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Sandial's Out

After three years and $65 million in venture funding, the clock has run out on switch startup Sandial Systems Inc.

After unsuccessfully seeking funding or a buyer, the Portsmouth, N.H.-based outfit recently closed its doors and is liquidating its assets. According to Jim Counihan, principal of Sandial investor Prism Venture Partners and a member of the startup's board of directors, "All of the employees have been laid off." A few Sandial employees have been retained as consultants to help try and sell whatever they can. Counihan says they are evaluating offers for intellectual property, maintenance contracts, and equipment.

Sandial executives spent the summer scrambling for cash (see Sandial's on the Clock ). Former marketing EVP Mike Welts said in July that efforts to raise $20 million in funding failed, and Sandial was hoping to be acquired or at least sell off its intellectual property.

Sandial did raise $65 million in three funding rounds, starting back in August 2000 when the company was called Malachite Technologies (see Malachite Unearths $30M and Malachite Plans to Light Up SANs). But it laid off 35 of its 60 employees at the end of June 2004, after its planned fourth funding round fell through.

Sandial claimed 20 customers for its Shadow 14000 Storage Backbone Switch, which used time-division multiplexing to regulate bandwidth assigned to specific applications in a Fibre Channel network (see Sandial Switch Surfaces). That delivers a degree of quality-of-service previously lacking in Fibre Channel switches.

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