McData has now acquired Nishan Systems and Sanera Systems, spending a total of $185m in cash.
Mike Gustafson, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at McData, said the company now has a complete end-to-end set of switching products for its customers.
"When completely integrated, we’ll have the best set of solutions out there," Gustafson said. "These acquisitions will help us get to real-time storage services."
Gustafson compared the concept of real-time storage services with what IBM is working toward with its On Demand computing initiative. he said McData saw storage becoming more automated, adaptive, and available, but to get there, it needed to be more scalable, intelligent, and internetworked.
He explained that the acquisition of Sanera’s director-class switch, the DS10000, resolves the scalability issue with its 256 ports, all of which can be used as 2Gbps or 64 aggregated running at 10Gbps. The acquisition of Nishan’s family of IP-based storage switches, the IPS 4000 Series and IPS 3000 Series, fulfils the internetworking requirement.
To meet the intelligence requirement, McData invested $6m in storage-processor start-up Aarohi Communications. The investment gives McData a 15% equity stake in the company building the chip that will sit in McData’s forthcoming intelligent-switch platform.
McData’s primary competitor in the storage switch arena, Brocade Communications Systems, was not overly concerned by McData’s acquisitions.
"We don’t think these acquisitions have ‘changed the future of storage', " said Tom Buiocchi, vice president of marketing at Brocade. "They bought three disparate technologies to do stuff that’s been there a long time. We got all of that stuff in the acquisition of Rhapsody."
Buiocchi added that the Rhapsody technology Brocade acquired in January already had multiprotocol support and has "all of their bases covered". He said Brocade has been working a long time to integrate that technology into its family of switches.
Without much difference in offerings, Buiocchi sees each company focusing on helping their customer base move to a next-generation San without ripping and replacing equipment.
McData said it would concentrate on integrating its acquisitions into its product offerings, with Gustafson estimating that everything will be completely integrated by the middle of next year.
Scott Tyler Shafer writes for InfoWorld