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Andy Watson, VP for Strategic Technology, Network Appliance

"IBM doesn't have a product with technology merit today, but it's on the horizon and we are keeping an eye on them."

Andy Watson, vice president for strategic technology at Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP), took time out of his vacation at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah to talk to Byte and Switch about the future of the network attached storage (NAS) market and NetApp's role in it.

Watson, a film major who by his own admission "got derailed into physics," has the critical job of spotting emerging technologies relevant to NetApp's products and future plans and making sure the company is heading in the right direction.

Prior to joining Network Appliance in July 1995, he worked in various roles for several computer system vendors, including Auspex Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ASPX) and Data General (bought by EMC Corp. [NYSE: EMC]).

As a customer selecting and deploying computer industry products in the 1980s, Andy was an early adopter of Unix workstations and servers, "right-sizing" engineering environments by porting mainframe-based application software to desktops, midrange servers, and Cray Inc. supercomputer platforms. This also involved early adoption of IP networking, putting in thick- and thin-Ethernet LANs and setting up WAN links in the "early days" of internetworking.

Most importantly, Andy was able to tell us what's going down at Sundance. Click on the links below to read about:

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