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Zambeel Znuffed Out

The NAS startup has finally expired, though sources say it may restart as a software play

The deathwatch appears to be over for Zambeel Inc., the high-end NAS player that burned through more than $66 million in funding but ultimately was able to sell just one of its systems.

The Fremont, Calif., startup has finally shut its doors after a protracted death spiral and several rounds of layoffs, sources tell Byte and Switch. We tried to call Zambeel, but its phones have been disconnected (and its Website isn't working). (See SAN Startups on the Block, Zambeel COO Skedaddles, and 30 Zambeelians Get Pink Slips.)

The company, founded in September 1999, was backed by several top-flight VCs, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Others included Amerindo Investment Advisors Inc., Aurora Technology Fund LLC, Integral Capital Partners, Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR), Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., and Morgan Keegan & Company Inc. (see Zambeel Lands $52.6M).

Zambeel board members Dick Kramlich, general partner at NEA, and Bernie Lacroute, partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, did not respond to requests for additional information.

The company, which referred to its employees as "Zambeelians," apparently landed just one paying customer for its Aztera NAS box: the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. A NERSC representative confirms that a small Zambeel box configured with 3 or 4 Tbytes -- which the lab actually did pay for -- is still running as part of its Parallel Distributed System Facility (PDSF) Linux-based cluster (see Research Lab Picks Zambeel).

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