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7/20/2010
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Dell Acquiring Ocarina Networks

The privately held company provides technology to compress images and other unstructured data in order to free up storage space, complementing the deduplication capabilities in Dell's storage systems.

Dell plans to acquire by the end of the month Ocarina Networks, a privately held company that provides technology to compress images and other unstructured data in order to free up storage space.

Dell announced the acquisition agreement Monday, but did not disclose financial terms. The computer maker said Ocarina technology would complement the deduplication capabilities in Dell's storage systems, which include its own products as well as hardware built in partnership with EMC. Dell expects to complete the purchase of Ocarina within the next 11 days.

Ocarina would continue to operate out of its San Jose, Calif., headquarters, but Dell planned to expand the company's sales and engineering capabilities.

"Combining Ocarina's capability with Dell's leading storage portfolio, we plan to move the Ocarina solution well beyond what you've seen with other deduplication offerings to include 'end-to-end' optimization," Murli Thirumale, chief executive of Ocarina, said in statement. "This brings deduplication to not only primary storage, but also to key storage workflows including backup, replication, migration and tiering."

In general, Ocarina's products are meant to complement deduplication products. Ocarina offers software and appliances that run within a storage system and compresses unstructured data, such as images, email and Internet content, so it can take up less disk space.

While Ocarina technology will likely benefit Dell, it's unclear what impact the acquisition will have on the company's relationship with Dell-rival Hewlett-Packard, which is listed as a "strategic partner" on Ocarina's Web site. Ocarina's main rival is Permabit, which could benefit by a Dell-owned Ocarina.

Ocarina, founded in 2007, got its start in photo storage optimization, later expanding into other markets, such as movie studios, oil and gas companies and medical institutions.

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