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Mad MaXXan at the SANdrome

MaXXan Systems Inc. (currently building a multiprotocol SAN switch in deep stealth mode) could be racing against
Andiamo Systems Inc.
for the attention of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). Whatever the case, both have strong links to Cisco (see Ciscos Secret SAN Strategies Revealed).

MaXXan’s management team comes mainly from the Fibre Channel world,
Compaq Computer Corp.'s (NYSE: CPQ)
clustering and hardware units, and IBM Corp. (Nasdaq: IBM). Although the company doesn’t have a CEO yet, it does have Ray Kao as executive advisor, who could make all the difference.

Kao was founder and CTO of TransMedia Communications, which he sold to Cisco for $400 million in September 1999. Before that, he was chief architect at Stratacom, which was also sold to Cisco, for a whopping $4 billion. And when he’s not advising MaXXan he’s playing the CEO role over at a little known optical startup, Polaris Networks, which (incidently) is staffed by ex-Cisco folk.

Could MaXXan be another Cisco spin-in operation, vis-à-vis Andiamo? We can’t be sure, as both companies declined to comment on the story.

But Cisco has confirmed that Andiamo is building a storage networking switch funded by the company and operating on its campus. (see All Eyes on Cisco)