Brocade has started selling storage-area network gateway software that lets IT managers connect HP BladeSystem servers to SANs.

The Brocade Access Gateway for HP BladeSystem allows interoperability between Brocade's bladed SAN switches and fixed-port and director-level switches from other vendors.

The software uses the standard N_Port ID Virtualisation (NPIV) technology to virtualise multiple SAN devices for interoperability and scalability.

The access gateway works with Brocade's 4Gbit/s Fibre Channel switches and HP's BladeSystem c-Class and p-Class server blades. It allows IT to connect HP ProLiant and Integrity blade servers to any SAN fabric that supports NPIV. It can be loaded on any bladed Fibre Channel switch that runs Brocade's Fabric OS 5.2.1 and supports non-disruptive hot code load and activation.

NPIV lets administrators configure SANs with fewer switch domain counts, thereby improving SAN management.

The Brocade Access Gateway is included as a standard feature with Brocade 4Gbit/s SAN switches for both HP BladeSystem c-Class and p-Class and is available at no cost. It can be downloaded from HP's website.