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Brocade Busts an IT Move

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) is leveraging recent acquisitions in a bid to gain footing with enterprise customers -- and restore some of its battered market position.

In a series of announcements today, the switch vendor outlined new low- and high-end switches, software for provisioning and managing servers and remote site data delivery, and a first-ever foray into data center services.

All this is aimed at improving Brocade's earnings, which have suffered at the hands of rivals, particularly Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). (See Brocade Blasts 'Consultant' Reyes.) In the fiercely competitive Fibre Channel switch arena, Brocade hopes to make the most of its customer base, while building on technology picked up with its acquisition of Therion and its investment in Tacit Networks Inc. (see Brocade's Mystery Buy and Brocade Invests in Tacit).

"We're connected to a lot of servers. We have an incredible customer base, and... now that we have been shipping bladed modules, we are jazzed about the blade server market," says Tom Buiocchi, VP of marketing.

Here's a rundown of Brocade's news:

  • New director: The company unveiled a high-end, director-class, Fibre Channel switch meant to compliment the SilkWorm 24000. Dubbed the SilkWorm 48000, the switch is a 256-port unit with 1-, 2-, and 4-Gbit/s FC connectivity. While it's only available to OEMs (end users are scheduled to get it sometime in the second half of 2005), this is the first director to offer 4-Gbit/s.
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