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The companies have reached a development agreement to combine HP's VersaStor technology with switches from Brocade's SilkWorm product family. Brocade sells switches that connect servers and storage devices in SANs.
HP VersaStor in combination with the company's OpenView CASA (continuous access storage appliance) software and Brocade's switches will allow network traffic to be intelligently directed according to a user's needs.
This will appeal to enterprise users with a hodgepodge of software and hardware installations, said Howard Elias, general manager of HP's Network Storage Solutions unit.
Customers who have SAP's enterprise management software running on one version of Unix, Microsoft's Exchange e-mail server on Windows and data warehousing software on yet another server, for example, "can connect all of this together to maximise the use of all of those resources", Elias said.
"The advantages really only occur when you have a lot of assets of servers and storage to bring together," he said.
Both VersaStor and Brocade intelligent switching platform are being tested. Initial units of the system should be available for delivery by mid-2003 with general availability in the second half of the year.
HP is also working on a deal with Cisco Systems.