McData Nixes CNT's UMD


McData on Monday outlined plans for its merger with CNT, including dispensing with CNT's director-class UMD switch in favor of McData's Intrepid i10K.

"UMD is a very innovative product, and the engineering team did an outstanding job," McData CEO John Kelley said on a conference call. "We expect the Intrepid product will become more dynamic in future generations, as the combined team will include engineers from McData, Sanera and CNT."

McData also announced plans to merge the companies' software under McData's Enterprise Fabric Connectivity Manager (EFCM) name, and IP SAN, extension, routing and data management technologies will be sold under the Eclipse brand.

EFCM 9.0, expected by year's end, "will be able to manage any vendor's products, including Brocade, Cisco and QLogic," Kelley said. The company also expects to launch its 4Gbps Spherion 4400 and 4700 switches this quarter.

"No real surprises here," said Enterprise Strategy Group senior analyst Nancy Hurley. "McData had spent over a year qualifying the i10K, which is almost exactly the same as the UMD from a feature/functionality perspective. It would not have made sense for them to keep both products, and based on the investment they already made in the i10K, we expected that would be the solution they chose to go ahead with. Software consolidation makes perfect sense as well. Supporting multiple platforms is not cost-effective from McData's standpoint and customers prefer a single solution to manage all of their switch solutions."

Hurley also said she was "encouraged to see that they will continue to focus on the services business. This will be the way to create additional touch points in the customer and create more value than simply being a switch vendor."

Kelley called McData's first quarter "challenging," with "the most negative pre-announcements I have seen in some time." Uncertainty over the merger added to the difficulty, but nonetheless, McData said it expects to meet Wall Street estimates for the quarter.

McData plans to reduced the combined company's 2100-employee headcount by 25%. The merger is expected to close June 1.

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