HP, Brocade Reduce SAN Infrastructure Costs for BladeSystem by Over 50%

11/8/2004 - HP and Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (Brocade®) (Nasdaq: BRCD) announced an integrated offering designed to reduce acquisition and operating costs in industry-standard blade environments for enterprise and small and mid-size business customers.

As part of an agreement between the companies, Brocade's storage area network (SAN) switching capability will be fully integrated into the HP BladeSystem architecture. This provides customers with flexible SAN connectivity and can reduce fabric infrastructure costs by greater than 50 percent by eliminating fabric switch infrastructure components and cables no longer necessary in a HP BladeSystem environment.(1)

The collaboration between HP and Brocade provides the first optimized, embedded Fibre Channel fabric switch for the HP BladeSystem portfolio to improve networked storage performance and SAN management. Building on HP's integrated blade infrastructure approach, the agreement enables HP ProLiant server blades to be 100 percent compatible with Brocade fabric switch technology for current and future HP BladeSystem customers.

"The worldwide blade server market is growing rapidly, yet switch compatibility remains a top-of-mind issue for customers," said John Enck, vice president and research director, Gartner Research. "SAN infrastructure vendors who partner with blade system vendors to develop and integrate switch modules for blade solutions are clearly addressing increased customer demand for a more efficient data storage footprint, decreased complexity in the data center and greater blade/SAN connectivity and adoption."

"Customers today are demanding industry standards - technology they have already come to rely on in their existing IT environments," said Rick Becker, vice president and general manager, BladeSystem Organization, HP. "In teaming with Brocade, HP is driving the blade industry to grow into more of a volume market by offering the best in hardware standards, automation management, services and virtualization technologies."

The HP BladeSystem with the industry-first four gigabit (GB) per second embedded Brocade SAN switch module consolidates servers and storage connectivity into a single architecture, increasing rack space optimization by 50 percent, providing easier connection and management of multiple servers attached to SAN environments, high availability and the flexibility to non-disruptively add resources as needed. The switch option will provide a low-cost, scalable, high-performance SAN server to storage integration and be fully interoperable with Brocade fabrics infrastructures.

"HP's BladeSystem represents the future of scalable infrastructure optimized for the Adaptive Enterprise," said Tom Buiocchi, vice president of marketing at Brocade. "With an installed base of more than 4.1 million ports, Brocade fabric switch technology is the world's most widely installed SAN infrastructure and our work with HP to embed Brocade SAN connectivity into its blade infrastructure will enable delivery of flexible services that better link IT with business needs."

The efficient design of the Brocade SAN switch complements storage connectivity options for current HP BladeSystem customers by reducing the number of cables, equipment and ports - reducing overall costs and saving rack space compared to traditional rack-mounted options.

The embedded Brocade 4GB Fibre Channel Switch Module is expected to be available with the HP BladeSystem beginning in the second quarter of 2005, and is expected to be priced competitively with existing 2GB external fabric switch products.

More information about HP BladeSystem is available at http://www.hp.com/go/bladesystem.

About Brocade Communications Systems, Inc.
Brocade offers the industry's leading intelligent platform for networking storage. The world's leading systems, applications, and storage vendors have selected Brocade to provide a networking foundation for their SAN solutions. The Brocade SilkWorm family of fabric switches and software is designed to optimize data availability and storage and server resources in the enterprise. Using Brocade solutions, companies can simplify SAN implementation, reduce the total cost of ownership of data storage environments, and improve network and application efficiency. For more information, visit the Brocade website at http://www.brocade.com or contact the company at info@brocade.com.

About HP
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. For the four fiscal quarters ended July 31, 2004, HP revenue totaled $78.4 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.

(1) Calculations are based on HP components and internet list prices (ILP). Comparisons included 8 HP ProLiant 1U servers connected to a primary fibre channel SAN switch and then to a SAN target device vs. 8 HP ProLiant server blades connected to the integrated switch and a SAN target device. 1U server configuration requires PCI-X cards at $2,450 ILP (8 = $19,600). The BladeSystem configuration requires Fibre Interface $1,105 (8 = $8,840), for a savings of $10,760. For 1U configurations, 8 Fibre Channel cables ($2,208) are required vs. 0 for HP BladeSystem.

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