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2005 Top Ten: Trends to Watch

As 2004 draws to a close, it's time to take a peek ahead -- even while we're still trying to digest the current year along with Grandma's cranberry pudding and Uncle Benny's eggnog punch (hiccup! blerrrrpp!).

Below is what we see shaping up as major storage networking themes in the months ahead. Do you agree? Hit that message board, not us!

No. 10: Funding Flush and Trickle

It was a banner year for funding, with at least 30 storage companies closing rounds for a total approaching $600 million, more than double the total for storage companies in 2003. Its unlikely that VCs will fork over as much this year, though. Most of the VC money spent in 2004 was on late rounds, like third or later. And most recipients hope they won’t need more. At least one startup won’t be back at the trough: Candera picked up $12 million in February, but closed its doors in December.

Funding stories from 2004 include:

No. 9: IPO -- Yes or No?

There was a lot of IPO talk in 2004, with little action. Xyratex Ltd. (Nasdaq: XRTX) went public in June, but Engenio Information Technologies Inc. had second thoughts after pricing shares in July. Blade server startup Egenera Inc. also filed for an IPO but remains private. Other candidates for IPOs in 2005 include AppIQ Corp., BlueArc Corp., CommVault Systems Inc., EqualLogic Inc., and Xiotech Corp.

We don't think a lot of these will take the public plunge. We do think a few will, however -- enough to make the storage networking market one of 2005's most interesting.

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