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B&S Updates 'Who Makes What'

It's been nearly 18 months since we first presented our Byte and Switch overview of the storage networking industry. In that time, the industry has continued to gain momentum. Indeed, end-of-year figures from IDC indicate networked storage, including SAN and NAS gear, grew over 17 percent between 2003 and 2004 (see IDC Releases Disk Figures).

Mea culpas are in order: In an industry segment as fast-growing as storage networking, a taxonomy update is way overdue. Segments such as IP SAN, wide-area file services (WAFS), and storage routing have solidified. Information lifecycle management (ILM) has become a watchword for a range of product offerings. And services have reemerged as a storage networking force to be reckoned with.

There are quite a few changes this time around. While new vendors have emerged, others have gone out of business, been acquired, or simply dropped below the radar. As markets have morphed, some categories cry out for revision. "Data Management Software," for instance, has been replaced by "Backup-and-Recovery Software" and "Data Replication Software." It no longer makes sense to separate "SAN Management Software" from "Storage Resource Management Software."

So far, we've identified 21 categories of storage networking hardware and software and listed them, one per page. Each page includes a brief definition of the product category and a list of vendors that have products in that particular category.

This is meant as a starting point. Please dive in and suggest revisions, via the message board below the article. We are bound to have missed some vendor names and are open to refining category definitions. We'll also consider the addition of further product categories any one that represents a decently sized market with at least half a dozen players in it.

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