BT claims record 300km native SAN reach over Spanish metro DWDM and SDH backbone

10 January 2003 -- Alcatel, BT, HP and Brocade have completed the longest transmission of native Storage Area Network services over integrated DWDM/SDH networks.

10 January 2003 -- Alcatel, BT, HP and Brocade have completed the industry's longest transmission of native Storage Area Network (SAN) services over integrated DWDM/SDH networks.

Deploying Alcatel's metro DWDM and SDH systems, Brocade SAN infrastructure and HP StorageWorks storage systems, BT carried synchronous storage data replication services live over a distance of 300km - from Madrid to Albacete in Spain.

With this transmission world record, business users such as large corporations will be able to synchronously replicate stored data in remote locations up to 300km away. Before this test, native SAN data could only be replicated in a synchronous way over a distance of about 100km, depending on network topology.

This announcement gives corporations more options when looking to protect their data by extending the reach of their storage data management. Also, operators can leverage the investments already made in network infrastructure to offer a wider range of storage services.

"As the need for data storage has grown, we had to create new application models to help our customers secure their data anywhere," said Catherine Hawley, senior VP Applications Management & Hosting of BT Ignite. "This performance, relying on multi-vendor technology and expertise, gives us the first-mover advantage of reliably extending SAN services beyond metropolitan and regional boundaries thanks to the capacity and reliability of the transmission network deployed by BT in Spain.

"Alcatel recognises the increasing importance of universal data access and data protection by interconnecting multiple storage systems into a larger SAN network," stated Romano Valussi, senior VP, Product Strategy & Development of Alcatel's optical networks activities. "This joint achievement with BT, Brocade and HP accelerates the ability of corporations to efficiently share, manage and protect their mission-critical data".

"HP has provided the necessary IT infrastructure solution to provide long-distance synchronous storage replication that will allow our customers to break geographic barriers in the implementation of disaster recovery policies", said Olaf Swantee, VP Network Storage Solutions, HP EMEA.

* After several tests in the labs of storage area network (SAN) infrastructure provider Brocade, Alcatel's 1696 Metro Span metro DWDM system has received Fabric Aware status, confirming interoperability with Brocade's SilkWorm family of fabric switches to implement business continuance solutions such as data mirroring and data replication.

The testing was carried out under the terms of the Brocade Fabric Aware Program, which fosters end-to-end interoperability in multi-vendor SAN environments. Alcatel's 1696 Metro Span was certified at both Fiber Channel signal rates commonly used in SAN applications - 1Gbit/s and 2Gbit/s.

The 1Gbit/s certification used the unique 4xAny concentrator feature, which allows service providers to efficiently deliver a mix of advanced services - such as Fiber Channel, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, SONET/SDH, ATM, Digital Video (DV) and ESCON/FICON - over a single, managed wavelength. This feature played an integral role in the announcement of the record-setting 300km SAN interconnection testing over BT's network in Spain (see above). The 4xAny concentrator makes the Alcatel 1696 Metro Span the only metro DWDM system that ensures interoperability of Fiber Channel services with today's widely deployed SDH/SONET infrastructure.

The Brocade Fabric Aware program is a comprehensive testing and configuration initiative designed to foster end-to-end SAN interoperability. Companies agree to test in SAN configurations that comprise a heterogeneous mix of servers, storage subsystems, Brocade fabric switches, SAN management and enterprise applications, and other SAN technologies.

Brocade has created an interoperability lab comprising a heterogeneous SAN fabric, in which it tests and validates partner equipment in specific configurations. Vendors receive Brocade Fabric Aware qualification after completing tests to confirm that vendors' products meet interoperability guidelines.

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