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SAN Transport's Truckin' in the Metro

A slew of recent announcements reflects enterprise interest in transporting SAN traffic over wide-area networks, though early assumptions about that market now look to be full of holes.

It was once thought, for instance, that enterprises would belly up to the bar for transport services specifically geared to SANs, available from specialty carriers -- the timeworn storage service provider (SSP) model. Now, it looks as if customers are more interested in getting SAN transport as part of their overall metro connectivity menu from their regular ILECs and IXCs.

Examples of these kinds of services include Ultravailability from AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) and FibreMAN from SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC), to name just a couple.

Recent announcements indicate that SANs are being considered a key aspect of selling metro optical gear, not only to carriers providing these kinds of services, but to enterprises with the means to create their own metro networks using optical equipment:

  • Zhone Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: ZHNE), for instance, announced this week that Sannet, a provider of IP-based business services in Japan, is using the GigaMux dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) gear Zhone acquired with its purchase of Sorrento Networks earlier this year (see Fujitsu Picks AMCC's Processors and Zhone Buys Sorrento). Key to the adoption, Zhone's press release states, is the availability of a GigaMux module that allows 12 Escon channels to run over a single wavelength.

    Zhone's Website indicates that European carriers Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) and Telefnica SA also are using GigaMux for SAN transport.

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