22 thoughts on “Why Both EMC & NetApp Want Data Domain”

  1. Om,
    There is an even higher level business trend at work that is driving the value of DataDomain (and other companies). DataDomain is one of what I call the Three Horsemen of IT ROI Improvement: VMWare, Riverbed and DataDomain. All three of these companies’ primary value proposition lies in making existing IT more efficient/disrupting inefficient historical paradigms. VMWare – better server utilization, Riverbed – better bandwidth utilization & DataDomain – better storage efficiency. In short, these companies exemplify the strength of technologies that improve “the ROI of IT”. If you look at their growth rates and valuations, it’s clear that this is the strongest trend in the technology markets today.
    If you view the technology market from this perspective, it starts to explain most of the valuation and growth trends from the last 5 years.

    1. Jake

      I couldn’t agree more. Over last few years, I have come to believe that commoditization of technology hardware offers amazing opportunities for folks to build a big “software-service-experience” businesses on top of those. I wrote about this in 2004 and since then I have been following these companies. (My stuff at B2 was all about this trend.) So it has taken 5 years for us to come to this future. 🙂

      I am glad you “tied a bow” around such a big trend. Thanks/

  2. Om,
    one does not get this type of analysis too often in today’s short snippet content world. nice post.

  3. EMC doesn’t want Data Domain for its technology, or its people. DD is full of ex-EMC people who hate EMC. EMC wants DD for exactly one reason: to keep NetApp out of all the EMC shops who have bought DD equipment. EMC needs yet another de-duplication technology like it needs a hole in Joe Tucci’s head.

  4. As a customer of EMC’s (acquired) Avamar de-duped B2D solution, I fail to see what DataDomain can bring to the table here. In our bake-off, we found Avamar to be a superior solution. I see no explanation for EMC’s bid other than to ruthlessly buy, scavenge and kill a competitive product. They don’t want DD, they just don’t want NetApp to have them.


    1. Avamar and Data Domain are not competitors, they are in 2 different spaces. Avamar is Client level, Data domain target, EMC has no real solution for target dedupe, that is why they would go after Data Domain. Data Domain crushes the Quantum solution in a “bake-off”. For mid-sized and large customers, target is the only way to go. The infrastructure required for client level solutions is crazy to maintain when you get over 50TB.

      1. I agree with Mike K.

        1) They compete
        2) Source side de-duplication is a technical winner every time. DD solves one problem, less disk on the back end. Products that do it on the source like Avamar solve many, less disk, shorter backup windows, and the ability to remove tape/disk at remote sites for backup.

        The only problem is Avamar requires and investment and change of software solutions, while DD works with any; however I’ve never heard a customer get 1/2 the reduction that DD claims.

  5. I am sure you did a bakeoff Mike. You sound like a very insecure EMC guy, who is still attempting to sell the virtues of a failed technology. If the money involved in these deals from both NetApp and EMC doesn’t tell that neither company has a viable alternative, then nothing will. No company has EVER paid over a billion dollars for a product they don’t need, just to keep a competitor from getting it.

  6. NetApp’s and EMC’s Data Domain acquisition attempts are bald-faced admissions of their products’ inferior technological merits. DD is a growing threat with a better solution that they can’t compete with, so they’ll destroy it by assimilating it just like NetApp did with Spinnaker. It doesn’t really matter whether they’re successful at integrating, the real goal is anti-competitive. Maybe the Fed should prohibit the purchase.

  7. Shame no one seems to be taking into account the after sales support on these products, and why are netapp filers being compared to EMC solutions (propriatery file based V block addressed). I am in the position of evaluating the support issues for all the above mentioned vendor solutions and for my 2cents worth I wouldn’t touch EMC with a ten foot pole since their support structure is the worst I have encountered in 20 years of storage analysis!

    1. Why would you say that the EMC support structure is the worst you have seen? As an integrator all I hear from customers is that they leave Netapp because of the strength in EMC support, not necessarily for their Cellera products?

  8. It’s about mathematics and functions that reduce binary storage constraints. Client or server side are irrelevant. JBOD doesn’t care where the bits come from.

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