Dell Snaps Up Ocarina Networks, Plans Storage Dedupe Move


Dell on Monday said it plans to acquire Ocarina Networks, a developer of storage compression and deduplication technology which could give Dell the ability reduce the amount of data customers store across a wide range of devices.

Dell declined to discuss financial details of the planned acquisition, but a Dell spokesperson said the acquisition is expected to close by the end of July.

Ocarina Networks is a developer of content-aware deduplication technology which 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.

Dell previously did not have a strategic relationship with Ocarina. However, Ocarina provides its dedupe technology to EMC, which is a major storage partner of Dell's, as well as to such Dell competitors as BlueArc, Hitachi Data Systems, and Hewlett-Packard. The Dell spokesperson said Dell is evaluating those relationships on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to the potential implications of the acquisition for those competitors, Ocarina will also bring Dell into a more competitive situation with NetApp, a top-five storage vendor which builds dedupe technology into all its products. Ocarina claims that its dedupe technology offers up to 57 times better data reduction that that of NetApp.

Dell already has other partnerships for deduplication technology. It currently produces storage appliances which take advantage of dedupe software from Symantec and CommVault.

The Dell spokesperson said Dell is not expected to change its relationships with Symantec and CommVault as a result of acquiring Ocarina. Instead, Dell plans to use the Ocarina to extend its dedupe offerings into primary storage as well as across such storage services as replication, migration, and tiering.