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Auspex

Auspex Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ASPX), left for dead in the network-attached storage (NAS) market by Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) and EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), is staging a comeback.

With a new line of products, a leaner and more focused management team, and a healthier bank balance, Auspex is hoping that within a year or so it will have regained its seat as a leader in the NAS market.

The company hopes to recoup its double-digit market share in the enterprise NAS space currently dominated by Network Appliance and EMC. In 1997/98 Auspex owned around 40 percent of this sector. But by 1999 it was down to 10 percent, and today its languishing at around 2 percent -- a sore point for the company that invented the first NAS appliance.

What happened? The company was founded back in 1987, but due to a succession of different engineering teams, an acquisition that didn’t work, and alleged managerial miasma, Auspex went from a $250 million company to almost bankrupt by the end of the 90s.

"They created the NAS market and by arrogance they almost destroyed it," says Robert Grey, an analyst with IDC.