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Diligent Technologies

EMC offshoot battles tape vendors and fellow startups

Diligent Technologies Corp., born at a time when EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) was actually shedding software companies, has spent its 18 months of life trying to jump to the front of what has become a crowded line of disk backup vendors.

Now the EMC offshoot needs to stand out in the field it helped pioneer -- that is, if it hopes to make good on its goal to turn a profit by the end of the year.

Last year, EMC spent more than $3 billion buying software companies Legato, Documentum, and VMware. But back in late 2002, it was streamlining its operations. It cut loose its mainframe backup software and gave it to the Framingham, Mass.-based Diligent, along with $5 million in funding, an Israeli R&D center, and an instant customer base. The EMC connection goes further: Diligents CEO Doron Kempel and sales VP Mike Parise are also EMC veterans.

Diligent also received $10 million in funding from Credo Group (see EMC Offshoot Lifts the Hood).

As it forged on alone, Diligent took the CopyCross product EMC used to back up mainframe data to its Symmetrix arrays, and rechristened it Virtual Tape Facility (VTF) mainframe. VTF is called virtual tape because it reads and writes data as it would to a tape device, but redirects it to a disk array. The data is written in parallel so it is faster than tape, and the ability to use RAID makes it more reliable.

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