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Cisco's Storage Grows

5:50 PM -- Storage products fared well in Cisco's end-of-year and first-quarter earnings report today. (See Cisco Reports Q4.) While the company doesn't break out storage revenues individually, CEO John Chambers said the segment grew 30 percent for fiscal 2007 and showed growth "in the low twenties" for the last quarter of the year.

It's tough to tell what all this means in specific terms, but given some analyst estimates earlier this year, Cisco's storage figures are hovering in the $230 million range quarterly. (See Cisco: Storage Stars in Earnings.)

Advanced technologies, the product segment in which Cisco's storage products live (along with unified communications, wireless, networked home, and security) accounted for $2.2 billion of Cisco's $9.4 billion in net sales for the quarter. In terms of contributing to the top line at Cisco, the segment grew more than routing or switching, which were up 14 percent and 18 percent year on year for the quarter, while advanced techs were up 24 percent.

Notably, Chambers cited a robust U.S. enterprise market. And he raised revenue guidance for the coming year, from 10 to 15 percent annually to 12 to 17 percent.

Chambers also proudly cited Cisco's "cash generation engine" (pronounced "cay-ush"). Cisco's end-of-year total in cash, cash equivalents, and investments was $22.3 billion. Given that warchest, the $150 million Cisco proposes to invest in VMware could be the first of other storage-related acquisitions. (See Cisco Invests in VMware.)

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