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July 20, 2009



So....as a current EMC customer coming to the end of a product evaluation (enterprise backup) and looking to cut a PO, what would be your advice? Buy the current EMC offering sans Data Domain and hope there's an honorable upgrade path from the DL3D? Skip the DL3D purchase and wait until the smoke clears?
It's exciting to think that the best target side dedupe is under the same corporate umbrella as the best client side dedupe, but unfortunately it put buyers in the 30-60 day timeframe in a bit of a conundrum.


DataDomain is obviously a great product that delivers better dedupe ratios than any software or hardware that EMC or anyone has today. The question here is: will EMC kill the dedupe on its existing EDLs to encorporate DD's technology? will it merge EDL and DD? how quick will Networker be tweaked (if ever) to be a single management center for the three backup platforms (EDL, Avamar, and now DD)?

We'll have to wait and see! but I am sure it will be an interesting journey where EMC will have to introduce a new addendum to its BURA story.

W. Curtis Preston

That is the question that's on everyone's mind...

What will EMC do with Quantum?

And while you said, "Can't forget Avamar," you did "forget" to talk about your EDL/3DL/Quantum-based products. In addition, @Storagezilla tweeted that there he "would expect that DDUP would be EMC's target dedup technology of choice going forward." The two of you together seem to be saying that Quantum has no future at EMC.


I thought Steve Kenniston's pitch at EMC World put forth the best vision I'd ever seen around data reduction technologies from any vendor. Basically it said the goal is to place data reduction IP (source and target-based de-dupe, single instancing, compression, etc...) across EMC's portfolio and allow those technologies to speak the same language such that you don't have to re-hydrate data as it's moved around the enterprise. Essentially making data reduction incremental and cumulative.

At that time, which of course was before the DDUP announcement, I said to myself - "awesome vision...and pigs will fly before that happens." :-)

I realize you're talking more about company integration but users would clearly benefit from the vision Steve put forth...Best of luck to you and the good folks at Data Domain.


Perhaps, by just making a little hole on top of your cone, you may be able to transform the cone of silence into the funnel of bragging rights, just a thought... Anyhow, I believe, EMC has overpaid a little, perhaps by as much as 1/3 because of the bidding war with NetApp. Joe must be seeing something we don’t see because he was willing to overextend to get Data Domain. No harm done since, due to their fiscally conservative policies in the past, EMC can afford it anyhow. As far as the integration is concerned, EMC has been demonstrating a good track record of executing and incorporating the acquired companies into its own DNA. Previously, Joe Tucci has made some excellent class A+ acquisitions during his tenure since the turn of the century. On the other hand, you can’t always ace. I think, all things considered, this will be a B+ acquisition.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Curtis -- my you do have a pugnacious style, don't you?

I think you're reading too much into things, including blog posts. This stuff ain't the gospel, you know.

I didn't say or imply that, 'Zilla didn't say or imply that -- so I guess you'll have to conjure up some other evidence for your speculation.

Best regards ...

-- Chuck


Hi Chuck, Expensive purchase of data domain.
No way that it fits EMC except for the purpose you paused NetApp growth for now.

EMC will be only known for Symmetrix systems and it is definitely great system. The rest of integrations you talk about is good on paper. There will be a control center plug-in for datadomain and then EMC forgets about it.

When is the next acquistion?

That's life for EMC these days.

Chuck Hollis


You're always welcome to your opinion, but yours is so radically incorrect I wonder if even you believe it.

-- Chuck

Paul P

I'm looking forward to your comments, re:
"I'd like to write a subsequent post at some point with what this means to NetApp -- especially in the broader context of industry consolidation and go-forward strategies. And it ain't pretty."

Umm Chuck: You said in earlier post how you didn't seen any benefit to NetApp in them acquiring DD, that is wasn't a good fit, spiral of death and all that.

This latest comment implies you will be writing about how bad it was for NetApp to miss out?

Hehe. I'll paraphrase, just for giggles: NetApp might as well pack up and go home, there ain't no chance of them doing anything remotely worthwhile (like chasing DD)...

Chuck Hollis

Paul P

If you didn't like this post, you're gonna really hate the one I just put up.

-- Chuck

Chuck Hollis

Hi Todd

Sorry about doing this acquisition mid-flight during your evaluation. I can't comment on your particular specifics, but -- in general -- if DL3D was a good decision before the acquisition, it'll be a good decision after the acquisition.

Most people don't appreciate the subtleties between inline target dedupe (e.g. Data Domain), and a platform that can switch between different modes -- uncompressed, inline, post processing, etc. -- as your needs change and evolve (e.g. DL3D).

You'll hear people say that the DL3D is dead. Not true, although there are those who would like you to believe it.

Yeah, like we'd shoot a successful and differentiated product like the Disk Library with thousands of happy customers just because we acquired a complementary technology.

I don't think so, do you?

I'd continue to move ahead with confidence if I were you.

-- Chuck


Who else has a credible dedupe solution now, other than EMC? Seems like you're the last game in town! Congrats on that.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    Chief Strategist, VMware Storage and Availability Business Unit

    Chuck works for VMware, and is deeply embroiled in all things software-defined storage these days.

    Previously, he was with EMC for 18 years, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Holliston, MA with his wife, three kids and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.
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