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Lucent & McData Shake SANs

Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) and McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA) have paired up in a deal to cross-sell each other's gear to enterprises that need to extend their Fibre Channel SANs over IP -- ticking the competitive pressure up another notch in the SAN extension market (see Lucent, McData Extend SANs).

Under the nonexclusive arrangement, Lucent and McData will jointly sell Lucent's OptiStar EdgeSwitch, which provides Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) support, in conjunction with McData's Intrepid directors and Sphereon fabric switches. Executives say talks between the companies started last October, after the two companies certified their equipment to work together (see Lucent Gives OK to McData).

"Their expertise in carrier-class networks augments our expertise in the data center," says Richard Lyford, senior strategic alliance manager at McData. "Our customers have become very comfortable with Fibre Channel in the data center, and now they're looking at deploying this across the entire enterprise."

Analysts say the Lucent/McData partnership should be mutually beneficial -- even though both are coming late to the party in addressing this segment in an organized way.

One year ago, Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) announced a similar deal with Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), and ADVA AG Optical Networking (Frankfurt: ADV) has had a longstanding relationship with Inrange Technologies (now part of CNT [Nasdaq: CMNT]) (see Nortel Cozies Up to Brocade and CNT Walks Off With Inrange).

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