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Dell and the dedupe appliance conundrum

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Dell to ship Centera?

On that basis we can say then that it looks as if Dell may be going to ship Clariion and Celerra products with a deduping capability (in the storage software) and - this is a bit more of a stretch - may be about to ship deduping (possibly doing more dedupe than it does at the moment somehow) Centera object stores. It will also supply dedupe software for inclusion in ISV and application software

Looking beyond the DL2000 release, can we tie these implications to other things Dell and EMC have said?

In November last year, Dell said it would develop a single block-level dedupe and replication architecture spanning its own, Quantum, and EMC storage arrays. It was then going to develop "a single de-duplication architecture across its PowerVault, EqualLogic and Dell/EMC storage arrays. It will be able to replicate de-duped data between these arrays and, in theory, between them and Quantum and EMC storage arrays, across both LAN and WAN."

Is that still true, given that EMC is pursuing a takeover of Data Domain which is seen to overlap with EMC's own DL 3D backup deduplication products? It is, because Paul Kaeley, a Global Practice Executive from Dell's consulting services, said today that Dell has a relationship with both Quantum and EMC and will be releasing a Quantum-based deduplication product from EMC during the 2nd half of the year.

This relationship and strategy has continued since November last year and so predates the very recent Data Domain takeover initiative by EMC.

We can categorise both the DL 3D and the Data Domain products as point deduplication products focussed on backup data, in the same generic class as the DL2000, although that is primarily for small and medium businesses (SMB) and is more affordable.

The implication here is that EMC is developing second generation deduplication products, based on its licensed Quantum DXi technology which will enable Clariion, Celerra, and Centera (maybe) storage arrays to deduplicate near-primary, archive, file, and object storage data, Centera more than it does at present if that's feasible. EMC and Dell will still offer point product backup deduplication products though, DL 3D and maybe Data Domain from EMC, and DL2000 and whatever follow-on products might come along - DL3000 anybody? - from Dell.

Are there any EMC statements and actions to back this up? For starters this would provide a solid reason for EMC extending a $100m handout loan to Quantum. There has to have been a very good reason for EMC to do that.

At the time, EMC senior vice president Rich Napolitano said: "Quantum will be able to focus more energy on continued innovation and working with EMC to remain front and centre in one of the storage industry's hottest trends." Front and centre seems especially meaningful given the scenario we are are developing in this join-the-dots exercise.

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