Carriers Tack on Storage Services

ConEd and telcos enlist storage partners to beef up services

April 20, 2004

3 Min Read
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Local carriers such as Con Edison Communications Inc. (NYSE: ED) in New York and other metro providers are finding partnerships with storage companies the best way to get in on the growing disaster recovery and regulatory compliance markets.

In an announcement today, ConEd unveiled PowerProtect disaster recovery -- based on Arsenal Digital Solutions Worldwide Inc.'s ViaRemote replication service -- for its New York City customers.

The service replicates data from a ConEd Manhattan-based center to Arsenals data center in upstate New York. The relationship takes advantage of ConEd’s metro area network (MAN) that connects more than 160 buildings in New York City with Arsenal’s backup-and-restore services. It is targeted at enterprise branch offices and SMBs that have servers but lack enterprise storage systems.

While true storage providers have had a tough time attracting customers, they appear to be a good fit with carriers (see Disaster Recovery Goes Mainstream).

“They don’t have the pipes, and we don’t have the platform,” ConEd’s VP of product development Russ Kohn says of Arsenal. “It’s a real nice marriage between the two.”If it’s marriage, Arsenal is a polygamist, because it also has partnerships with AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T), AboveNet Inc., and NTT/Verio Inc. (see AT&T Lures Storage Users and AboveNet Intros Storage Service). Arsenal CEO Frank Brick bases his forecast that his company will grow 75 percent to 100 percent over the next three years largely on his relationship with carriers. He says the key to breaking any intertia for disaster recovery and compliance is through carrier services.

Besides offering Arsenal’s backup-and-restore service, AT&T this month launched an email archive service targeted at organizations looking to comply with federal regulations (see EMC Helps AT&T Archive Email). AT&T uses KVS Inc.

Enterprise Vault software and EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) Centera storage, along with its own Global Enterprise Management System, for its archiving. It houses data in 21 data centers spread across four continents. Customers view their data through a Web portal.

In February, AboveNet allied with European data center services provider IXEurope to boost storage services on its London metro network.

Carriers didn’t just start getting into storage. AT&T launched a disaster recovery service using gear from Computer Network Technology Corp. (CNT) (Nasdaq: CMNT) and EMC last May, then added compliance services in September (see AT&T Takes on Disaster Recovery and AT&T Lures Storage Users). Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) and EMC formed a business continuity service partnership last October; and Nortel and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON) were partners on a metro SAN service launched in September (see EMC, Nortel Tie Optical Knot and Sprint Speeds Into Metro).

The trend appears to be on an upward curve. Gartner/Dataquest

says the managed storage services market will hit $3.7 billion by 2006, and the research firm calls it the second fastest growing segment of the storage services market.Kohn says ConEd is already planning more storage services, this time for enterprise customers. “ViaRemote is the first step for us,” he says. “We’re backing up servers and PCs that companies haven’t focused on. We’ll be doing some backing up big iron with Arsenal to see if we can be competitive there.”

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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