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 Nortels OPTera Metro 5200 Multiservice platform to expand its Wavestream Connect service to include enterprise SAN and cluster services.
Todays 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.
"Were seeing more and more that [enterprise users] dont 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 hadnt climbed on board yet. "Now theyre contracting with a service provider for a managed service."