Brocade branches out

By Dave Simpson

—At its Brocade Conference (June 1—;2 in Santa Clara, CA), Brocade will make three sets of product announcements, one of which indicates the company's plan to move beyond its traditional base of switches and directors. Under the umbrella of its new Tapestry product line, Brocade introduced

  • The Tapestry WAFS (wide area file services) appliance, which is the result of an OEM agreement with Tacit Networks (see Brocade partners with Tacit for WAFS ). Unlike most other WAFS appliances, the Tacit approach is based on Windows; and
  • The Tapestry Application Resource Manager (ARM) solution, which is the result of Brocade's acquisition last month of Therion Software.

The ARM software is in beta, with production shipments expected late this summer or early fall, according to Tom Buiocchi, vice president of worldwide marketing and services at Brocade. Marking Brocade's foray beyond its storage-centric roots, ARM allows systems and application administrators to dynamically provision and activate servers, software (operating system images, device drivers, etc.), and related applications from a SAN-based platform—Brocade's Intelligent Application Platform (which was the result of Brocade's acquisition of Rhapsody Networks). In addition, the ARM software automatically manages inter-relationships between application resources. The ARM bundle also includes software that runs on a PC server-based out-of-band management console.

Brocade officials claim that the ARM software reduces the time it takes to provision application resources from hours to minutes.

(Therion Software was formed about a year ago by former Microsoft and Veritas employees. Brocade was one of the private investors in the company.)

Also this week, Brocade announced OEM shipments of two new 4Gbps Fibre Channel switches: the entry-level 8- to 16-port SilkWorm 200E and the 256-port director-class SilkWorm 48000. The 48000 director is the same size/format as the 2Gbps SilkWorm 24000, but has 2x the speed and 2x the density via double-density 16- and 32-port blades. (Brocade is already shipping the 16- to 32-port 4Gbps SilkWorm 4100 switches as well as a 4Gbps Fibre Channel blade for Hewlett-Packard blade servers.)

End-user shipments of the 4Gbps switches and directors are expected later this year, after Brocade's OEMs complete qualification testing.

The third set of product announcements this week centered on a formalization and extension of Brocade's professional services and support offerings.

This article was originally published on May 31, 2005