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McData Goes a Little Loopy

Optical network service provider, GiantLoop Network Inc. is taking advantage of its heritage with McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDT) to jointly build metro SANs” across cities in the United States.

Essentially, the two firms hope to find companies with McData switches deployed in multiple data centers across a city, and connect them together over a fiber optical network (see McData Goes for GiantLoop).

The alliance is an obvious one, as the majority of GiantLoop’s management team hails from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), McData’s parent company. The question is: Who actually wants to link their storage resources over long distances? According to a recent Byte and Switch poll, not many companies do. (see Metro, Wide, or None?).

“That’s probably true,” says Jon Oltik, VP of marketing and strategy at GiantLoop. “Demand is only coming from a small number of McData customers, but these are some of the biggest storage users in the world.” He was unable to name names at this stage as nothing has been signed. But he says to stay tuned for “major announcements."

Prior to this partnership, Fibre Channel switches were delivered by server or storage subsystem vendors and viewed as a device extension, according to Joe Gately, GiantLoop VP of marketing and alliances. “Now customers can work with networking experts to build SANs that extend across metropolitan areas and get the most out the technology,” he says.