Brocade Closes Out McData

Goodbye to McData management, brand, and most of its products as rivals combine

January 30, 2007

4 Min Read
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Brocade officially closed the McData deal today, and promptly cleared out its rival's management team and most of its products. (See Brocade Completes McData Buy.)

The final price tag came to $973 million, based on Brocade's closing stock price last Friday. Brocade CEO Mike Klayko rang the Nasdaq stock market opening bell in New York today, then headed to McData's Broomfield, Colo., headquarters to meet with former McData employees.

Brocade also sketched out its combined product line, which looks a lot like its product line from before it revealed its acquisition plans last Aug. 8. (See Brocade Bags McData For $713M.)

Brocade will integrate McData's services organization, which came primarily from a 2005 acquisition of CNT Networks, into its services group and continue to sell McData directors, fabric management software, and mainframe extension platform.

The rest is gone or going soon. So is McData's management team, which was swept out entirely.Brocade marketing VP Tom Buiocchi says overlapping products were removed, and most of what made the cut will be integrated into one platform when Fibre Channel gear moves to 8 Gbit/s. (See 8-Gig Fibre Hits Roadmaps.) None of the surviving products will bear the McData brand.

"Now we have to make sure our customers are comfortable with our decisions, " Buiocchi says. Translation: Brocade wants to keep McData customers from moving to Cisco.

Here is what the Brocade product platform looks like, post-acquisition:

  • Directors: Brocade will keep McData's Intrepid 6140 and 10,000 directors -- renaming them the Brocade M6140 and Brocade Mi10K -- alongside the Brocade 48000 director. Buiocchi says the goal is to combine them into one director platform when it is time to upgrade to 8-Gbit/s gear, probably in 2008.

    Buicochi says he expects McData customers will prefer McData directors, especially those using them with mainframe FICON connectivity. He expects most new customers to prefer the Brocade 48000 directors.

  • Fabric switches: Brocade will phase out McData Sphereon 4400 and 4700 fabric switches this year while continuing support for another five years. The Brocade 4900, 4100, and 200E switches remain.

  • SAN Routing and Fibre Channel Extension over IP (FCIP) -- Brocade will keep its 7500 SAN Router and FR4-18i director blade for the 48000 for SAN extension, and kill the McData 2640 and 1620 routers this year. Like the fabric switches, Brocade will support the SAN routers for five years.

    For mainframe connectivity and FICON and ESCON extension, Brocade will retain the McData UltraNet platform. The UltraNet Edge Storage Router becomes the Brocade Edge M3000, and the UltraEdge Director eXtended becomes the Brocade USD-X6 and X-12.

  • SAN Management Software: Brocade will keep McData's Enterprise Fabric Connectivity Manager (EFCM), which already can manage Brocade switches and directors. EFCM will replace the Brocade Fabric Manager by the middle of 2008. Brocade will keep its SAN Health diagnostic applications.

  • Blade Switches: Brocade will discontinue selling McData blade server switches, which McData sold through a partnership with QLogic. (See McData Hops on QLogic Blades.) Brocade has its own family of blade switches.

  • Virtualization: Brocade will kill McData's Application Services Module (ASM) platform rolled out just three months ago. (See McData Gets Virtual Act in Gear.) Brocade will rename its virtualization platform Brocade AP7420, and Buiocchi says there will be enhancements around midyear.

  • WAFS: Brocade will also kill McData's WAFS product it began selling last year through an OEM deal with Riverbed. (See McData Hits Remote Control.) Brocade has a WAFS OEM deal with Riverbed rival Packeteer. (See Brocade & Packeteer Widen Target.)

Brocade will also discontinue McData's virtual tape library (VTL) and SpectraNet Replicator software that provides disaster recovery for Exchange. (See McData Unveils VTL.) Both of those applications came from McData's partnership with FalconStor. Brocade has no competing products.

Buicohi says Brocade has no layoffs to announce yet, although he confirmed McData let people go last week. All of McData's senior executives are gone, including CEO John Kelley and five others that McData paid a total of around $4 million in bonuses to stay on through the transition. (See Kelley Gets 1.1M Reasons to Stay.)

Brocade will keep McData's Colorado and Minnesota offices open.

"There were no surprises," analyst Greg Schulz of the StorageIO Group says of Brocade's post-acquisition roadmap. "You don't mess with the directors, so they're keeping them. The rest was a matter of streamlining."

Dave Raffo, News Editor, Byte and Switch

  • Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD)

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

  • FalconStor Software Inc. (Nasdaq: FALC)

  • QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC)

  • Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD)

  • The StorageIO Group

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