EMC and Nortel have announced a new service which they said would help enterprises use optical MANs and WANs for remote data mirroring more easily and cost-effectively.

The service, dubbed Business Continuity over Optical Networks, includes a business continuity assessment from the two companies aimed at helping enterprises determine the optimal storage and connectivity requirements to meet their recovery objectives. It combines EMC's networked storage systems and remote replication software with Nortel's DWDM technology to provide what a spokesman called "a flexible, scalable, geographically dispersed, business continuity infrastructure".

"EMC and Nortel Networks are addressing one of the biggest pain points for customers - configuring their infrastructure to meet their business continuity requirements," said Sterling Perrin, a senior research analyst at IDC. "Companies are strapped for resources and are feeling increasing pressure, including from regulators, to make sure they can recover quickly from a disaster. Services that help customers implement remote mirroring over optical networks will allow them to meet their business requirements while saving time and money on operations."

The solutions integrate EMC's Symmetrix and CLARiiON networked storage systems and its SRDA, SRDF/A and MirrorView remote replication software with Nortel's OPTera Metro 5000 Multiservice Platform.

According to EMC, this combination allows enterprises to balance levels of protection, functionality and cost for their various information tiers, along with an improvement in recovery times "from hours to minutes" through synchronous and asynchronous replication.

"EMC and Nortel Networks have developed best practices based on our extensive expertise working with large banking, securities and telecommunications firms to create a joint solution set to help organisations better protect their information", said Gregg Therkalsen, EMC's VP of business continuity.

"This is a critical step in our work with EMC, ultimately benefiting enterprises by bringing them the highest quality business continuity solutions and extending productivity," said Marco Pagani, president, Nortel's optical Ethernet and storage solutions. "With more than 200 joint Nortel Networks and EMC customers, we're leveraging our cumulative experience to bring enterprises unprecedented joint assessment capabilities."