• 03/31/2003
    11:00 PM
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TrueSAN Goes Belly-Up

Startup has officially shut the doors after it failed to convince VCs to stump up more cash
TrueSAN Networks Inc. has officially shut its doors after a turnaround plan that founder and CEO Tom Isakovich presented to its board of directors last week failed to convince the company's backers to stump up more cash.

The company's Website stopped working sometime late Friday. Isakovich, contacted by Byte and Switch via email, declined to comment. TrueSAN's VCs could not be reached for comment.

The writing has been on the wall for TrueSAN for some time, as it changed direction in January 2002 from a storage hardware supplier to a storage management software provider. Entering this overcrowded space ultimately proved to be another dead-end for TrueSAN, whose Cloudbreak software combined device management, storage resource management (SRM), storage virtualization, and data mirroring for heterogeneous storage networks (see SAN Startups on the Block, TrueSAN Dishes Up Pink Slips, TrueSAN Swings Axe, TrueSAN Breaks Out 'Cloudbreak', and TrueSAN Takes Second Shot).

The San Jose, Calif.-based company had raised a little over $30 million in two rounds, the second of which was in January 2001. The company's investors included Woodside Fund, Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC), JT Venture Partners, Credit Suisse First Boston Corp., Spring Creek Partners, and Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) (see TrueSAN Secures $30M in Funding).

Isakovich sent a final missive to company employees last Thursday, addressed to "all TrueSANites." A copy of this was forwarded to Byte and Switch, and we present it here:

    Sent: 3/27/03 6:41 PM

    Subject: To all TrueSANites
    Dear TrueSANites,
    I write to you this evening to report that today will be my last day at TrueSAN... I have resigned. Unfortunately, the Board did not approve the restructuring and turnaround plan for TrueSAN that I had presented to them earlier this week. This is especially unfortunate given the tremendous enthusiasm that Cloudbreak has generated in customer meetings over the last few months... with end-users, resellers, and big-name OEMs alike. I unequivocally believe, now more than ever, that the Cloudbreak technology and TrueSAN have incredible potential. I know that I, and many of you, were prepared to go-the-distance, even after so many struggles, to give success as an independent company one last chance.
    Since founding TrueSAN on November 12, 1997, it's been an unbelievable journey... from hand-built RAID systems to total SAN solutions to groundbreaking storage management software... from an unprecedented boom time to a debilitating recession. I would not trade the experience and relationships for anything. I look forward to another opportunity to work with such talented and inspiring people.
    As for me, my respite from the energy of startups and entrepreneurship will probably be short-lived. I love to build companies. As Jerry Kaplan stated in the epilogue of his amazing book about a huge failure called "Startup," I guess that means I didn't learn my lesson. :-)
    I wish everyone at TrueSAN all the best. Thank you for believing in the dream and for your tireless perseverance in trying to bring it to reality. Please do not hesitate to contact me at or (xxx) xxx-xxxx if I can be helpful in any way.
    Warmest regards,
    Tom Isakovich

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