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CentrePath Widens SAN Path

Data center service provider CentrePath Network Inc. says customers are paying to add SAN switches and channel extenders to the roster of equipment CentrePath already manages for them.

From the top: CentrePath offers services for data center networks. One of its main offerings is a remote network monitoring and management service that covers telecom gear from ADVA Optical Networking (Frankfurt: ADV), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), and Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT). Now, it also includes Fibre Channel directors and switches from Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), Cisco, and McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA), as well as channel extenders from Computer Network Technology Corp. (CNT) (Nasdaq: CMNT).

The news is yet another demonstration of the blending of SANs and WANs, particularly optical networks. It also shows the role that services are playing in managing data centers.

CentrePath's own story mirrors these trends. It began life in 2000 as GiantLoop Network Inc., a provider of services based on leased optical fiber. By 2002, it had tried on hats as a metro-area network specialist, storage service provider, and integrator. Its use of proprietary management software, developed in house, also gave the company a sub-identity as software supplier.

But a slew of GiantLoop execs, including cofounder Jim Sullivan, now CEO of CentrePath, hailed from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), and by 2004, it ditched its fiber and re-emerged as a hybrid, selling its own Magellan management system for optical networks while providing data center network design and management services.

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