"We are extending our Brocade relationship beyond storage into the broader datacentre, offering customers compelling choices and flexibility for computers, networking and storage. Both companies share a vision that next-generation, virtualised datacentres should be open and standards-based," said Brad Anderson, senior vice-president for Dell's Enterprise Product Group.
The two vendors are committed to partner on developing technologies to help improve datacentre efficiencies, including a "dynamic infrastructure and optimisation solution" and a set of tools to better manage application delivery and deployment across network and storage systems.
As well as committing to future technologies, the agreement sees the range of Dell-branded Brocade equipment already being sold by the PC and server maker expanded to include Fibre Channel (FC) host bus adapters and converged network adapters, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) switches and Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) switching products.
Dell already resells Brocade Fibre Channel blade switches for the Dell M1000e and PowerEdge Series blade servers.
Simon Robinson, storage research director at analyst firm The 451 Group, said this latest partnership for Brocade was a positive move for the company after concern from industry watchers over its drawn-out acquisition of Foundry Networks last year, and that the deals with IBM and Dell were a reaction to Cisco's ambitions in the datacentre arena.
"This is very positive news for Brocade. Many initially questioned its acquisition of Foundry Networks as a step too far, but Cisco's move into the server world is providing server vendors with an extra incentive to work with other end-to-end networking players, such as Brocade," Robinson said.