By acquiring Kashya, EMC is signaling that it will enhance the limited functionality of Invista, its network-based storage virtualization product, to include remote replication and continuous data protection.
On 9 May 2006, EMC announced it had acquired Kashya, a provider of continuous data protection (CDP) and continuous remote replication for heterogeneous storage. The purchase price was $153 million.
This acquisition signals EMC's long-term direction for Invista, its network-based storage virtualization product; for RecoverPoint, its CDP product; and for its replication offerings in general.
Invista shipments have been limited because its initial functionality was focused mainly on data migration between storage arrays. (Both HDS and IBM have achieved larger shipments for their storage virtualization offerings.) With Kashya's heterogeneous replication, Invista will compete more directly with IBM's SAN Volume Controller and HDS's Universal Storage Platform, and also with smaller companies like Topio.
The deal also indicates a change in direction for RecoverPoint, which is currently based on Mendocino software. EMC has stated that future RecoverPoint versions will use Kashya as the CDP engine. It also shows that EMC intends to move toward network-based intelligence for replication.
Kashya's technology could enable EMC to capture additional revenue by addressing heterogeneous network-based replication markets, but there is a risk of cannibalizing its SAN Copy and flagship Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) revenue base. Acquiring Kashya could be seen as removing a strategic threat to EMC's SRDF revenue from the market, and from EMC's competitors. It also means that, like IBM, EMC will now offer four separate replication methods — high-disk and midtier disk, network-attached storage (NAS), and a virtualization appliance — which could cause positioning challenges.
Gartner believes that integrating Kashya technology will be good for EMC, but the effect on Kashya's approximately 75 customers could be mixed. They should benefit from greater financial stability and EMC's go-to-market capabilities, but could face price increases as EMC tries to protect SRDF revenue. Mendocino, EMC's current partner for CDP, will likely lose out.
RecoverPoint customers: Negotiate migration costs now or consider alternative CDP platforms.
Invista customers: Ask EMC to clarify future pricing and options for migrating to the additional capabilities.
Kashya customers: Negotiate a support contract that allows migration to EMC versions with no charge for EMC services.
Mendocino customers: Evaluate Mendocino's future viability before making a purchasing decision. HP is now Mendocino's primary go-to-market storage vendor.
Analytical Sources: Robert Passmore, David Russell and Stanley Zaffos, Gartner
"Hype Cycle for Storage Software Technologies, 2005” — Companies look to ensure data availability while managing the cost of supporting the growing amount of electronic information. By Carolyn DiCenzo and Robert Passmore
"Cool Vendors in Data Protection, 2006” — A group of cool new data protection vendors are delivering disk-based solutions that capture data more frequently and that deliver faster recovery than traditional backup solutions. By Carolyn DiCenzo and David Russell
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