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BT Cranks Up SANs on the MAN

UK carrier buys Nortel DWDM gear to extend storage. Are more managed SAN services on tap?

Seeking to tighten its grip on the SAN extension market, Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) announced today that it has sold British Telecommunications plc (BT) (NYSE: BTY; London: BTA) DWDM equipment to extend SANs over metro-area networks (MANs) (see BT Deploys Nortel for SAN Service).

Nortel, which, according a recent IDC report, held 45 percent of the SAN connectivity market in 2002, didnt reveal the size of the deal or any financial details.

The companies cite growing customer demand for SAN connectivity for prompting BT to enter into the deal. BT's broadband point-to-point data networking division, Short-Haul Data Services (SHDS), will use Nortel’s OPTera Metro 5200 Multiservice platform to expand its Wavestream Connect service to include enterprise SAN and cluster services.

Today’s announcement is part of an ongoing trend of enterprises moving away from building and operating these networks themselves, instead opting for a service provider to handle it, says IDC analyst Sterling Perrin.

"We’re seeing more and more that [enterprise users] don’t want to run these networks on their own... The WDM equipment is very complex," he says, pointing out that when enterprises first started looking for these capabilities, service providers hadn’t climbed on board yet. "Now they’re contracting with a service provider for a managed service."

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