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Nortel Networks partners for back-up centers

The company joins with EMC and Legato Systems to create a package that hospitals and financial institutions can use to create back-up data centers.

Nortel Networks, EMC and Legato announced a new partnership Monday to sell equipment for building back-up data centers.

The partners will battle for customers alongside Cisco Systems, which introduced similar equipment on Monday.

All of the companies are looking to take advantage of new regulations requiring financial and medical institutions to have back-up data centers. The regulations aim to ensure that the nation's financial and medical community could rebuild quickly in the event of a terrorist attack, military strike or natural disaster.

Nortel takes a different sales tack than Cisco, which is looking to be the sole supplier needed to build a back-up data center. Nortel will sell its Optera Metro 5200 networking gear in combination with additional equipment from EMC and software from Legato, a Nortel representative said.

Nortel did not disclose prices for the equipment.

Sales of storage equipment in the fourth quarter of 2002 was about $5.4 billion, up 12 percent from the third quarter. Despite the increase, the storage market saw a 15 percent decline in revenue for the full year, narrower than the 21 percent drop forecast by IDC.