back to article NetApp dropped the ball by letting EMC gobble Data Domain

IDC has published its quarterly confirmation that EMC’s Data Domain is crushing the competition in the purpose-built backup appliance market. The analyst outfit’s Worldwide Quarterly Purpose-Built Backup Appliance Tracker for 2015’s fourth quarter lists the top five vendors’ revenue amounts and shares for both the 2015 and …

  1. Terry P

    I think DD is well up there with the top EMC buys.

    Does what it says on the tin and complete cash cow (deservedly).

    Begs the question - why hasn't anyone else got anything comparable that has the same 'mojo'? Is it out there but just lacking the limelight? or just a case of complete market domination?

    1. Lusty

      There are alternatives around, HPE StoreOnce for instance is getting quite feature rich. Part of the lack of comparable things is down to the legacy nature of the technology. It's a quite old fashioned way of looking at data protection these days (when you properly think data protection all the way through) so I think everyone just accepted that DD can have the money while it lasts. I certainly don't see why NetApp were crowbarred into the article. While they aren't making money by selling DD boxes they do have a strategy for this kind of stuff and that strategy doesn't involve making extra copies of data or adding bandwidth requirements to the SAN. From a profit perspective perhaps NetApp made a mistake, but from a marketing perspective this fits nicely with their efficiency message.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        IBM's Protectier was a good product; probably a lot better than DD. However, like most IBM acquisitions, development stopped pretty much at the point IBM made the purchase. No effort was made to fill in gaps in the product features, sales teams weren't trained properly, resulting in some poor choices of backend storage being sold. Those who did have the skills left the company as soon as they did and IBM lost interest, as they have with much of their storage portfolio.

        Shame really. Don't know if they're even selling it any more. If they are it's probably called ZX Spectrum or Commodore 64 or something ;-)

        1. returnofthemus

          IBM's Protectier was a good product?

          Surely you mean Tivoli Storage Manger, now known as Spectrum Protect the leading protection for Oracle databases ;-)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yes, and IBM priced ProtecTier out of range. It was better than DD, but not several times better. IBM then gave up on it when DD took over the market and pulled all of the development. People are migrating off of it about as fast as they can. IBM is good at acquiring companies and integrating them, but after that is complete they often don't keep up the investment and they increase prices to try to get a quick return. There are some notable exceptions, XIV and TMS.... It is a problem with the acquisition model. Most acquired companies go down hill after they are acquired, especially larger ones. Watch what happens to EMC after Dell takes it over.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Why was NetApp crowbarred in?

        I don't think Chris Mellor can resist an opportunity to sink the boot into NetApp. They make it pretty easy these days...but Chris does have form in this area.

        I was at NetApp during the DD acquisition debacle. Their CEO appeared at our all-hands meeting, gushing on how he was looking forward to becoming part of the NetApp family. Smiles all round. Then big bad EMC swooped in and ate our lunch. Like they did with everything else really.

        We always used to think we were the good guys at NetApp, and the Evil Machine Company would be vanquished by our superior technology and righteous approach...well, we all know how that turned out. EMC is a juggernaut with excellent leadership. They know how to acquire a product and make it their own. While I know they have had their failures, there are plenty of success stories - DD being one of the big ones. Even if NetApp had been successful with the DD acquisition, would we have been able to pull it off? Debatable...the church of ONTAP is strong.

        As far as from a marketing perspective not having DD fitting "nicely" with their efficiency message...well, you are right that NetApp have a story, and if you take the time to look into it's a good one, but seriously - are you on crack? Do you think the company would really prefer an nice marketing message over an additional $2B in annual revenue?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would NTAP had the same success?

    Yes hats off to EMC for great success with DD. Who's to say NTAP would have had the same result if they'd been successful and acquired DD back in the mid 2000's.

    They've such a poor track record of bringing new technology into their fold, they simply take to long and miss the market opportunity.

    If they had, I think the BUA market would have played out very differently and Quantum would have become a more dominant force with there DXI. At the time HP's StoreOnce was on version 1 and basic plus not suited to the Enterprise size world. Symantec hadn't got there act together either.

    Will history repeat itself with SolidFire?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Would NTAP had the same success?

      NetApp didn't have the ability ( and still doesn't) to leverage a purchase such as DD.

      EMC did a great job rolling out to its client base, something that NetApp would have never been able to do.

      Not getting DD was a good thing for NetApp.

      The money from the shares and also the money from DD pulling out of the deal was actually a better result than if the deal had gone through.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Would NTAP had the same success?

      True, EMC is really good at selling things. Anything, even Clariion, VNX. You have to give them that. It is not so clear that DD would have come to dominate if some else acquired them... not like DD was just obviously better than everything else on the market.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe not the full picture

    If you go check the original filings Netapp bought out two of the VCs on the day of the original offer for over 40% of DD stock at the low offer price. After all the bidding finished EMC won for around $2.1B.

    Netapp made a net win of around $400M in days in cash from EMC.

    EMC is clawing back their cash investment over time - with the latest turnover will of course provide a large profit have they recouped their cash investment let alone generated more (plus the 400M for parity)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Maybe not the full picture

      Absolutely correct- also, EMC had a huge war chest and saw Netapp's acquisition of Data Domain as a real threat- they weren't going to let Netapp have it at ANY price, Netapp didn't "let" EMC have it, they didn't feel that the company was worth the inflated asking price, the revenue was (if memory serves) not even $100M at the time. The headline you've used here is really unnecessary and doesn't reflect the facts at the time.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lies and damned lies

    "Dell has grown its share 16.5 per cent, though, beating everybody else"

    Comparing percentage increases is a dubious thing to do.

    The table showed Dell increased its market share from 2.0% to 2.3% (up 0.3 points), and revenue from $20.3m to $23.6m (up $3.3m)

    Meanwhile, EMC increased its market share from 63.7% to 67.7% (up 4.0 points), and from $639.9m to $707.9m (up $68m)

    I think it's pretty clear who is growing their slice of pie the fastest.

  5. returnofthemus

    IDC stats reveal Excessive Margins Corp. continuing to milk Cash Cow

    Not only has Dell already got a set of disjointed set of data protection products, EMC will bring with it its own disjointed solutions, as full integration among Avamar, NetWorker, Data Domain and Data Protection Advisor remains a work in progress, while individual product development continues.

    In the meantime Enterprises are taking flight and heading for the clouds.

    R.I.P. EMC

  6. Moochachos

    EMC really did a great job with that one. What nobody is talking about is how well they built a group of software packages around and used DD as the spearhead to get into accounts.

    Symantec shouldn't be on the list - as they are not a PBBA, but rather a device with backup software on.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's people that make poor decisions....

    NetApp dropped the ball by hiring the wrong people...

    .. and cDOT, of course !

  8. backup_guru

    Who dropped the ball?

    NetApp dropped the ball by not buying DataDomain? Nah. The big loser in not buying DataDomain was Symantec. They could've ruled the backup world and instead passed on a great product and came out with a vastly inferior offering, which they've since discontinued.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019