Interesting with Slootman involved as it allows some comparison with Data Domain.
I think looking back at numbers, DDUP took $41m of VC funding from some of the big-boys of the VC world. DDUP was acquired in the heady days of 2009, for $2.4bn. Market cap I think was around $1.5bn tops before acquisition. It was formed in 2001 and was bought out in 2009 after IPO in 2007.
DDUP had a simple slot in proposed that was there to displace a tech that not many people loved that well. i.e. for a lot of people it was a purchase that easily could be fitted in without disrupting anything. It had little competition. It also made it a very sexy acquisition for two big players who tripped over themselves to buy it.
PURE have raised $240m+ already. Think they have been around for 4 years. The $240m apparently values them - unsure if this means market cap - of $1bn apparently. Only in VC land does this maths make sense, but lets go with it. The stated aim here is to get big enough to park a bus on EMCs front lawn and steal share. Congrats on them having a business model VCs will fund that well. I expect the early employees (directors excluded) will be waking up this morning to find their options dramatically decreased in worth, but thems the brakes.
Violin are trying something similar. Money is about the same in funding terms. They have opened the kimono this week so you can see more about them. They are having to spend a big chunk of money on Sales/Marketing activity I think it looks.
Neither company would be a simple tuck in acquisition that brings with it a new market. EMC, HP, IBM, HDS are unlikely to acquire either - all just about have product or marketeering snake oil that put them in the game. NetApp - neither run ONTAP so that rules them out and they just suck at acquisitions anyway.
So both assume that approx $150m bucks of marketing and sales snakeoil, coupled with product leadership, will start to put a dent in EMCs side. This means winning new customers at the same time as taking EMC ones.
3PAR struggled arguably for sales even though its tech was and is highly admired. HP were desparate to plug the product gaps they had so it fitted well. they went well at the same time as DDUP. Isilon which had also really struggled was bought around then too, and they too tucked into EMC nicely to fill a gap in the file/scale space.
So I just wonder where is the future here? There is a lot of money being thrown at these guys and the VCs will always win. Its a numbers game for them. Sure be fun watching...