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Top Ten Private Companies: Summer 2005

NEW YORK CITY, August Time for iced lattes, air conditioning, and weekend trips to the shore. Time to grill hot dogs on the patio of the red-brick Tribeca HQ of Byte and Switch. What better time for a fresh take on the Top Ten Private Companies list?

Cool yer jets. We are aware that last time we updated this list, snowflakes were falling. Apologies! And no excuses offered, except that covering storage networking's often a bit more than a full-time job.

That's good news. Despite ongoing budget constraints, storage is growing (see Survey: Storage Spending Will Slow). Startup funding is up, a market for services is taking off, and there's plenty of M&A, if not IPO (see One Way Out).

This isn't to say the livin's easy this summer. Far from it. Buyers are tight-fisted, some companies are finding the federal market's not all it was cracked up to be, and even Hopkinton's feeling the pinch (see EMC Guides Low ).

What's more, the shape of storage networking is shifting. Indeed, it seems to be shrinking. Virtualization, blade servers, clustering, optimization of WAN bandwidth and file transfer, and a range of other techniques aim to simplify storage, even as its importance in the data center grows.

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