Storage Vendor Arkeia Adds Dedupe Through Acquisition


Storage software vendor Arkeia Software acquired Kadena Systems in a move to add data deduplication capabilities to its Arkeia Network Backup offering.

With the acquisition, Arkeia, Carlsbad, Calif., will be able to integrate dedupe technology into customers' backup infrastructure by just updating existing backup clients on the servers, said Dave Elliott, vice president of worldwide marketing at Arkeia.

In addition to selling backup software, Arkeia provides hardware appliances and virtual appliances based on that software.

Deduplication, also called "dedupe," removes duplicate information as data is stored, backed up or archived. It can be done at the file level, where duplicate files are replaced with a marker pointing to one copy of the file, and/or at the subfile or byte level, where duplicate bytes of data are removed and replaced by pointers, resulting in a significant decrease in storage capacity requirements.

Kadena's software features source-based dedupe, which dedupes the data before it is sent over a network to be backed up, thereby cutting the amount of bandwidth needed for backups, Elliott said.

Kadena's technology is content-aware and dynamically adjusts the size of the data blocks to be deduped according to the application and the file type to improve performance, he said.

The acquisition is a good move for Arkeia and its partners, said Rod Stolk, vice president of sales at Federal Edge, a Riverside, Calif.-based government and commercial solution provider and Arkeia partner.

"We like how it will be integrated into a single offering," Stolk said. "Arkeia couldn't be considered an enterprise-class product before. This opens them up to larger customers. Arkeia is fast, easy to install, a damned good product."

Jim Horalek, director of engineering at Federal Edge, said that deduplication, for all its benefits, still requires solution providers to go out and educate customers.

"Most of the customer resistance is cost-related," Horalek said. "Customers want it, but cost is a factor. While dedupe makes storage cheaper, the up-front cost is still significant."

Kadena's business model focuses mainly on OEM customers, including Milpitas, Calif.-based SanDisk, and the company also did some direct sales, Elliott said. With the acquisition, Arkeia will continue to support those OEM customers but will likely not invest in developing OEM products, he said.

Instead, Arkeia plans to take the Kadena dedupe technology to its solution provider partners, especially those working in remote and branch offices and for virtual server backups, Elliott said.

"There's a ridiculously large amount of duplicate data in those situations," he said.

Arkeia has seen the importance of dedupe to the backup process for some time and has been looking at whether to acquire the technology or build it on its own, Elliott said.

"We saw Kadena, and how it addresses a part of the market others don't," he said. "Source-based dedupe technology is ideal for us. We put backup clients on our customers' servers already. We can just add source-based dedupe to those clients. So it's a no-brainer for us. Just an upgrade to existing clients."

Arkeia declined to discuss financial terms of the deal.