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McData Extends Router Family

McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA) added a spark to the hot multiprotocol switch conflagration today by upgrading its Nishan Systems-based SAN router with support for its rivals gear.

The McData Eclipse 2640 16-port switch is built on technology acquired in McData's $83 million purchase of Nishan last year (see McData Sweeps Up Nishan, Sanera and McData Closes Nishan Acquisition). The new switch is an upgrade over the four-port Eclipse 1620 McData released last October just after completing the Nishan acquisition (see McData Speeds Out IP Switch).

McData expects its OEM storage partners to "qualify" its new switch -- that is, guarantee its interoperability -- late this year, around the time they're expected to qualify Cisco Systems Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CSCO) MDS 9216i multiprotocol switch announced last week (see Cisco Readies Multiprotocol Switch).

Earlier this month, the Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) SilkWorm Multiprotocol SAN Router was qualified by EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), and Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK).
(See EMC, HP Add Brocade SAN Router and Brocade Ships Multiprotocol Router.)

McData's not expecting its interoperability to be a one-way street. It claims to support switches from Brocade, Cisco, and QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC). Peter Dougherty, McData’s VP of switch platforms, says interoperability was the major reason for the Nishan acquisition.

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