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Crossroads Systems: Page 3 of 4

Then the NASDAQ crashed, taking unprofitable companies like Crossroads with it. By July 28 of last year, Crossroads' stock was worth $5 per share, and between then and now the per-share price hasn't topped the low teens.

"With the downturn, the company has found itself with more infrastructure and a bigger facility than we need," says Sanders. Those realizations forced a 10 percent layoff earlier this summer, as Crossroads began trying to reduce its operational expenses.

Still, the positives continue: Crossroads has a new product line (see God Goes Down to the Crossroads), its 8000 series of storage routers, designed to eventually support newer connectivity protocols, including iSCSI and Infiniband. Sanders, who says Crossroads will demonstrate working iSCSI technology at the upcoming Storage Networking World event in Orlando, Fla., says the multiprotocol router product is proof that Crossroads is moving beyond its traditional SCSI-to-Fibre Channel niche.

Of course, the term "multiprotocol router" conjures up an image of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) looming as a possible competitor, if iSCSI grows in acceptance. But Sanders says iSCSI won't take over the market anytime soon.

"Fibre Channel will still have pretty long legs, especially in the higher end of the market," Sanders says. "And the longer the [technical] confusion goes on, the better business opportunity there is for a router company."