HP, Brocade hook up for integrated servers

Von Bob Francis

Hewlett-Packard Co. on Thursday announced that it will integrate Brocade Communication Systems Inc."s SAN switching capability into its HP BladeSystem architecture.

By integrating Brocade"s switch into its blade offerings, HP officials say customers will have improved SAN connectivity and reduced fabric infrastructure costs because fabric switch infrastructure components and cables will no longer be required. The agreement will enable HP ProLiant server blades to be compatible with Brocade fabric switch technology in all current and future HP BladeSystems.

?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 for HP"s BladeSystems group, in a statement. ?In teaming (up) 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,? he said.

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

The blade server market has been very competitive in the switch area recently. Brocade and QLogic Corp. both supply IBM Corp. with switches for Big Blue"s blade servers. HP uses both QLogic and Brocade for its entry-level SAN systems.