EMC acquires de-duplication vendor

By Kevin Komiega

In the latest of its ongoing string of software-related acquisitions, EMC was expected to complete its acquisition this month of Avamar Technologies for $165 million in cash. Avamar is known primarily for its data de-duplication products and expertise, and industry analysts expect that technology to provide a cure for some of the ailments that plague storage administrators.

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Avamar’s software uses de-duplication technology to back up data once by identifying redundant data segments at the source, simultaneously reducing the amount of network bandwidth used and data stored.

The two vendors had already done some integration work together. Avamar’s Axion technology is compatible with EMC’s Clariion arrays as a target for disk-based backup, as well as EMC’s Centera platform for long-term archiving. Avamar also interoperates with EMC’s NetWorker backup software.

Avamar CEO Ed Walsh says that his company’s customers will now have access to a new level of support and service. “Our problems have been resources and reach. I think we’ve solved those problems.”

The company is being folded into EMC’s Storage Product Operations (SPO) group. Walsh will stay on with EMC and report to Mark Sorenson, senior vice president of information management.

The Avamar buy marks EMC’s twelfth acquisition of 2006.

Officials at some of the smaller vendors offering some form of data de-duplication, such as Data Domain, Diligent, and Sepaton, view EMC’s acquisition of Avamar as a potential boost for the technology and the marketplace. And industry researchers say that end users are primed for products that eliminate redundant data.

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In TheInfoPro (TIP) market research firm’s recent survey of Fortune 1000 storage professionals, the problem of data duplication emerged as a serious issue in the minds of storage professionals.

TIP queried users about how they report on file content duplication in other words, understanding how much content duplication is present. According to the results, 74% of the respondents had no active content duplication reporting (see figure on p. 1).

Another question asked what key factors are causing the growth in networked storage, and 20% of the respondents indicated that data sharing via duplication was one of the largest contributors to data growth (see figure, above).

This article was originally published on December 01, 2006