First, I'd like to thank NetApp and EMC for providing an almost endless source of content for blogs. In both of my entries on NetApp's attempted acquisition of Data Domain, I suggested that EMC would have to respond. And they did on Monday, to the tune of almost $2 billion in cash for Data Domain.
In my opinion, this deal is far more complicated than a merger with NetApp would have been; EMC after all has already loaned $100 million to Quantum, has a relationship with FalconStor, owns Legato Networker and, of course, has its own source side dedupe technology from Avamar. This can be a challenge, but EMC is now very used to offering competing solutions from within its own product portfolio.
While Joe Tucci in his remarks pointed to EMC's successful track record of successful acquisitions, I can't argue that they have gotten better at it -- but I don't think I would say successful. They do OK with them and a few of them end up delivering better technology as a result.
The first question is what will EMC do with Data Domain?
Ironically, more of what I said in my last entry "NetDomain" can be applied to EMC. They need a real primary storage deduplication strategy so they will want to integrate this technology into their primary storage faster than in the NetApp case. Also, they have first hand experience in acquiring a strong company and leaving it alone in VMware. I expect them to do the same with Data Domain -- totally hands off. If NetApp didn't want to screw up a $1.5 billion dollar deal, I can assure you that EMC does not want to screw up a $1.8 billion dollar deal.