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Brocade Talks Up Tapestry

NEW YORK -- After buying nearly $17 million in software technology last month, Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) is working hard to sell the concept to potential customers.

It won't be easy. The company was walking a tightrope at the New York stop of its Brocade Conference user roadshow today, where execs talked up the new Tapestry software platform, while highlighting a switch roadmap that includes 4-Gbit/s gear. The goal was to convince customers of the value of new software and services, while not downplaying Brocade's commitment to Fibre Channel switches (see Brocade Busts an IT Move).

Eighteen months ago we decided we had to diversify the company,” marketing VP Tom Buiocchi said of the Tapestry platform. “This is a decidedly different product from Brocade. For the first time at this conference, we’re going to expand our discussions to products that are not switch based.”

Brocade last month announced the first two pieces of its Tapestry platform: Application Resource Manager (ARM) for provisioning servers and Wide Area File Services (WAFS) for improving delivery of data to remote sites.

The ARM product is the result of stealth development Brocade carried out with Therion Software, which it funded and then acquired in May for approximately $9.3 million. The WAFS came from an OEM deal with Tacit Networks Inc. that included a $7.5 million investment in the startup (see Brocade Invests in Tacit).

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