Red Hat not only cracked the top 10 for the first time but also finished No. 1 in vendor ratings as compiled by Ziff Davis CIO Insight.

In a survey of 1,050 IT executives, Red Hat received an 81.3 percent rating for “good or excellence service”.

Symantec, a security technology firm, was second at 81.1 percent.

Dell, which is opening a factory in North Carolina next year, and Cisco ranked third and fourth respectively.

“IT executives are happier with their vendors this year,” the publication said. “Twenty vendors received higher scores, including most of the networking, storage and enterprise application vendors.”

Rankings for 12 other firms dropped, and the reviews show vendors have room to improve. “No company was considered good or excellent overall by more than 81 percent of their customers, and the loyalty numbers clearly demonstrate how many CIOs feel locked into their vendors,” CIO Insight added.

Here’s the top 10:

1. Red Hat 81.3%

2. Symantec 81.1%

3. Dell 80.8%

4. Cisco Systems 79.4%

5. Apple Computer 75.4%

6. Citrix Systems 75.2%

7. StorageTek 74.7%

8. Hewlett-Packard 74.2%

9. McAfee 73.7%

10. Hitachi 73.4%

For more details, see: http://www.cioinsight.com/article2/0,1397,1743850,00.asp