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Put Away the Check Book, Joe

9:00 AM -- Storage shopaholic EMC just couldn't help itself. Barely two weeks after CEO Joe Tucci said the company would cut back on acquisitions, it seems EMC couldn't resist that shiny new disk-based backup technology in the window. So it picked up Avamar for $165 million. (See EMC Grabs Hatchet and EMC Picks Up Avamar.)

Yet minutes after pronouncing Avamar "my favorite acquisition of October" at an SNW dinner, EMC chief development officer Mark Lewis echoed what his boss said two weeks ago. Lewis maintains EMC will pump more money into developing its own products instead of using innovative startups for R&D.

We'd be shocked to see EMC go cold turkey on acquisitions, but Lewis is probably telling the truth about cutting back. There are two reasons you can expect EMC to put acquisitions on hold.

First, EMC now has all the technology it needs, unless it decides to get into the tape library or server business. EMC might not have all the best technology, but it has caught up on the hot ones that popped up the last few years - file virtualization, CDP, data de-duplication, all flavors of storage security, etc. OK, it still lacks clustered NAS, but it makes that available through a partnership with Ibrix.

But the major reason EMC will pull back on buying new stuff is because it must focus on integrating what it has. EMC has bought 22 companies in three years. It's unlikely that EMC customers are asking the vendor for more technologies, but you can bet they want to see an intelligent product roadmap instead of a half-finished jigsaw puzzle.

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