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What's the Solution?

12:45 PM -- Ask any storage marketeer: There's really no such thing as a software package, a piece of hardware, or a $150/hour consulting service, particularly if you're into all three. There are only solutions.

There's certainly no such thing as a Fibre Channel switch vendor. In its latest press release (which uses the word "solution" six times in four paragraphs), McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA) informs us that it's "the leading provider of storage networking solutions." (See Printing Company Uses McData.)

In its boilerplate, Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) makes a similar claim. It "delivers the industry's leading platforms and solutions." [Italics added.]

Brocade and McData aren't alone. Of the top six press releases in the Byte and Switch newsfeed section this morning, all but two contain the S word at least once. Disk array makers, consulting companies, service providers, hardware and software suppliers -- no one's willing to be relegated to a narrow, outdated category. Solutions rule!

This make sense on several fronts. Prospective customers aren't always sure what they're looking for, except, well... a solution. And it's rare to find that in anything but a combination of hardware, software, and services.

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