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AT&T Announces Interfaces for Storage Access over SONET Rings


New Capability Gives Companies More Choices for Managing Business Continuity or Government Regulations for Storing Data

San Antonio, Texas.-AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced a breakthrough capability that allows businesses to access a storage area network directly over Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) rings without the need for expensive translation equipment. AT&T is among the first SONET service providers to offer a storage-over-SONET solution that does not require significant capital investments in new fiber and equipment.

AT&T’s storage interfaces over SONET are among several new enhancements to its SMARTRing® and LightGate® optical transport services, which are available today for business customers that require ultrahigh bandwidth services. Other enhancements include expanded Ethernet capabilities over SONET and more options for connecting AT&T Wavelength services to SONET equipment.

Until now, businesses with SONET rings had few choices if they wanted to operate a storage network; they could upgrade their existing SONET configuration or build a separate storage area network. Both options could mean an investment in costly and time-consuming fiber build-outs to create a completely separate storage network capable of handling multiple storage protocols.

Alternatively, businesses could install expensive equipment that would translate the data traffic language to the SONET protocol, along with equipment to retranslate traffic back to its native protocol as traffic traveled back and forth along the ring.

AT&T’s storage-over-SONET interfaces eliminates the need for new equipment by enabling a customer’s existing SONET equipment to recognize traffic “tagged” specifically for a storage area network. The interfaces are available to customers of AT&T SMARTRing optical transport services.

“Customers are telling us that they want more choices and more flexibility in optical solutions for their ring services,” said Sanford Brown, vice president, AT&T Connectivity and Metro Network Solutions. “By being the first to offer storage interfaces for SONET services, AT&T is adding a new dimension to its SMARTRing and LightGate SONET ring services that complements our existing portfolio of optical solutions for storage.”

Brown continued: “Today’s announcement now makes SONET a practical and affordable option for storage. As a result, customers can now choose from the broadest mix of technologies that best fit their storage requirements.”

The storage-over-SONET interfaces will benefit companies that are looking to operate separate storage networks for such functions as business continuity or disaster recovery. It will be especially helpful to organizations, such as hospitals, government institutions, call centers and financial services companies, that are required to maintain separate storage networks to comply with consumer-privacy regulations. In addition to enterprise customers, wholesale customers can take advantage of continuous data availability by using storage applications to increase network reliability and provide real-time backup solutions to their end-user customers. In addition to avoiding costly capital investments, organizations can take advantage of SONET’s inherent security features.

In addition to the storage-over-SONET interfaces, AT&T has enhanced its optical wavelength services to include:

* The reduction of required nodes for the Wavelength Dedicated Rings to two. This allows customers with smaller networks to take advantage of AT&T’s wavelength services.
* The introduction of a 10 GB Layer 1 local area network feature for point-to-point Wavelength service.
* The ability to connect Wavelength services with SONET equipment for delivery of DS1 and DS3 services. This capability reduces the need for capital investment in additional optical connection equipment.

AT&T offers a complete suite of optical solutions for both business and wholesale customers. More information on AT&T optical solutions can be found at


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