand Partnership).

The companies said they would co-develop a SAN management wizard to integrate installation and management of Emulex HBAs and Brocade Fibre Channel switches into one interface. We’re looking to make SANs easier to use,” says Doug Rainbolt, Brocade’s VP of transport business. “The biggest complaint we’ve had from SMBs is they want us to make things easier.”

The companies also announced a three-year litigation standstill of a lawsuit Emulex inherited when it bought Vixel last October for $310 million (see Emulex Drops Cash for Vixel). Vixel filed suit against Brocade in May 2003, claiming Brocade infringed on three patents to produce and sell various switches (see Vixel Slings Suit at Brocade). The standstill means no claims will be pursued for three years.

“We looked each other in the eyes and said it’s important to put this behind us,” says Rainbolt. “We can’t collaborate and have this [suit] going on.”

The companies will jointly market their products to channel partners that will bundle the Emulex LightPulse HBAs and Brocade SilkWorm switches. Rainbolt says that means making sales calls together to push their bundles.

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