Diligent has an EMC connection and IBM might be thinking about buying FalconStor.

Apparently de-dupe supplier Diligent has just got access to a fourth round of funding, $13.5 million, of which it has received $4.2 million. The report is informative about Diligent's history and the de-dupe supplier situation.

Diligent's other investors are venture capitalists and include Matrix Partners LP, Credo Group LLC, Accel Partners LP and Gemini Israel LP. In total Diligent has over $40 million of funding.

Diligent was founded by Doron Kempel, ex-CEO of Sepaton when it was known as SANgate Systems, another de-duper, and Moshe Yanai, who was an engineering VP for EMC's Symmetrix arrays. EMC had an Israel-based R&D lab which it spun off as Diligent Technologies in 2001 for $5 million plus a $15 million stake. EMC has an investment in Diligent although it sells FalconStore's de-dupe software. EMC has also bought Avamar for its de-dupe technology and will use Falconstore VTL software alongside this in a Clariion-based VTL product. Three-in-one right, or, as we might comment, EMC has duplicated de-duplication interests.

IBM is said to be considering trying to purchase FalconStore whose technology it resells. Falconstor software is also sold by Sun; both its VTL and its de-dupe technology. HP sells Sepaton VTL technology but not its de-dupe software. Hitachi Data Systems sells Diligent's de-dupe technology. Falconstore has had the most VTL/de-dupe OEM success.

Network Appliance has its own de-duplication technology and IBM OEMs NetApp product as N-Series kit. Quantum, through purchasing ADIC, which bought Rocksoft, has its own de-dupe technology which it supplies in its DXi range of products.

If the main drive array suppliers need their own de-dupe technology then IBM and HP and HDS need to build it or buy it. Assume Diligent's backers want a 50 percent return then a Diligent buy price could be $60 million. So that's a ball park value for FalconStore's de-dupe business. Add in the VTL side of things and IBM could be looking at table stakes of $150 million for FalconStor.

Watch this space.