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A while back, I commented on Cisco's Nexus announcement, challenging its capacity and reliability claims.

Well Nortel has responded to Cisco with its own solution: the Virtual Services Platform 9000.

Unlike the Nexus, it supports a reliability scheme that is not restricted to 10 GigE links; Nortel's approach is based on Multi Link Trunking technology that is a key differentiator of Nortel's entire Ethernet solutions. The VSP 9000's virtualization capabilities are second to none- Zeus Kerravala of the Yankee Group says.

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For data centers, virtualization of network services over an IP fabric, simplifies data center design and management of networks to lower operational expenses, while also capping the cost of expanding available services and dramatically reducing energy consumption. In addition, optical SANs between data centers provide a very high level of disaster recovery and business continuity.

Although Fibre Channel (FC) is predominant in the data center today, the trend towards compute virtualization and 10GigE servers will drive the move to Ethernet as the preferred interconnect for storage. In fact, "2008 and 2009 will be the peak years for FC switch sales thanks to server virtualization and blade servers," according to Richard Villars, vice president, Storage Systems, at IDC.

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