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Brown & Williamson

When Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. more than tripled the size of its SAN last year, it unexpectedly became one of the first adopters of McData Corp.'s (Nasdaq: MCDTA) forthcoming 140-port director switch.

Fortunately, the SAN went live without any major complications, and Brown & Williamson was able to breathe a deep sigh of relief [ed. note: before it started hacking up a lung].

In the third quarter of 2002, the tobacco company, based in Macon, Ga., was planning to implement a large customer resource management (CRM) project. The group responsible for managing the SAN piggybacked off that to justify the purchase of two McData director-class switches.

The company first installed a 64-port Intrepid 6064, running at 2 Gbit/s. Then McData brought in the 140-port 6140 -- and even though it was technically three months away from shipping, Brown & Williamson felt comfortable enough to give it the green light. Basically, the 6140 was the same box as the 6064, only with more ports, says Mark Swaim, technical services manager at Brown & Williamson (see McData Hits 140 Ports).

"It wasn't like going from a switch to a director," he says. "We viewed it as an extension of the existing director."

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