A partnership between Lucent and McData means companies can now link extensive data networks based in different locations.

The two companies - both top in their field - have created a variety of products for those that want to link IP backbones or have, say, multiple networks on a campus that they want to interact with one another.

This means more effective disaster recovery, remote storage access, back-up and storage outsourcing can be bought in one solution - giving simpler and better data protection.

The system uses existing McData equipment, the company's European marketing manager Dave Slater told us, along with certified Lucent gear, so the system is up and running and should be available to purchase both here and in the US immediately.

IDC analyst Sterling Perrin had this to say over the link-up: "Managing the massive amounts of data flowing across wide-area storage networks is a challenge for enterprises worldwide. In partnering, Lucent and McData are making it easier for enterprises and service providers to implement complex, end-to-end SANs that extend from the enterprise into the metro and even across metros, and which consist of various types of storage, switching, and optical networking equipment."

McData leads the way in storage networking solutions and of course Lucent is the master network builder. Both companies patted each other on the back. "Our alliance with McData addresses some of the high-growth opportunities we see in the marketplace, and it is significant step forward in the ability to easily and cost-effectively interconnect geographically dispersed data centers," said Lucent VP Frank Farese.

John Kelly, the president and CEO of McData returned the compliment saying: "Our partnership with Lucent allows us to deliver solutions which positively demonstrate our networking expertise and technical knowledge. Working with Lucent, we have quickly been able to validate and bring to our customers a complete solution for converged storage networking over the WAN."

The new technology behind all this is Lucent's OptiStar EdgeSwitch.