Brocade Makes Software Management Play

Storage switch maker Brocade Communications is moving further into management software with the acquisition of startup Therion Software for $9.3 million in cash.

Brocade made the buy after working with Therion for more than a year on server configuration and management software.

Brocade is mum about further details, promising only to unveil new software from the acquisition at the Brocade Conference 2005 on June 1 in Santa Clara, Calif.

“The Therion team is developing technology with a strong value proposition for server customers in the enterprise data center,” Leslie Davis, a Brocade spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “The strategic investment of Therion will play an important role in strengthening and broadening Brocade’s portfolio and competitive position in new growth segments.”

Davis said Therion’s nine employees will join Brocade, remaining at the startup’s Redmond, Wash.-based headquarters.

Brocade CEO Michael Klayko said in a statement that the San Jose, Calif., switch maker will add Therion’s team of engineers, who have experience in shared storage and system management, to its engineering group to ramp up product development.

IDC analyst Rick Villars said the move is indicative of a trend in the SAN switch space. That market is growing at a limited scale, forcing vendors like Brocade, Cisco Systems and McData to look elsewhere for revenue streams.

“Given the need for growth in these markets, vendors are going to have to expand their intellectual property into more software and management-driven areas,” Villars said. “This is very much in line with investments that Cisco has made to expand their reach.”

The purchase is Brocade’s second strategic investment in two days. On Tuesday, the company agreed to pump $7.5 million into Tacit Networks. Tacit builds wide area file services (WAFS) gear that helps enterprises cope with shuttling files between branch offices in a company.

Brocade is in a fierce competition with SAN switch makers McData and Cisco Systems. Brocade is largely believed to be the leader of the big three storage switch makers in terms of units shipped.

Article courtesy of Internet News

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for CIO.com covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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