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Inrange pulls out of telecom, focuses storage networking

Inrange Technologies is dropping out of the telecommunication business and is busting into a business where there's big bucks ? storage.

Inrange Technologies Corp., has shed the trappings of its past and is betting its future on storage networking.

The Lumberton, N.J.-based company, which began its life as a telecommunications technology maker, has sold its 7-VIEW SS7 Surveillance Monitoring Technology system to TTI Telecom International Ltd., one of Inrange's former technology partners.

The sale marks Inrange's official announcement of its plans to migrate the company to a "pure play" storage networking company, where it said it has seen significant growth in its IN-VSN family of virtual storage networking products.

Inrange has come on strong of late in the high-end Fibre Channel hub and switch market when the analyst firm International Data Corp., Framingham, Mass., ranked Inrange as the number three player in director class switches behind only Brocade and McData just one year after entering the market.

Inrange's Chief Technology Officer Charles Foley said the decision to exit the telecom business was obvious.

"We looked at the situation and said where should we put our resources? The telecom industry is fairly flat," said Foley.

Foley said Inrange plans to release a 256-port switch by the end of the year.

"The bigger your switching element is, the easier it is for users to manage," he said.

Foley said that virtually all of Inrange's engineering staff has been moved over to work on storage.

Eric Sheppard, research analyst, storage systems, for IDC said Inrange's strength to date has been in its direct sales model, installed customer base and its ability to deliver switches with high port counts.

But, IDC also expects the competitive landscape to change considerably in 2002, when Brocade is expected to debut its own director-class product with its anticipated Silkworm 12000.

IDC estimates that Inrange's revenue will grow to about $86 million in 2001 as the company increases its sales to OEM partners.

IDC puts the Fibre Channel hub, switch and host bus adapter markets at a combined $8.4 billion total in 2004.

Let us know what you think about the story, e-mail Kevin Komiega, assistant news editor


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