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McData takes lead in FC directors, according to report

According to an upcoming IDC report, McData topped the Fibre Channel Director market in 2001. But, as always happens with these kind of reports, rivals dispute the numbers.

When you think of top directors, the names Scorsese, Spielberg and, thanks to Spider-Man, Sam Raimi come to mind, but in the world of Fibre Channel Directors, McData is tops in the industry -- so says a new industry report.

According Framingham, Mass.-based International Data Corp.(IDC), McData, Broomfield, Colo., led the director market in 2001.

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While McData has claimed a whopping 91% market share, the actual numbers have not yet been made public, but IDC analyst Eric Sheppard did confirm that IDC's 2002 Worldwide Fibre Channel Hub and Switch Market Forecast and Analysis will show McData as the market leader.

Rival director-maker Inrange Technologies Inc., Lumberton, N.J., said that McData's lead might not be as large as it appears since some of McData's director products that were factored into the report were unshipped, resold products or were not fully populated with ports.

McData, through its OEM and reseller agreements, has shipped more than 1.4 million storage-networking ports to customers worldwide.

Inrange said that if the report is calculated by 32 port directors, rather than 64 or 128-port products, the results would vary.

"We entered the market after McData and they had 100% market share prior to [our entry]," said Joe Crivelli, Inrange director of investor relations. "We believe we capture market share every quarter."

IDC's Sheppard said that, despite Inrange's objections, McData still has the number one spot.

Last year Inrange burst onto the scene by claiming third place among Fibre Channel switch vendors, behind McData and Brocade, according to IDC.

Crivelli said that it's unfortunate that Inrange is "lumped-"in with the Brocades and McDatas because of one product. He said his company's range of products and services differentiate Inrange from the competition.

Directors are big Fibre Channel switches and are found in enterprise-level data centers because of their high availability. McData claims that its Intrepid 6000 Series Director has achieved the "five nines" (99.999%) of uptime. The Intrepid features 2Gb/s, multi-protocol technology. It supports emerging technologies such as 10Gb/s, iSCSI, FCIP and InfiniBand. The Intrepid is built on McData's common Extendable Open Network (EON) Architecture.

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