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Brocade captures Silverback

Fibre channel switch gorilla buys into iSCSI

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Storage switch vendor Brocade has bought privately-held network accelerator chip start-up Silverback Systems for an undisclosed sum.

Silverback's gear is aimed at speeding up iSCSI storage area networks. The Massachusetts-based firm was founded in 1999 with venture capital and has offices in the UK and Netherlands.

Silverback rival Aarohi was picked up by Host Bus Adaptor (HBA) vendor Emulex in April 2006. Some in the industry predicted the logical upshot would be for Silverback to then be picked up by Emulex's HBA nemesis QLogic.

For Brocade, the acquisition signals greater interest in iSCSI, and should see a broadening of its own fibre channel-focused product portfolio rather than deleloping Silverback's lines. Silverback's technology enables 10Gbit/s ethernet transfer rates for iSCSI, which is seen as a potential starting gun for the networks, which have seen cautious take-up so far.

The cash deal should go through in Brocade's 2007 fiscal Q1, and is expected to have no material impact on its finances. It's the third Brocade acquisition in the last 10 months, following the McData and NuView deals.

Brocade's news release is here. ®

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