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Storage Winners & Losers of 2007

In a market as competitive as storage networking, there's plenty about which to cheer and jeer. And the last 12 months have been no exception. As customer demand increases for data protection that works, we've seen rocketing successes -- and resounding failures.

Following is our list of our top candidates in both categories, starting with the winners. As ever, we welcome your feedback:Winners:

VMware
VMware is not only the top IT success story of 2007, it is arguably one of the top business stories of the decade. A push for data center consolidation has raised the share price of EMC's brilliant acquisition by 195 percent since its IPO in August. VMware's embedded hypervisor for server motherboards could help up the ante for 2008.

Data Domain

This company's meteoric IPO is proof that data de-duplication has caught on big time with SMB storage customers. The next challenge for Data Domain will be to maintain top-dog position as competitors nip at its heels, particularly in the still-untapped enterprise market.

MAID
The idea of a "massive array of idle disks" pioneered by Copan and a handful of other suppliers has come into its own, fueled by demand for energy savings. Using a small number of spinning disks as a cache for non-spinning, passive disks is more widely accepted than ever before, implemented in gear from Copan, Fujitsu, NEC, Nexsan, and others. HDS has also entered the fray with an alternative approach it denies is MAID but that nonetheless involves online power adjustments to disk arrays. Expect more news in this quarter next year.

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