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Ex-McData EVP to Head XIOtech

A week after stepping down as the top sales executive at McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA), Alain Andreoli returned to work today as president and CEO of startup SAN storage provider XIOtech Corp..

The appointment confirms last week's Byte and Switch report that Andreoli would go to a McData partner (see McData Sales Boss McExits). The Eden Prairie, Minn.-based XIOtech resells McData switches. Its main product is the Magnitude 3D storage array, which uses a distributed controller architecture the company calls Dimensional Storage Clusters to provide failover capabilities if one controller becomes disabled.

"My departure from McData was very friendly," Andreoli says. "Were looking to enhance the partnership between the two companies. This company is very solid and growing. It's ready for the next phase of development. It’s an exciting opportunity."

Andreoli acknowledges he knew little about XIOtech until the board contacted him several months ago. Still, he says he's impressed. "I had no idea of the size of the business XIOtech already has," Andreoli says. "There are around 1,000 customers, extremely satisfied and waiting for the new-generation product."

Andreoli seems ready for the challenge of putting XIOtech on the map -- no easy task in today's competitive environment. The presence of big-name suppliers such as Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL), EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) hampers efforts by startups and SAN specialists to get attention from prospective customers.

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