Data General signs on for Brocade switches

In a move that could signal EMC's commitment to offering an open, flexible, component-based storage area network (SAN) architecture based on newly acquired Data General's technology, Data General has signed an OEM agreement with switch maker Brocade Communications Systems.

As a result of the deal, Data General will package Brocade's SilkWorm Fibre Channel fabric switches with its Clariion SAN solutions. Data General officials said the relationship will allow them to become the first major storage vendor to offer a scalable, end-to-end SAN solution for storage backup and consolidation.

In addition to the OEM arrangement, the two companies signed an agreement that will allow Data General's Professional Service organisation to become a worldwide, authorised service provider for Brocade's products. The services will be provided through Data General's Atlanta area-based call centre.

According to Michael Cassey, an analyst with the GartnerGroup, the move could add some credibility to Data General and its now-parent-company EMC in its effort to offer a flexible SAN solution.

"It's similar to the [Hewlett-Packard] story, giving customers a choice," Cassey said. "EMC needs to be supporting a choice of disk hardware platforms and connectivity."

The Clariion SAN solution packaged with Brocade switches will support the Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, Hewlett-Packard HP-UX, and Windows NT computing platforms.

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