Feeds

Dedupe this: NetApp buying Data Domain

Surprise deal obscures good results

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Data Domain also gives it many new accounts into which it can sell its FAS hardware and software products, and the deduplication market has a long way to go before it reaches saturation.

Data Domain motivations

Why is Data Domain selling? Why have Frank Slootman and his team decided enough is enough? Surely it can't be the lure of faster international sales development? Surely it can't be a need for product development funding? They are sitting on a cash generation machine with Nehalem and clustering set to help continue a blistering growth path. The motivation here is not clear. Data Domain could buy Ocarina and deal with that technology gap problem at a stroke. The clustering technology must be in Data Domain's development labs already. What problem does Data Domain face that requires a NetApp acquisition as its solution?

Is it the case that Slootman and his team recognise that a stand-alone deduplication supplier cannot survive and prosper? Data Domain cannot transform itself into a general storage platform now that every storage array supplier has its own deduplication strategy in place, witness EMC with its Avamar acquisition and Quantum relationship.

This view would say NetApp is the haven Data Domain absolutely requires in the longer term because, as EMC has said over and over, deduplication is a feature, not a platform.

Looked at another way, this acquisition says as much about the relative weakness of NetApp's existing VTL product line as it does about the future for stand-alone deduplication storage array suppliers. Both are now probably finished, with the exception of niche, high-end, scale-out dedupe products such as those from Exagrid and Sepaton.

NetApp's previous experience of acquisitions could be described as patchy. Technology integration has proved problematic in the case of Spinnaker and clustering with it taking several years before clustering comes to maturity. NetApp's merged and cluster-capable ONTAP v8.0 release is expected later this year.

The Topio any-to-any replication technology acquisition resulted in NetApp learning that there wasn't as much of a market for that functionality as people thought. Nevertheless, with Data Domain being acquired and run as a separate business unit within NetApp, these problems shouldn't occur. Unless another bidder emerges and with both boards in favour it looks as if the acquisition is a done deal and a great deal.

Simple put, NetApp is buying the hottest deduplication technology and product line in the market.

NetApp earnings

In other news, NetApp announced fourth quarter fiscal 2009 revenues of $880m, down from the year ago quarter's $938m, with net income of $75m, $15m less than the year before. Full year 2009 revenues were $3.4bn, 3 percent higher than a year ago, with net income of $87m, well down on 2008's $310m. The earnings were better than Wall Street's expectations, NetApp having controlled its costs well. No guidance was given for the next quarter. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.