Brocade Communications Systems and Emulex are putting aside their differences and working together to simplify Storage Area Network (SAN) deployment in enterprise and small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs). The two companies have been locked in litigation over patent claims, but the new agreement brings their cases against each other to a standstill for 3 years. While the litigation is on hold, the companies will codevelop a multivendor SAN management wizard.

The wizard will simplify the installation and management of Emulex host bus adapters (HBAs) and Brocade SilkWorm switches into one easy-to-use interface. "This expanded partnership enables both Emulex and Brocade to provide a new level of value add to customers in search of simple and affordable storage networking solutions. Our codevelopment of the first multivendor SAN management wizard is just the beginning of our new initiatives with Brocade to reduce the cost and complexity associated with Storage Area Networks," said Mike Smith, Emulex executive vice president of worldwide marketing.

The companies will work with their channel partners to bundle the Emulex LightPulse HBAs and Brocade SilkWorm switches. The partnership is seen as a reaction to a similar deal this summer between QLogic and McData.