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Brocade Snubs Multivendor Demo

While the rest of the Fibre Channel industry is ostensibly eager to prove their products are interoperable, Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) stands alone in its belief that most customers are happy with a single-vendor SAN infrastructure.

Brocade has opted out of a multivendor switch demonstration, sponsored by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), scheduled for next month's Storage Networking World (SNW) trade show in Phoenix, Ariz.

But whether the company likes it or not, Brocade's switches will be part of the demonstration, as both IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) will be providing rebranded versions of its fabric switches.

"Brocade is fully supporting having us work with their switch, but they don't want to promote multivendor fabrics," says Phil Mills, chairman of SNIA's Supported Solutions Forum (SSF) and a senior technical staff member in IBM's storage systems group. The SSF is organizing the interoperability demo at SNW.

Every other major FC switch vendor -- Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Inrange Technologies Corp. (Nasdaq: INRG), McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA), and QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC) -- is planning to participate. Storage systems vendors EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), HP, IBM, and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) are also planning to plug into the demo.

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