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Rhapsody to Wax Rhapsodic?

Rhapsody Networks is hiding its light under a bushel, with a few months
still to go in stealth mode, but its product is firmly positioned on our
radar screens.

Based in Fremont, Calif., Rhapsodys mission is to build a switch to
sell to large enterprises and storage service providers (SSPs). The company
joins a lengthening list of startups -- including Pirus Networks, Nishan Systems Inc., Cereva Networks Inc., Troika Nerworks, TrueSAN Networks Inc., and 3PARdata, among others -- that all have their eyes on this market. Then there are the incumbent players,
like Brocade Communications
Systems Inc.
(Nasdaq: BRCD) and McData Corp. (Nasdaq:
MCDT).

Rhapsody ignored our requests for an interview but did graciously offer
to -- ahem -- “edit” our story for us. We regretfully declined,
instead opting to chat up several VCs in Silicon Valley -- one of whom told us the
company is close to completing a second round of funding expected to be
between $40 million and $50 million.

Here’s what we know. Rhapsody is building a large “storage service
platform” (in plain English, a switch) that’s protocol-, network-, and disk-independent, for connecting storage systems over the LAN, MAN, and WAN via
iSCSI (SCSI over IP). Its architecture is expected to support storage systems from IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), Hitachi Ltd. (NYSE: HIT;
Paris: PHA), Sun Microsystems
Inc.
(Nasdaq: SUNW), and Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE:
CPQ).

It hopes to set itself apart from the pack by focusing on security and
manageability for very large operations. One of the hottest technologies in
this space is virtualization software, which enables SSPs to divvy up storage
among multiple customers on a single network and to view each of these
customers through a single management system. Rhapsody hints at this
capability on its Website.