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Report: EMC walks away with dedupe appliance market

Pathetic rivals handed it the world on a, erm, platter

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When it comes to the disk-based backup appliance market, there is EMC and IBM and then there is everyone else.

Market analyst IDC has just released a report, "Worldwide Purpose-Built Backup Appliance 2012–2016 Forecast and 2011 Vendor Shares", that shows EMC utterly dominating the disk-based backup appliance market with its Data Domain and Avamar technology, not forgetting its mainframe Disk Library product. EMC now has 65.5 per cent share of the $2.4bn revenues IDC attributed to this market in 2011, earning $1.58bn.

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Every vendor you would expect is included in IDC's supplier list, except NetApp, which tried to buy Data Domain in 2009 only to see EMC snatch it out of its fingers. Shortly afterwards, bruised and defeated, NetApp retired from a disk-based backup product market that it could be dominating today.

Second to EMC is IBM, with a respectable 15.3 per cent share, $370.1m. HP is third, just getting over the three-figure mark with $100.6m, a niggardly 4.1 per cent. Symantec is fourth with 3.5 percent, Quantum fifth with its DXi product line gaining it 2.6 per cent and $63.8m – relative peanuts. After that things get ridiculous.

Oracle comes sixth with 1.9 per cent and $45.5m. Fujitsu is seventh at 1.5 per cent and $36m. Sepaton is number eight with $35m and 1.4 percent; Exagrid is languishing at ninth with $314m and 1.3 percent; and struggling FalconStor is tenth – with 1.1 per cent and $27.7m. Last of all is Dell, with 1 per cent and $24.5m. The "others" category gets a near-invisible 0.7 per cent.

This is pathetic. Data Domain is using mostly the same hardware as everybody else, getting the latest processors to the market quickly we have to say, but its dominance is a wake-up call to the others. Come on guys; you're letting EMC walk all over you. This isn't a competition, it's a race in which EMC is driving a racing car, IBM a wheezy old sedan, and everyone else is on foot.

What NetApp's complete and utter failure to partake in this market indicates is that its A-SIS deduplication technology simply doesn't cut the dedupe backup mustard. If it did NetApp could stuff it into a cut-down FAS300 array with stripped out ONTAP data management software and sell it as a virtual tape library (VTL), resurrecting the old NearStore product line it retired a couple of years ago.

EMC's BRS division head, Bill "BJ" Jenkins must think he's dreaming. His competitors, with the exception of IBM and HP, are nowhere to be seen. IBM looks steady and happy with its 15.3 per cent while HP is getting ambitious and aggressive with its StoreOnce technology and B6200. Dell is pushing its Ocarina-based products but has a very, very long way to go. Everyone else looks effectively stuck in a rut. All this means EMC's reps and channel partners are in the cushy position of actually needing something to sell against. ®

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