5. Cisco the Server Contender
Competitors galore are trying to paint Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) as little more than a mild data center curiosity, but UCS -- and specifically, Cisco's new found clout as a server vendor -- has only continued to gain traction, and in just two and a half years on the market, has become a dynamite business for Cisco.
Cisco broke into the list of top five server vendors in North America this past spring, and by the end of the year, had passed Dell to become the No. 3 vendor of blade servers, according to researcher IDC's numbers.