EMC, still on the acquisition trail, is buying Avamar for its de-duplication and data protection technology.

Avamar has had a relationship with EMC relating to EMC's Centera backing up Avamar's capacity-optimised storage product. Avamar's Axion can do its de-duping stuff and then store the data on Centera. Back in April Avamar said it was able to store a year's worth of backup data in the disk space taken up by just one or two ordinary full backups. The de-dupe ratio is well over 20:1.

EMC is paying $165 million in cash, which will make Avamar's backers happy. It reckons that the net effect of de-duping will be to accelerate a shift from backing up to tape to backing up to disk. But it won't blow tape away entirely by any means.

Avamar CEO, Ed Walsh, was ebullient in his statement: "Avamar was first to market with global data de-duplication technology. As a result, our market traction has been exceptional with customers around the globe. Joining EMC will allow us to take our vision to the next level and accelerate adoption of this disruptive technology."

It has now got to the point where manufacturers of virtual tape libraries (VTL) absolutely have to have de-duplication technology so as to bring their cost per stored GB down significantly.

John McArthur, IDC's group VP and GM, said what all other VTL and de-duplication software vendors will realise at once: "EMC’s acquisition of Avamar brings innovative data protection technology and another creative team into the EMC portfolio, while Avamar gains a powerful channel for the company’s solutions." So true.

Avamar will be integrated into EMC’s Storage Product Operations (SPO) group.

It looks like another astute purchase by EMC which will leave VTL vendors not yet aboard the de-duping bandwagon gnashing their teeth.