Nortel, EMC unite to light up storage

Nortel Networks Corp. and EMC Corp. this week announced an alliance to provide optically networked storage systems.

Nortel and EMC are collaborating on development, testing, and marketing of systems based on Nortel's OPTera Metro optical platform and EMC's information storage systems and software.

EMC and Nortel have already tested Nortel's CRM applications with an optically networked storage infrastructure as an example of an application that can potentially benefit from the combined technologies, Nortel says.

Nortel has been in the storage area network market for two years, says Brian McFadden, president of Metro Optical Networks for Nortel. The company has worked with IBM to optically connect storage arrays for enterprises using IBM's ESCON technology and Nortel's OPTera Metro 5200 platform.

Nortel started testing its gear with EMC last year in mid-2000, McFadden says.

"What we're bringing to the table today is the result of that work, which says it's available today and it's certified by both EMC and Nortel," McFadden says.

McFadden says Nortel's SAN strategy is to work with partners that specialize in storage rather than developing a SAN-specific product line itself. It is nonetheless strategic to Nortel, he says.

"The SAN segment alone, from an optical networking point of view, is going to go from a few hundred million dollars this year to a multibillion dollar market in the next three or four years," McFadden says. "It's going to be a high-growth area. It's a tremendous opportunity for our optical products and our DWDM expertise."

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