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EMC to acquire de-duplication firm

Technology seen as huge value-add to storage giant’s product line-up

EMC HAS ADDED data protection and de-duplication specialist Avamar Technologies to its overflowing portfolio of recent acquisitions.

The US$165million deal is the 12th buy the storage giant has made in the last year and further backs up CEO Joe Tucci’s promise at EMC World 2006 in April that the firm would not be slowing down in its aggressive acquisition strategy .

With the Avamar acquisition EMC adds over 400 clients to its customer base, many of them large corporates in the financial sector such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

Avamar’s de-duplication technology is seen as an important addition to EMC’s offerings as it allows companies to back up data more intelligently by avoiding unnecessarily archiving the same data in different users’ environments.

“This is a transformational acquisition,” Mark Lewis, chief development officer at EMC, told the Red Herring online news site. “Even if you want to back up everything, almost all the files you have on your PC are the same as on your neighbour’s PC. As you back up, very few of the files change.

Avamar only stores the core one time, goes inside the file, and looks for redundancies at the byte level,” he said.

Ed Walsh, CEO of Avamar, added: “Avamar was first to market with global data de-duplication technology. As a result, our market traction has been exceptional with customers around the globe. Joining EMC will allow us to take our vision to the next level and accelerate adoption of this disruptive technology.”

De-duplication has become a key technology and is now seen as an integral part of any vendor’s complete information lifecycle management offering.

“Data de-duplication is an important facet to a holistic information lifecycle management strategy, and can greatly reduce the amount of data customers need to store and maintain. By only archiving the unique data portions, many customers have been able to archive capacity requirements by up to 20 times,” said Allan Krans, analyst at Technology Business Research.

“The purchase [of Avamar] provides industry-leading data de-duplication technology that is a good complement to EMC’s Centera system,” he added.

EMC said the deal is expected to close in the next 30 days.

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