ADIC is buying Rocksoft for its data duplication technology. It will pay US $63 million for the Australian business. Rocksoft's blocklets technology removes duplicated data from stored information and can effectively compress up to twenty times as much data into the space needed to hold unduplicated information.

It does this by splitting a file into variably-sized partitions called blockets. Each blocklet is given a hash address. If a single blocklet in a file has a new element added to it then, instead of the whole file being stored afresh, only the changed blocket is added to disk.

ADIC plans to integrate the de-duplication software into its branded products, and to offer it to licensees. Peter van Oppen, ADIC chairman and CEO, said: "The addition of Rocksoft's expertise and their de-duplication software will allow us to introduce new solutions based on powerful increases in resource efficiency."

ADIC's PathLight VX products store backup data on disk. Using the Rocksoft technology they could hold up to twenty times more data in the same disk space.

Where more backup data is being stored, as in continuous data protection (CDP) products, de-duping the data could radically reduce disk capacity take-up, and so lower costs.

Where data is being transmitted then de-duping could significantly cut transmission bandwidth needs. Data replication across WAN links could take much less time and data transmission to and from remote offices (WAFS) similarly improved.

ADIC is also getting technology well-suited to compliance and archiving needs. The hash addressing used by blocklets is also a data integrity check. If the hash is re-computed from the data and stays the same then the data has not been changed.

Lastly ADIC will have the ability to produce efficient fixed content storage products, competing with EMC's Centera and similar CAS products.

Were the technology to be used with tape storage then effective tape catridge capacity would also rise. A 200GB cartridge could hold up to 4TB of de-duped data.

The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of ADIC's fiscal year 2006. Pending the closure, ADIC and Rocksoft are expected to begin working together on prospective products.