NetApp's $1.5B purchase of Data Domain focuses on de-dupe, backup

has agreed to purchase for $1.5 billion in a deal that will bolster the storage company’s ability to de-duplicate data and provide backup for systems from rival vendors such as EMC and HP.

The deal, announced Wednesday, is expected to close in two to four months pending regulatory approval and Data Domain stockholder approval. NetApp says it will operate Data Domain as a product line, rather than as a separate company, and be able to expand distribution of Data Domain technology into greater portions of the enterprise market and into more parts of Europe and Asia.

Data Domain provides a disk alternative to tape for backup and archiving, using de-duplication to make the size of an original data set 10 to 30 times smaller. NetApp today primarily focuses on providing backup and data protection for its own storage, but owning Data Domain will let NetApp provide disk-based backup to any primary storage technology, including EMC and HP, NetApp says.

NetApp says it will continue to ship the entire Data Domain product line, which includes appliances, storage arrays, and a gateway that brings de-dupe to third-party storage systems.

Data Domain told customers and partners in a letter that product integration at the combined company will deliver greater performance and capacity optimization. “In the face of never-abating data growth, the two companies share a passion for storage efficiency, using software and CPU-centric approaches to deliver ultra-efficient storage rather than the brute force method of adding more disk spindles to boost performance and availability,” Data Domain said.