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Akara Goes Wide

Optical storage system provider Akara Inc. was a tad put off by a recent Byte and Switch poll indicating that most companies don't intend to send storage traffic over wide-area networks, or WANs (see Storage Over WANs: No Plans).

Small wonder, given that its recently launched business depends on this trend taking off.

In less than three weeks' time, Akara will release an optical services device that it says enables service providers to deliver remote storage over optical networks. It connects to Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet networks on the enterprise side, and Sonet/SDH on the carrier side.

In general we would concur with the Byte and Switch poll,” says Solomon Wong, executive VP and CTO at Akara. “There are several things limiting the delivery of storage over wide-area networks today.”

Wong says enterprise businesses are concerned about both a lack of security and the operational issues involved in transmitting storage traffic over long distances. There are also latency issues that can crop up when storage protocols such as ESCON are stretched over long distances. Plus, enterprises are not used to buying storage as a service yet.