McData Outlines Nishan Integration

By eweek  |  Posted 2003-09-18
A product road map for McData Corp.s $85 million acquisition of Nishan Systems Inc. is ready, officials said today, and the deal will close by tomorrow evening, Wall Street sources said.

McData, the high-end storage switch maker in Broomfield, Colo., will give the name Eclipse to San Jose, Calif.-based Nishans current IPS 3300 and IPS 4300 IP-based long-distance switches, said Peter Dougherty, vice president of business development and strategic alliances, who did not comment on the closing.

A priority is integrating Eclipse products with McDatas SANavigator management software, he added.

There will be new low- and high-end versions by the end of this year, plus blade-server versions that plug into McData director switches by the middle of 2004, he said.

Also, clarifying statements made after the acquisition was announced last month, Dougherty said Nishans current Internet Fibre Channel Protocol (IFCP) will be retained because of its benefits in address mapping and scalability.

Eclipse products will also use the more common Fibre Channel over Internet Protocol (FCIP), but "thats more for interoperability than anything else… long-term, well support both," he said.

The new low- and high-end products are a good way for McData to defend itself and Fibre Channel in general against IP-based storage technologies from Microsoft Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc., respectively, noted analyst Shebly Seyrafi, of A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc., in St. Louis.

As for the protocol choices, "Thats interesting because iFCP never really took off in the marketplace… but it does have the advantage of not having to replace Fibre Channel [host-bus adapters]," as iSCSI does, said Seyrafi, a McData investor.

Nishan products in general overlap with McDatas other as-yet unclosed acquisition, which was approximately $102 million for Sunnyvale, Calif.s Sanera Systems Inc., added analyst Harry Blount, of New York-based Lehman Bros. Inc. Dougherty did not comment on the Sanera roadmap. However, "I believe it will operate four SANs in one box," Blount said.

Rocket Fuel