EMC, Nortel Tie Optical Knot

Twosome form official alliance to help enterprises mirror data over MANs and WANs

October 29, 2003

2 Min Read
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Like a couple that has been living together for years, Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) and EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) have finally decided to marry their services to help enterprises protect their data over remote networks.

Nortel and EMC today announced their Business Continuity over Optical Network service for enterprises looking to use metropolitan area networks (MANs) and wide area networks (WANs) for remote mirroring. The service brings together EMCs networked storage systems and remote replication software with Nortel’s DWDM (dense wavelength division multiplexing) technology, plus a business continuity assessment service from the companies’ shared experiences. Eventually, the companies say the service will be expanded to include storage over Sonet (see Storage Over Optical).

Nortel and EMC already have more than 200 joint customers, mostly large banks, manufacturing companies, government agencies, and healthcare organizations. The new service will use best practices based on their experiences with those customers.

"This is more of an evolution of what EMC and Nortel have been doing for quite some time," says Sterling Perrin, senior research analyst at IDC. "They’re taking it one step further. We view Nortel as the SANs-over-DWDM market leader, and EMC is quite powerful on the storage side. Now they’re offering consulting services to help enterprises design and build out extended SANS."

Specific products included as part of the offering are EMC’s Symmetrix and Clariion networked storage systems; EMC’s Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) and MirrorView remote replication software; and Nortel’s OPTera Metro 5000 OPTera Metro 5000 Multiservice Platforms, which support both Sonet and DWDM."This is the next logical step," says Jack Hunt, Nortel’s director of marketing for storage and photonics. "We will use our joint assessment tools to help enterprises determine what kind of storage and connectivity they need. We’re offering an assessment service and certification that EMC and Nortel will stand behind the performance we will deliver."

Hunt says he expects storage over Sonet to be available from the Business Continuity over Optical Network service [ed. note: BCON for short?] in the first quarter of 2003. The generic framing procedure (GFP) card that supports Sonet for the OPTera Metro 5100 and 5200 platforms recently completed EMC E-Lab qualification testing (see Nortel Pipes SANs Into Sonet).

“That would be the next step and it might bear more fruit than the DWDM infrastructure they’re starting with,” Perrin says, regarding Nortel's storage-over-Sonet plans.

The EMC/Nortel service primarily targets their current customers that want to extend their replication capabilities over longer distances, medium-sized companies looking to extend the benefits of their SANs, and service providers. The last group could benefit the most over time, according to Perrin.

"Initially, they might see more uptick on the enterprise side, but we’re seeing the business moving from the enterprise side to the service providers’ managed services," he says.— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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