CDP: An OEM Game

Storage vendors are in feeding frenzy to acquire CDP technology

August 24, 2005

4 Min Read
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Continuous data protection (CDP) hasnt made much impact in the market yet, but it's creating a stir among storage companies looking to acquire the technology.

The OEM deal between XOsoft and StoneFly Networks Inc. announced this week apparently wasn’t the first or biggest CDP OEM deal, and almost certainly won’t be the last (see XOsoft & StoneFly Sign).

Industry sources say one major OEM deal is already in place between EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and startup Mendocino Software. At its analyst day earlier this month, EMC announced it would have a CDP product later this year (see EMC Casts Wider Net).

EMC today would not confirm or deny a relationship with Mendocino. A company spokesman referred to a comment made by its software group president Dave DeWalt at analyst day that “a significant portion of EMC's CDP offering will be driven through EMC technology.”

That leaves part of the offering outside EMC technology, which is where Mendocino comes in. We don’t know how big a role Mendocino software will play in EMC’s CDP strategy, but a source familiar with the deal says it will show up as part of EMC’s Invista virtualization appliance and eventually be integrated with EMC’s Legato backup software and perhaps other EMC applications. “It’s safe to assume, EMC would want to implement it as broadly as possible,” says a consultant who asked to remain anonymous.Another source familiar with Mendocino says EMC won’t be its only dance partner. “Look for them to get at least one other major OEM deal,” says the analyst, who also asked not to be named.

XOsoft and StoneFly are happy to discuss their OEM deal. StoneFly is rebranding XOsoft’s WANSync and WANSyncHA replication software as StoneFly Replicator CDP. The WANSync applications include XOsoft’s Enterprise Rewinder CDP application. Replicator CDP is part of StoneFly’s suite of applications for IP SANs.

XOsoft president Tom O'Connell says his company is still talking to several storage vendors, and he expects two or three more OEMs by the end of the year -- although XOsoft also sells Enterprise Rewinder directly as part of WANsync. "We see OEM agreements as an important growth area for XOsoft.”

Analyst Brad O’Neill of the Taneja Group says he expects CDP to show up first as pieces of large vendors’ backup offerings. “The early CDP players are going to get market traction through OEMs,” O’Neill says. “It’s the destiny of this technology to become integrated with other recovery tools. It’s not replacing scheduled backup, and it’s very dependent on specific applications.”

Like XOsoft, Revivio Inc. marketing VP Kirby Wadsworth says his startup expects to sell its CDP products both through the channel and OEM deals. “We’re looking to sell it with our brand and without our brand on it,” he says. “We’re seeing storage vendors, backup vendors, and network vendors develop a sense of urgency about the technology.”Still, nobody’s breaking the bank to acquire CDP. Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) paid $11 million in April for early CDP vendor Alacritus -- a mere drop in the bucket compared to the $272 million it paid for security appliance vendor Decru two months later (see NetApp Annexes Alacritus and NetApp Buys Decru. And the Alacritus deal included virtual tape technology. Overland Storage Inc. (Nasdaq: OVRL) paid even less for CDP, acquiring Zetta Systems for $9 million this month (see Overland Overtakes Zetta ).

In another CDP partnership, this June, Atempo Inc. announced it is reselling one of Storactive Inc.’s CDP applications with its backup software (see TTPCom Selects Radvision).

The CDP roster is still small. Other players include InMage Systems Inc., Lasso Logic, and TimeSpring Software Corp.. Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq: SYMC) also has a beta product out -- codenamed “Panther” -- from its Veritas acquisition. Veritas claimed it was CDP when released, but others say it is merely frequent snapshots, as is Microsoft Corp.’s (Nasdaq: MSFT) DPM (see Microsoft Backs Up on CDP Claim and Veritas Uncages Panther).

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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