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Who's on First?

Trying to work out who's leading the charge in a market as young and explosive as storage networking is tricky. Market research is supposed to take the mystery out of handicapping the players. Unfortunately, that's not always the case.

This week offered a great case in point: Two huge public companies are both claiming the number one spot in SANs -- and both cite the same research source for their claim.

EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) have both issued statements this week claiming that they lead the world in storage area networking (see EMC Pads Its Lead and Compaq Boasts of Analyst Boost).

EMCs release says research confirms its “leadership in every major segment of the information storage industry.” And it claims it will be "extending its #1 position" in the coming months. EMC backs its claim with as-yet-unpublished figures from Gartner/Dataquest, indicating that EMC had “number one position in SAN revenue in 2000, capturing 38.8 percent of the worldwide market... [which was] $4.84 billion in 2000." [Emphasis added.]

A supplementary pie chart provided by EMC shows that EMC held 38.8 percent of the "Worldwide SAN-Attached External RAID Market" in 2000.