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Carriers Getting Hip to Storage

NEW YORK -- Storage area networking services may be coming back to the forefront of carrier agendas.

While most carriers are still in the planning stages of offering these services, there is growing interest in the technology among carriers. Today, at Light Reading and Byte and Switchs Storage Over Optical seminar in New York, 55 percent of the 228 registrants were service providers.

"We’ve all got the infrastructure and the fiber rings to do storage," says Renee Lem, a senior carrier sales executive for WilTel
Communications Group Inc.
(Nasdaq: WTEL), who attended the event. "Now we just need to provide the protocols and the mechanisms to turn it into a product."

WilTel is already working on a managed storage service in its labs, says Lem. Other carriers are also working on offerings. AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T)
began offering its storage extension service back in January.

Carriers like AT&T and WilTel already provide the optical pipes used for building out storage area networks. Enterprise customers add equipment to connect these pipes to different sites to form their networks. Typically, they implement and manage these networks themselves.

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