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Cisco Misses SAN Sales Target

While Cisco Systems Inc.s (Nasdaq: CSCO) overall fourth-quarter earnings yesterday were a disappointment, its advances in storage may have incumbent storage switch vendors sweating bullets (see Cisco Increases Q4 Income).

However, the networking equipment giant did not meet its goal of doubling its storage business during the quarter, with orders for its MDS 9000 Fibre Channel switches increasing to about $14.5 million, from $10 million in the third quarter (see Cisco Reports $10M SAN Sales).

Still, that 45 percent increase should be enough to make both Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) and McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA) feel very nervous.

"There’s no question that [Brocade and McData] are on guard," says Arun Taneja, an analyst with the Taneja group. "While McData has more to lose, their product line is very strong... [Cisco] could do some significant damage to a company like Brocade."

Cisco’s uptick in MDS 9000 orders followed aggressive price cutting, CEO John Chambers acknowledged on a conference call yesterday.

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