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SAN FRANCISCO -- After seeing his company's stock banged around for a couple of days, Brocade (BRCD) Chief Financial Officer Michael Byrd spent most of his presentation at the Roberson Stephens Technology 2001 Conference here Wednesday highlighting the joys of storage-area networks.

Addressing a crowd of investors that couldn't be fully contained by one of the larger ballrooms at the

Palace Hotel

, Byrd said Brocade sees tremendous growth opportunities in the storage-area network business, especially after cementing a pact with


(CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems Inc. Report

to develop inter-network storage-area networks. Brocade makes fibre-channel switches that connect storage-area networks to one another.

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Still, at a breakout session after the company's presentation, investors prodded Byrd on the company's health. The stock was hit after



disclosed Friday that some customers were pushing back orders.

But Brocade said little more than

it did Tuesday at the

Goldman Sachs Technology Investment Symposium

. "The concerns are about economic conditions, not the competition," Byrd said. He added that the company was going to make "massive" investments in sales efforts and technology. And he said rumors last week of Brocade product delays were false.

The stock recently was down 88 cents, or 1.6%, at $52.56 a share.