The storage industry was livelier than ever in 2006. The last quarter alone showed roughly 10 percent growth year-on-year in hardware and software. (See IDC Storage Software Numbers Rise and IDC Shows Surge.) But like any robust market, storage had its ups, downs, and milestones. Following are what we consider to be the key business stories to emerge last year.
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Best: EMC buys Kashya for $153 million. (See EMC Coughs Up for Kashya.) With the exception of VMWare, none of the myriad of acquisitions EMC made since 2003 gave it as much bang-for-the buck as its Kashya pickup last May. Kashya gives EMC heterogeneous replication software, CDP, and functionality that could jump-start its Invista virtualization platform.
Worst: Brocade buys McData for $713 million. (See Brocade Bags McData For $713M.) Brocade execs may rue the day they agreed to pay up to put their switch rival out of its misery. Proponents of the deal argue it was merely a matter of time before Brocade and McData got together, and they had to unite to fight off Cisco. But McData appeared well on the road to self-destruction and the massive integration can prove distracting to Brocade at a time when Cisco is renewing its storage push. (See McData Post-Mortem and Cisco Salvo in 4-Gig FC.) Maybe anti-trust regulators will do Brocade a favor and kill the deal.