Rhapsody software deal could carry over to Brocade products

Rhapsody has struck a deal that will bring InterSAN Inc.'s storage area management (SAM) software to Rhapsody's line of storage switches.

Brocade Communications Systems Inc. may be getting more than just storage switching technology once it closes the books on its acquisition of Rhapsody Networks Inc. Rhapsody has struck a deal that will bring InterSAN Inc.'s storage area management (SAM) software to Rhapsody's line of storage switches.

The deal between Fremont, Calif.-based Rhapsody and InterSAN, Scotts Valley, Calif., was announced in the waning days of 2002 and calls for joint development of network based application management.

The companies said InterSAN's software will discover, automatically provision and manage Rhapsody's fabric switches. Under the agreement, the companies plan to provide customers with policy-based automated management and provisioning of networked-based storage application services using Rhapsody's XPath API, InterSAN's Virtual Private DataPath (VPD) technology and InterSAN's Pathline software.

InterSAN software also supports Brocade, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, and LSI Logic storage solutions. That being said, will the partnership continue once Rhapsody is absorbed by Brocade?

John Webster, senior analyst and founder of the Data Mobility Group, Nashua, NH, said the deal is significant for InterSAN as another partnership with a major name storage vendor.

Last November, InterSAN landed its first major OEM deal with Hitachi Data Systems to add automation to the HDS HiCommand Device Manager for storage management. The agreement with HDS means that InterSAN's Pathline software has been integrated with Hitachi Freedom Storage systems as part of the HDS TrueNorth Developers Program.

"Those kinds of deals are gold for startups," he said. However, he said the deal does not imply that InterSAN software will be used in all things Brocade.

"In terms of InterSAN finding its way into Brocade switches, Rhapsody represents an intelligent switch that will likely be integrated with Brocade's current product line, but that alone does not say that InterSAN management application software will find its way into all Brocade switches," Webster said.

Since Rhapsody is technically still separate from Brocade, spokesperson Roger Villareal declined to comment on whether InterSAN's software would wind up in Brocade's switching products. "Brocade cannot comment on Rhapsody's press releases," said Villareal.

Karen Dutch, InterSAN's vice president of marketing also danced around a definitive answer, but did point to InterSAN's existing relationship with Brocade. "I can't comment on the acquisition, but we have a strong relationship with Brocade that goes from the 2400 [switch] all the way up to the 12000."

According to Steve Daheb, software product marketing director for Brocade, the acquisition of Rhapsody will accelerate its time to market for virtualization and serve as a platform for new fabric-based applications.

As a result of the acquisition, Brocade expects to deliver a new line of fabric application switches, which it said would be fully interoperable with the Brocade SilkWorm family of Fibre Channel fabric.

Rhapsody's switch architecture is multifaceted. It hosts fabric applications directly and supports multiple protocols, including Fibre Channel and IP, which are accessed through an open API. Brocade said the API would be integrated with the Brocade Fabric Access API to deliver a complete interface for the development of storage and data management applications.

Brocade has not announced a specific time frame for product delivery.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Internal woes rock Brocade, but Rhapsody buy expected to help

Brocade buys Rhapsody Networks, plans new switches

HDS jumps on automation bandwagon

Let us know what you think of this story. E-mail Kevin Komiega, News Writer

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