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A Storage App Without the Storage

Data Domain today launched its DD460g Enterprise Restorer -- a gateway server that uses its software to compress data and store it on customers' disk arrays. (See Data Domain Opens Gateway.) Data Domains' previous products, the DD200 and DD400 appliances, had disks built into the appliance with the software. (See Data Domain Gets Compressed.)

Data Domain CEO Frank Slootman says the gateway approach is necessary to attract enterprise customers looking to back up data to their existing arrays. While Data Domain launched the DD200 in June 2003 for smaller firms and before cheap SATA disk was as common in storage networks as it is today, larger enterprises often have cheap disk to spare.

"Enterprises are flat-out telling us, 'We like your product, but we don't want your storage,' " Slootman says. "We don't have to be told too often. So we've taken the storage out of the chassis, and you're left with the server."

The Data Domain gateway is certified to work with EMC Clariion and Nexsan ATABeast arrays, and Slootman say he hopes for certification with other major SAN array vendors.

Slootman envisions smaller shops still finding use for the appliances while enterprises will favor the gateway. By not selling storage in the enterprise, Data Domain avoids competition with EMC and other large storage vendors, leaving the door open to partnerships combining Data Domain software with other vendors' hardware. (See VCs Add $15M More to Data Domain.)

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