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IBM, Brocade Tie SAN Knot

LAS VEGAS -- Networld+Interop -- IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
announced today at Networld+Interop that it will be offering a special version of Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) SAN switches for its blade servers, as was first revealed in this space last week (see Brocade, IBM Could Cross Blades).

After a year of development work, Brocade will be rolling out two SAN switches designed specifically for IBMs BladeCenter range of servers.

Analysts say that teaming up with established SAN vendor Brocade will help IBM differentiate its blade server offering from that of Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), its closest rival in the space.

“HP has its own integrated Fibre Channel and network switches, but they don’t have a specific SAN switch from a third-party vendor like Brocade," says Sarang Ghatpande, lead analyst at DH Brown Associates Inc.

”This will put IBM ahead of blade server players like HP, because they have now got two major networking and storage vendors on their side.”

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