Report: Brocade for Sale, Suitors Include HP

Network equipment maker Brocade Communications (BRCD) is looking for a buyer, according to reports this morning by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.

Network equipment maker Brocade Communications (BRCD) is looking for a buyer, according to reports this morning by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL) may be interested, according to both reports, which cited unnamed sources, who said a deal was not "imminent."

A sale of Brocade would continue an active season for data center service providers and hardware vendors, which has seen HP buy EDS, Oracle announce an acquisition of Sun Microsystems, and Dell acquire Perot Systems.

Brocade has been the leading player in storage networking using Fibre Channel, but last year entered the Ethernet networking market with its acquisition of Foundry System. The company has been building deeper relationships with server vendors, including IBM and Dell, in moves seen as a counter-balance to Cisco's entry into the blade server market. HP has been sharpening its focus on the networking sector and expanding its ProCurve line of switches.

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