Nortel Networks is adding wide-area file services (WAFS) to its new business-continuity system with help from Brocade Communications Systems.
Toronto-based Nortel is adding the software version of Brocade's Tapestry WAFS technology to its Business Continuity System 3000 branch-office networking switch, said Mike Schmitt, product marketing manager for file services at Brocade, San Jose, Calif.
The BCS 3000 Branch Office configuration, which Nortel unveiled Tuesday, embeds Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2003 and uses the security, networking and directory technology from the Windows Server platform. It's aimed at seamless integration with Microsoft networking services, Windows desktop environments and Windows security features, Nortel said.
WAFS technology allows businesses to store and manage data at a central data center and make it available to remote or branch offices at LAN speed. Appliances in the data center and the remote offices provide high-speed gateways to the data.
The Brocade WAFS technology is being offered by Nortel as an optional blade in the new Nortel BCS 3000, according to Schmitt. It's the first of a series of modules that Nortel plans for the switch, and Nortel is the second OEM customer of the technology after Fujitsu-Siemens in Europe, he said.
Brocade also has been shipping its WAFS technology as part of a hardware appliance based on a Microsoft Storage Server-based server, Schmitt said.
In addition to OEMing a Brocade WAFS module for its BCS 3000, Nortel a year ago adopted Brocade's WAFS technology for internal use, Schmitt said. "They're eating their own dog food," he said.
WAFS technology is fairly simple to implement, requiring roughly 30 minutes in the data center and 10 minutes in the remote office for the installation, Schmitt added. "The big challenge is to manage the migration of data from the remote office to the data center," he said.
Adding WAFS to a platform like the BCS 3000 is easier than using WAFS as a separate appliance, Schmitt said. "It's ideal for Nortel customers. Nortel owns the network and can handle any network challenges better than Brocade alone."