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Dell, Brocade to join forces in data center push

Dell Inc. said it has expanded its reseller agreement with storage switch maker Brocade Communications Systems Inc. and will now sell external Fibre Channel-over-Ethernet (FCoE), 10GbE switches and the host bus adapters (HBAs) needed to connect servers to high-end storage arrays.

The two companies also said they will be jointly developing software to better manager virtualized server/storage environments.

Dell is already reselling Brocade's embedded Fibre Channel switches in its Dell M1000e and Dell PowerEdge Series blade servers as well as in its storage area networks (SANs). It will now also resell Brocade's 8000 Fibre Channel-over-Ethernet FCoE Switch and Brocade's DCX Backbone director, which enables data center consolidation and network convergence.

Dell will also resell the Brocade Ethernet modular switch line of NetIron MLX Series Routers and Brocade BigIron RX Series Switches with 10 Gbit/sec Ethernet and GbE ports to support data center traffic, including iSCSI virtualized applications and Internet edge-to-aggregation layers routing. Brocade acquired the Ethernet switches when it bought Foundry Networks Inc. last year.

To manage the new line of switch and router offerings, Dell will resell Brocade's Data Center Fabric Manager, which can manage data center fabrics — from storage ports on networked storage systems to HBAs attached to physical or virtualized servers — through a single interface.

The two companies also said they would work together to deliver integrated toolsets to manage application delivery and deployment as business services.

“We are extending our Brocade relationship beyond storage into the broader datacenter, offering customers compelling choices and flexibility for compute, networking and storage,” Brad Anderson, senior vice president of Dell's Enterprise Product Group, said in a statement. “Both companies share a vision that next-generation, virtualized data centers should be open and standards-based.”

Marc Randall, senior vice president, Brocade Products and Offerings, said his company is committed to an “ecosystem-centric partnership model in developing and delivering the best-in-class solutions that customers need and want. This agreement further strengthens and diversifies Dell's end-to-end IP and storage networking portfolio and provides customers with a cost-effective, high-performance and reliable choice to address the demands of evolving enterprise data centers.”

Dell expects to make the new Brocade products generally available starting in December.

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