Rather than hit the acquisition trail for deduplication technology, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) is choosing to partner instead.
While EMC (NYSE: EMC) and NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) fight over dedupe pioneer Data Domain (NASDAQ: DDUP), Dell is turning to a network of partners to offer the popular data reduction technology.
Dell already partners with EMC and Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) for dedupe offerings, and now it's adding CommVault's (NASDAQ: CVLT) Simpana 8.0 to the PowerVault DL2000 launched last fall.
Dell also boasts a dedupe partnership with Quantum (NYSE: QTM) a major EMC supplier that has yet to result in a product release, but a Dell spokesman said the company "continues to work with Quantum and EMC and will have more news on this front at a later date."
Dell also resells EMC's DL3D 1500 VTL, which is based on Quantum's dedupe technology, and the company plans a Dell-branded version later this year. The company resells EMC's Avamar dedupe software too. Dell accounted for about 10 percent of EMC's overall revenues in the first quarter.
Dell says its block-level dedupe offering with CommVault offers deduplication ratios of as much as 20:1 and can save users up to 50 percent over hardware-based dedupe appliances. Dell even put in a plug for using the system with tape, noting that the footprint of long-term vaulting or compliance copies could be reduced by 90 percent.
The company is also integrating the offering with its EqualLogic product line with new iSCSI target support, which integrates with VMware (NYSE: VMW) Consolidated Backup to keep Dell EqualLogic iSCSI virtual server backup traffic off the corporate network.
Dell claims deduplication rates of nearly 1.5 TBs an hour for the DL2000 when performing full backup operations, and scalability up to 144 TBs of usable disk space.
Dell's partnership approach to dedupe fits with much of the rest of the data storage sector. While IBM (NYSE: IBM) acquired Diligent, among the other top seven vendors, Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA), HP (NYSE: HPQ) and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) have all sought out dedupe partners. But depending on the outcome of the bidding war for Data Domain, that picture could change.
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