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The Optical Side of Storage

If recent alliances are any indication, optical networking has become an attractive alternative for users eager to push storage traffic across multiple sites.

Three optical networking vendors, ADVA Optical Networking, Ciena, and Nortel, recently turned up on the EMC Select Partner Program, which is eyed as an industry coup among suppliers.

Membership in EMC Select is viewed as practically a guarantee of bigger sales for any vendor. It means EMC will actively peddle specific wares to its own customers to flesh out implementations, and support those products as "solution completers." Since there are only 14 vendors on the list, it's considered an elite club. (See EMC to Resell Decru, NeoScale.)

Which makes it even more interesting to see the sudden proliferation of optical solutions -- all billed by EMC as "distance extension for EMC remote replication and data mobility software as well as the EMC CLARiiON Disk Library".

Here's a rundown of what's being offered by EMC:


  • ADVA's Fiber Service Platform (FSP) 2000 supports eight-channel coarse wave division multiplexing (CWDM), 64-channel dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM), and hybrids of both. The FSP 2000 extends storage to distances of several hundred kilometers, ADVA claims, at speeds from 8 Mbit/s to 10 Gbit/s.
  • Ciena's CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform comes with what the vendor calls a universal line card that can be remotely programmed. It supports 8 CWDM and 40 DWDM wavelengths, and multiple protocols can be packed onto a single wavelength.
  • Nortel's OPTera Metro 5000 Multiservice Platform is resold along with EMC's products as a joint service for remote mirroring in metro areas, announced last week.
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