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EMC adds Kashya to InVista

EMC acquired startup Kashya to add DR capabilities to its InVista virtualization switch. Kashya will also bump CDP partner Mendocino out of the RecoverPoint picture.

In a cash transaction valued at approximately $153 million, EMC Corp. snapped up Kashya Inc., a privately held provider of replication and continuous data protection (CDP) software. The San Jose, Cali.-based company will be integrated immediately into the EMC Software Group.

EMC said the primary reason it acquired the company was because users of its InVista virtualization product had been clamoring for the ability to replicate data to a secondary site.

"Invista really could do with the help, in the sense that it would boost their replication functionality," said Dianne McAdam, analyst with the Clipper Group.

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According to Rob Emsley, director of marketing, information management software for EMC, the current replication products, SRDF and MirrorView, are meant to function only with Symmetrix and Clariion arrays, respectively. Emsley said that until this acquisition, EMC had no way to replicate data from one InVista intelligent switch to another at a secondary disaster recovery (DR) site.

According to EMC officials, however, as EMC "peeled back the onion" once it started eyeing Kashya for InVista replication, it realized it could take its CDP software engine and put it into its RecoverPoint software, announced last October, previously an OEM of Mendocino Software's CDP product.

"That way we could have total ownership over the product," Emsley said.

Finally, Emsley said, Kashya will allow for remote replication across heterogeneous environments -- in other words, a customer wanting to replicate both Clariion and Symmetrix arrays will no longer need a different replication product for each. Customers that want to replicate data between heterogenous platforms, say from a Symmetrix to a Clariion, or from a Clariion to an EVA, will also be able to do so.

However, EMC stressed that Kashya would not replace either MirrorView or SRDF. "It depends on what the customer's performance needs are," Emsley said. EMC will keep all three products on board as "complementary solutions," he said.

Kashya's Israel-based research and development operation will also form the core of the new EMC Israel Software Development Center as part of EMC's efforts to expand offshore.

In at least one customer case, Kashya had displaced EMC's MirrorView even in a Clariion-to-Clariion replication environment. First Independent Bank in Vancouver, Wash., was looking to replicate 500 GB of critical data from an EMC. Clariion CX600 array over a 3 Mbps bonded T1 link to a DR site in Portland, Ore.; its first choice was EMC's MirrorView replication product. But the bank could not get MirrorView to work over the WAN.

"It would work in-house, but they never got it to work over in Portland," said Duane Swizer, director of technical operations for First Independent Bank. "That's when our reseller told us about Kashya instead." (See sidebar above).

EMC spokesman David Farmer, however, said such customer displacements were rare and were not the primary reason Kashya got EMC's attention.

"What drove EMC to Kashya was InVista," he said. "EMC was originally looking at them for an OEM for that product, but there was such a consistent architecture with InVista that it became clear we should own the technology."

Steve Duplessie, founder and analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group, said the acquisition shows that intelligence is moving to the network—and that EMC has "matured in its thinking" to be able to acknowledge that.

"If a customer wanted to run this type of function in their network yesterday, EMC would have to try to talk them out of it," he said. "A company like them has made a fortune by making the array smart, so to openly acknowledge that the network is going to be a legitimate place to execute storage services tells me the culture is evolving, finally."

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