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Nortel, Brocade Team for Optical SANs

Companies, organizations and governments will be able to internetwork their storage-area networks (SANs) across metropolitan and wide area networks (MANs and WANs) as the result of a new deal signed between Brocade Communications Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif. and Canada's Nortel Networks .

Brocade, which develops intelligent platform for networking storage, and networking giant Nortel today announced several joint initiatives in the optical SAN market. The two said they would expand their already-existing relationship accelerate deployment of optical SAN solutions to their mutual customers around the world. Both companies also said they would make available three jointly developed and pre-tested applications that will let enterprises internetwork their SANs via optical technology.

The two companies said they have finished "extensive interoperability testing" between Nortel's OPTera Metro 5100 and 5200 Multiservice Platforms, which are metro dense-wave division multiplexing (DWDM) products, and Brocade's intelligent fabric switches, including Brocade's recently announced 2 gigabits per second (Gbps) SilkWorm 3200, 3800 and 12000. Nortel's OPTera Metro 5100 and 5200 platforms are the first DWDM products to be "Fabric Aware" tested and qualified with the complete Brocade SilkWorm family of SAN infrastructure, officials said.

Brocade and Nortel have also developed and pre-tested three new configurations for remote mirroring, remote consolidated backup, and remote centralized storage. As a result of the testing and validation, the two companies have introduced joint SOLUTIONware application notes that provide detailed instructions on how to configure and deploy Nortel Networks optical infrastructure in a Brocade SAN environment.

Because Brocade fabrics can be internetworked over distances using optical infrastructure from Nortel, enterprises can implement business-continuance services like data mirroring, data replication, electronic tape vaulting, and remote server clustering to protect critical business information.

"The combination of the Brocade intelligent platform for storage networking with Nortel Networks OPTera Metro 5100 and 5200 Multiservice Platforms creates a reliable, scalable infrastructure that optimizes SAN manageability and performance across the metro area," said Jeffrey Brooks, Brocade chief marketing officer.

Today's news is welcome for Nortel. On Monday, the company's stock hit its lowest point since 1993 after it said it would file its intent to sell up to $2.5 billion of debt and equity in the U.S. and Canada. Investors hit the "sell" button because they thought the sale would dilute their equity value in the networker.

In early morning trading today, Nortel shares were up three cents or 1.15% at $2.65 each. Brocade, on the other hand, was up $1.22 or 5.6% at $23 per share.

Bob Woods is managing editor of InstantMessagingPlanet.com