Brocade Branches Out

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Brocade moved further outside its core Fibre Channel SAN business this week with the acquisition of file virtualization company NuView.

NuView’s products, which help manage files in distributed, heterogeneous computing environments, will be offered as part of the Brocade Tapestry family of infrastructure management solutions, which include Wide Area File Services (WAFS), Application Resource Manager and Data Migration Manager.

The $60 million acquisition closed March 6.

Six-year-old NuView boasts 400 enterprise customers and an OEM relationship with Network Appliance, which Brocade said it expects to keep.

NuView’s flagship product in its enterprise file management software suite is StorageX, which lets administrators add, consolidate, migrate, and automate the fail over of heterogeneous servers and NAS appliances in geographically distributed environments without affecting end user access to data. StorageX complements Brocade’s WAFS technology by offering easier branch office and data center file consolidation across an enterprise.

StorageX leverages Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS) and supports both CIFS and NFS protocols across major NAS platforms.

NuView’s MyView, File Lifecyle Manager, Data on Demand Manager, and Universal Naming Convention Update products also address file information lifecycle management (ILM), migration, recovery, security and administrative challenges.

On a conference call, Brocade officials say they see NuView’s technology addressing an emerging need for “file area network” technology, compared to the company’s core block-based SAN technology.

“It’s a smart move by Brocade to provide solutions for managing data files in a way that provides access across an entire organization,” said Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

Brocade also unveiled a number of new Fibre Channel and IP switching products.

The SilkWorm 4900 offers an industry-first 64-port, 4Gbps SAN switch in a compact package aimed at port aggregation and simplified management of SAN environments.

The SilkWorm 7500 switch and the SilkWorm FR4-18i Blade offer 4Gbps SAN routing and high-performance Fibre Channel over Internet Protocol (FCIP) capabilities to extend enterprise SANs over distance. The SilkWorm FR4-18i is available as a plug-in blade for the SilkWorm 48000 Director, and the SilkWorm 7500 is a standalone switch.

The new Brocade iSCSI Gateway connects Ethernet-capable servers to Fibre Channel SANs and storage resources. This platform offers fast and cost-effective extension of SAN connectivity for up to 100 IP-connected servers per device.

It’s been a busy few days for storage-related mergers, with EMC picking up Authentica, Microsoft acquiring iSCSI target technology from String Bean Software, and Atempo adding CDP technology with the acquisition of Storactive.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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