Nortel, Brocade tighten embrace

Nortel Networks Corp. and Fibre Channel switch vendor Brocade Communications Systems Inc. on Tuesday announced they have strengthened their existing partnership to team up on customer sales calls and product interoperability.

Ratcheting up the relationship between Brampton, Ont.-based Nortel and Brocade will allow each company to capitalize on the other’s install base and customer contacts, said Jack Hunt, director of marketing for optical storage solutions at Nortel. The joint effort will likely trigger the increased use of optical connectivity in Brocade-switched SANs (storage area networks), he said.

Three pre-tested SAN applications that utilize Nortel optical networking products and Brocade Fibre Channel switches arrived to mark the closer relationship between the two companies. Each of the three new applications assist customers in using Nortel and Brocade products to mirror stored data from remotely located SANs across optical MANs (metropolitan area networks), according to Hunt.

Customers can use the new Nortel/Brocade applications to provide data mirroring, replication, electronic tape vaulting, and other business continuance routines, Hunt said.

Going forward, Nortel and Brocade will also “work much closer together to do proactive account engagements” where sales representatives from both companies are present during a sales call, Hunt added.

“We have a lot of joint customers so it was natural for us to strengthen that relationship,” Hunt explained. “More and more what we are seeing is that customers are looking to extend and connect up their SAN islands with optical connectivity, or looking to put in place some kind of disaster recovery or business continuity solution, which optical connectivity is a nice fit for.”