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Up With People!

When I was a kid back in the mid-20th century — a musical group called Up With People featured clean-cut teenagers who sang about the joys of international peace. At the time, none of my immediate peers cared to emulate them. Who wanted to be fresh-faced and perky?

What a title, though (apparently, it's still the moniker for a 21st-century charity). And what a good way to start any consideration of the storage networking market. After all, it's people that make technology and markets, not machines.

Our latest list of top storage influencers is based on this premise. (See Storage Networking's Heaviest Hitters.) We've tried to include a good cross-section of folk whose actions and opinions help shape the direction of the storage market — be they analysts, suppliers, or storage consumers.

If you've got any question as to the influence people have on the industry we cover, consider what happens when the management of a public company changes dramatically, as when Brocade acquired McData recently. (See Kelley Gets 1.1M Reasons to Stay and Bonus Plans.) The slightest move at the top can be viewed as either a warning or a good omen by shareholders and investors.

In the case of smaller firms, personality also plays a role. When former EMC CTO George Symons took the helm at startup Yosemite Technologies recently, people took notice. (See EMC's Symons Heads to Yosemite.) Perhaps some of them looked again at what the startup was doing that might have attracted a top-level EMC exec.

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