Company Profile: McDATA Corporation

According to the Gartner Group, an industry research firm, the market for SAN infrastructure will reach nearly $17-billion by 2005. And, as storage becomes more and more complex, companies are continually looking for simple, scalable solutions for managing these complex storage networks.

McDATA Corporation, Broomfield, CO, a worldwide leader in open storage networking solutions, is helping its customers find those solutions by providing them with answers to open storage-networking problems. According to statistics, on average, companies will buy as much storage this year alone, as they did in the entire history of their companies. According to Brandon Hoff, senior manager of strategic marketing at McDATA, the company’s SANavigator management software provides true vendor and platform-independent management of storage area networks (SANs) and gives the SAN administrator confidence that the network is operating properly and that the data is available.

“Storage is growing exponentially but the number of storage administrators is not growing, ” says Hoff. “So, as companies deploy more SANs, their networks become more complex,” he continued. Hoff says that SANavigator helps these companies minimize risk, optimize resources, and simplify management. According to Hoff, SANavigator with Enterprise Fabric Connectivity Manager (EFCM) is the first of a new generation of storage network management solutions that addresses monitoring, management, and controls SANs in a multi-vendor environment. “Because SANs become more complex as they grow and scale, says Hoff, management complexity increases as well.” “SANavigator with EFCM simplifies the management of a variety of devices across multiple vendors,” he says. According to Hoff, SANavigator provides its customers with management of multiple devices regardless of vendor or protocol, improved availability through management and notification, discovery and management from a single interface, reduced costs and more efficient resources, and the preservation of storage network configurations for business continuity.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee recently implemented SANavigator at its data center. “After we looked at the offerings from various SAN and software vendors out there, we knew without a doubt that McDATA was the clear choice,” says Bob Venable, manager of enterprise systems for BlueCross BlueShield. According to Venable, after only a month of running the SANavigator software, the company saved about $120,000. “SANavigator helped us optimize our storage resources and with its monitoring functions gave us the ability to effectively manage 46 terabytes of data and over 4,000 users with only part-time administrators,” he continued. On the hardware side, Venable said that McDATA’s architecture proved far superior when compared to the competition. “Downtime to make changes to the network must be minimal to nothing and McDATA was the only vendor we found that could provide checking between each piece of equipment as well as the capability to do hot microcode updates,” he says.

“Our solutions were designed to provide highly available, scalable, and centrally managed SANs that address enterprise-wide storage problems,” says Hoff. SANavigator with EFCM allows our customers to fully leverage the benefits of storage networking and tailor their environment to meet specific business requirements through greater access to the SAN infrastructure status and health,” he continued. One of the reasons Hoff says this is possible is because SANavigator with EFCM provides greater ability to visualize the structure, therefore making details of management functions such as zoning or launching specific management applications easier and more intuitive.

Company information:
McDATA Corp. was founded in 1982. The company provides high performance enterprise directors and SANs and manufacturers and markets high-performance switching solutions – Fibre Channel for open systems environments and ESCON for IBM data centers.

McDATA Corp.
380 Interlocken Crescent
Broomfield, CO 80021
Tel: 303-460-9200
Fax: 720-566-3860
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:


Stock Information:


1999 ($95 million)
2000 ($249 million)
2001 ($344 million)


See All Articles by Columnist
Leslie Wood

Leslie Wood
Leslie. Wood is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor.

Latest Articles

Top Managed Service Providers (MSPs) for 2021

Managed service providers perform an arsenal of outsourced tasks, including cloud deployment and migration, advanced data analytics, and IoT and network installation. Managed services...

7 Essential Compliance Regulations for Data Storage Systems

Many of the compliance systems that companies have to deal with require the same kind of actions, processes, and plans. Here are key elements.

DNA Data Storage: Could Data Files Be Stored as DNA?

Using DNA storage for digital data is a well established idea. Here’s how it could come to full fruition as acceptance widens.