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Adva Gives Its DWDM More Carrier Appeal

Dense wave division multiplexing is already a big hit in long haul networks but so far, its success in access networks has been limited. The problem? Carriers want vendors to go further than simply giving them a way to boost their backbones' bandwidth; they want a simple way of offering higher value services.

That's the background to today's announcement by Germany's Adva AG Optical Networking of its acquisition of Storage Area Networks Ltd. (SAN Ltd.), a UK vendor of equipment that enables corporate users to connect high bandwidth Fibre Channel SANs over ATM and, soon, Gigabit Ethernet services offered by carriers.

It's worth noting that Adva isn't the only optical networking vendor aiming to integrate storage area network technology into its products. In fact, SAN integration if fast becoming a trend. On February 1, Optical Networks, Inc., a startup developing metro transport network equipment, announced a "strategic relationship" with Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., a supplier of Fibre Channel gear for storage area nets. And Finisar Corp, another optical networking startup, has announced Fibre Channel developments.

So why integrate Fibre Channel? Because by integrating it into their DWDM and WDM equipment, vendors can sell a one-stop-shop solution to carriers looking to provide remote storage services to corporations.

That explains why Adva is buying SAN Ltd. for stock valued at about $83 million. In fact, it believes that it'll get at least three big benefits from the deal, according to Brian L. Protiva, Adva's chief strategy officer.

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