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The 10 Biggest Cisco Stories Of 2009

Cisco turned up the heat this year on a number of fronts: bolstering channel programs, unveiling a server and bold data center strategy, and stepping into the ring with HP, once a friend, now a foe. Who said it was a slow year in San Jose?

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If the wild Cisco channel has any importance to you or your business, boy, was this your year for a white-knuckle ride. No sooner did Cisco throw its weight behind a full-on data center play with the Unified Computing System (UCS) than it upped its focus on small business, swallowed up some of the hottest video companies around, stuck its fingers in smart grid energy, consumer products and other, as John Chambers puts them, "adjacencies," and, oh yeah, publicly called out the world's biggest technology company and said, "It's on."

Senior Vice President of Worldwide Channels Keith Goodwin and his team have certainly had their hands full. All year, Cisco solution providers have both praised the networking titan -- Cisco collected top honors in several Annual Report Card categories, and Goodwin netted Executive of the Year -- and strained to stay smiling, given all the changes, new products and potential for conflict with HP.

The fun is just beginning, it seems. Here's a look at the year's 10 biggest stories for the Cisco channel.

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