Bud Broomhead and other great IT moments in 2006

Q: Steve, what were the best and the worst of 2006? -- A.R., New York

A: Ah, so many interesting things happened in 2006, both good and bad. In no specific order, here ya go.

Best IT industry name: Bud Broomhead. Not a cartoon character, but a real-life luck machine. Bud was a founding member of storage resource management pioneer HighGround Systems Inc., which was sold for a ton of money to Sun (see ""). Interestingly enough, HighGround was a Windows application, which I'm pretty sure you can't buy from Sun anymore. Bud then moved on to Topio Inc., which was just bought for another ton of money by NetApp.

Most ridiculous example of starting and selling companies ever: Rahul Mehta. First he did Manage-X, which he sold to HP, then Cluster-X, which he sold to Veritas, and now Storage-X (a marketing whiz he isn't, but who cares?) to Brocade. Even better, I'm not sure he ever did it with anyone else's money.

Best comeback: Has to be HP. Dead as a doorknob. The only reason HP employees weren't committing suicide a short time ago is that most of the buildings aren't tall enough to get you more than a broken ankle. The land of the cubes made Digital look like an exciting place to work. Within a year of new CEO Mark Hurd, HP went from the place IT industry folk go to die to the place to be. Even their scandals became exciting -- name the last board of directors event you remember!

Best disappearing storage business: Sun, of course. Where did StorageTek go?