Ellison: Oracle Not Interested in Brocade

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison reportedly told shareholders that Oracle is not interested in buying networking vendor Brocade, which is rumored to be for sale. Oracle and HP were among the companies reportedly interested in buying Brocade. IBM, Cisco and Dell are other names that have been mentioned as possible buyers.

Don't look to Oracle to buy networking vendor Brocade Communications Systems.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison reportedly said during the company's annual shareholders meeting Oct. 7 that the software giant has no interest in acquiring Brocade. Ellison's statement came in response to a question from a shareholder.

News organizations reported Oct. 5 that Brocade officials are shopping the company around, and that Hewlett-Packard and Oracle are among the frontrunners to buy it.

Since then, a number of other vendors, including Cisco Systems, Dell and IBM, have been mentioned as possible buyers. Until Ellison's comment, none of the players involved-including Brocade officials-had commented publicly.

The issue comes at a time of rapid consolidation in the tech industry as larger vendors begin offering unified data center solutions, including servers, storage products, networking devices and management software.

Cisco entered the field earlier this year with the release of its UCS (Unified Computing System), and HP is more closely linking its ProLiant servers with its ProCurve networking business. IBM has expanded its partnerships with various networking companies, including Brocade, and Dell entered the fray with an expanded alliance with Brocade.

Oracle is in the process of buying Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion, and Ellison and other officials have said they intend to keep Sun's hardware business.

Brocade has expanded its business over the past year. The company already had a strong Fibre Channel portfolio and in 2008 bought Foundry Networks, which brought with it Ethernet capabilities.

In a report on the Brocade rumors, research firm The Info Pro said Brocade's business would be a good complement to HP, particularly around such emerging networking technologies as 10 Gigabit Ethernet and FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet).

However, The Info Pro report said that Oracle buying Brocade only made sense if Oracle kept Sun's hardware business.