Dell disrupts data-dedupe apple-cart with Ocarina (and gamer cake)

By Richi Jennings. July 20, 2010.

This will set the cat among the pigeons in the data-deduplication world: Dell is to acquire Ocarina Networks for its content-aware dedupe and compression technology. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder how this will affect the rest of the industry.

Your humble blogwatcher selected these bloggy morsels for your enjoyment. Not to mention a telling gamer wedding cake...


    Stephen Lawson knows the news:

Dell ... plans to acquire Ocarina Networks, a maker of ... appliances and software that perform data compression and deduplication on unstructured data such as images and e-mail ... generating savings of space, power and other resources in data centers.


Dell is attempting to branch out from its ... roots to become a data-center vendor with a broad scope. ... It sells a range of enterprise storage products, including internally sourced gear such as the EqualLogic line and rebranded equipment.

Joseph F. Kovar talks co-opetition:

Ocarina Networks' ... content-aware deduplication technology ... looks at the content of a file and how it is structured to choose the best way to compress and dedupe the data from over 100 possible algorithms.


Ocarina provides its dedupe technology to EMC ... BlueArc, Hitachi Data Systems, and Hewlett-Packard. ... Dell is evaluating those relationships on a case-by-case basis. ... Dell already has other partnerships for deduplication technology ... [with] Symantec and CommVault.


Ocarina will also bring Dell into a more competitive situation with NetApp ... which builds dedupe technology into all its products. Ocarina claims that its dedupe technology offers up to 57 times better data reduction.

Sam Diaz expands:

[It's] part of its greater competitive push into the data management game. ... Dell, which has already beefed up its storage offerings with Equallogic, is entering a similar business as long-time partner EMC ... [which] last year beat out NetApp to acquire data dedupe company Data Domain.


Dell highlighted its interest in Ocarina’s deduplication capability to complement the EqualLogic offering ... Dell said it plans to beef up sales and engineering after the sale is complete, which expected to be by the end of the month.

Dean Takahashi talks founding and funding:

Founded in 2007 ... it released its flagship product, the Ocarina Appliance Reader, in April 2008.


[It] raised $12 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Highland Capital in 2007 ... [and] another $20 million from the same investors and Jafco Ventures in 2009.

And Kiron Kasbekar kontinues:

Founded in 2007 by Murli Thirumale and Goutham Rao, the San Jose, California-based privately-held Ocarina Networks sell devices designed to reduce data footprints with file-aware storage optimisation. ... [It] uses patented data compression techniques incorporating such methods as record linkage and context-based lossless data compression.

Meanwhile, Dave Simpson says Dell "dropped a bombshell on the data deduplication market":

Will ... the Ocarina technology ... be applied only to the EqualLogic line of iSCSI arrays? Or will it be applied across ... all of Dell’s storage systems? ... What does that mean for Dell’s existing data deduplication technologies and partners? ... Will Dell still need ... CommVault and Symantec? What are the implications for Dell’s reseller deal with EMC? ... Will Dell eventually have one deduplication technology, or will the company maintain a menu of options?


Where does this leave other data reduction specialists, such as GreenBytes, Exar and Permabit? ... And how will the deduplication kingpins – NetApp and EMC – react?

And Finally...

Getting married to a gamer? How about this for the wedding cake?

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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