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CNT Waits for SAN Tide to Rise: Page 2 of 3

Last fall, CNT was able to raise $110 million through a follow-on sale of its stock, a war chest that is helping the company through the current market downturn. Jim Morin, CNT's vice president for strategic planning, says the company isn't sitting on its hoard, citing CNT's $12 million purchase of storage-management service provider Articulent in April.

"The Articulent acquisition brought us 59 more people in the advanced services arena," says Morin, who also says CNT gained a sizeable customer presence in the Northeast from taking over the Hopkinton, Mass.-based company.

Though CNT hopes to increase its professional-services business (Morin says that segment accounted for only $8 million of the company's total $176 million revenues in fiscal 2000), its bread and butter is its storage networking products division, which accounted for $88 million in sales last year, according to Morin.

The SAN line includes switches, gateways, and management software to help build remote mirroring and other SAN-over-WAN implementations. Competitors in the SAN-over-IP arena include SAN Valley Systems Inc. (see SAN Valley Does the Cisco Two-Step ), Nishan Systems Inc. (see Top Ten Private Storage Networking Companies), Entrada Networks (Nasdaq: ESAN) (see Kanwar J.S. Chadha, Entrada Networks), and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) (see All Eyes on Cisco).

CNT's latest offering in the SAN field is its UltraNet Edge Storage Router family, which supports Fibre Channel communications over IP networks (see CNT Shipping Storage Router). Scheduled to be generally available by September, the new routers will have configurations supporting FC-to-Fast-Ethernet and FC-to-Gigabit-Ethernet connections. Future plans for the routers include support for Fibre Channel over ATM/Sonet links, as well as software upgrades to support iSCSI (SCSI over IP).