SANs Key to Nortel's Future

Nortel's new Metro Optical president says SANs play a key role in the company's metro strategy

December 18, 2001

2 Min Read
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Storage area networks are a key focal point for Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT). So says Marco Pagani, the newly appointed president of its Metropolitan Optical division.

Storage networking is a key trend,” Pagani says. “SANs and associated interconnections represent lots of work for Nortel.” The company looks to SANs to mine ongoing business for its metro networking products, he asserts, most specifically the Optera Metro 5200 DWDM platform.

The 5200 uses dense wavelength-division multiplexing to maximize the use of optical fiber in metro networks. The platform was recently upgraded to support 10-Gbit/s Ethernet links, in response to similar announcements from competitors Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) and ONI Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ONIS).

Like its rivals, Nortel is aware that providing metro transport for storage traffic is key to success in the SAN market. But partnerships are the other half of the equation, and Nortel's been working on ones that will bolster its metro SAN presence (see Nortel Enables Korean SANs, EMC Goes the Distance, and Nortel Integrates With Unisys).

“[Our partnerships with storage vendors] ensure combined solutions that are better than any singular offering,” Pagani says.Nortel is maintaining its metro stance despite the fact that some analysts question the ongoing viability of storage service providers (SSPs) as carriers of SAN services. Pagani says Nortel has a large percentage of vertical market and financial customers that buy SAN solutions directly from vendors.

Pagani, 39, is a Nortel veteran, having joined the company on his graduation from university in 1985. His jobs have included VP of carrier data networking and most recently general manager of the Multiservice WAN business (including the Passport switches).

Pagani’s ascendance to the top Optical Metro spot is part of the latest executive shuffle at Nortel, led by the appointment of Greg Mumford to the post of CTO. Mumford, formerly president of long-haul networking at Nortel, is succeeded in that post by Brian McFadden, who's moving over from the presidency of the Metropolitan Optical division.

Figure 1: Marco Pagani

Pagani reports to Frank Plastina, who remains president of Metropolitan and Enterprise Networks. Nortel’s third strategic product group, Wireless, is headed by Pascal Debon. McFadden, Plastina, and Debon, like Mumford, report to CEO Frank Dunn.— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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