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2006 Storage Winners & Losers

There's no tying in storage - only winning and losing. Here's the record for 2006

It's the time of year to look back and consider who in the storage world was nice -- and who was naughty.

In 2006 we saw more than our share of successes and failures. As in any year, youll recognize some perennials in both groups, but this year, a few entrees show up on the list you wouldn’t normally expect.

Without further ado, we present you with the biggest winners and losers in the storage world for 2006, starting with the Winners:

Brocade
Brocade won its long battle with McData, buying its rival for $713 million to set up a head-to-head faceoff with Cisco for Fibre Channel switch supremacy. (See Brocade Bags McData For $713M.) This year, Brocade also rode the wave of being first out with 4-Gbit/s switches and managed to avoid negative fallout from the stock backdating scandal that resulted in the indictment of former CEO Greg Reyes and human resources VP Stephanie Johnson. For Brocade to be back in the winner's circle in 2007, it must hold off Cisco's 4-Gbit/s charge and see positive results from its WAFS and file management software. (See Brocade Bags NuView.)

Cisco

Cisco was probably the major cause of McData's demise and will likely be its major benefactor. On the market share front, Cisco achieved two milestones in 2006: It moved ahead of McData into first place in directors and second overall behind Brocade in Fibre Channel switches. (See Cisco's First in Directors, Dell'Oro Says and 4-Gig Boomerangs on Brocade.) Cisco got a big push from its MDS 9513 4-Gbit/s director this year and could get the same from its 4-Gbit/s MDS 9124 in fabric switches in 2007. (See Cisco Goes 4-Gig & Big and Cisco Salvo in 4-Gig FC.) Cisco's switch success overshadows potholes it hit in other storage areas. The company had tepid WAFS sales and saw the end of its NAS OEM deal with EMC. (See Cisco Joins WAN/WAFS in Name Only and Cisco Kills EMC NAS Deal.)

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