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Dell EMC Data Domain is Dell EMC’s data deduplication storage system. Development began with the founding of Data Domain, and has continued since that company’s acquisition by EMC Corporation (and EMC’s later merger with Dell to form Dell EMC).
Data Domain was founded by Kai Li, Ben Zhu, and Brian Biles. Chief Architect Hugo Patterson joined 3 months after initial funding. The company incubated in a series of venture capital offices; pre-funding at U.S. Venture Partners (USVP, where Ben was an Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR)), then at New Enterprise Associates (NEA, where Kai was an EIR), and post-funding at Greylock Partners (NEA and Greylock provided Series A funding in 2002).The first product revenue was realized in the beginning of 2004.
The goal of the company was to minimize the tape automation market with a disk-based substitute. It did this by inventing a very fast implementation of lossless data compression, optimized for streaming workloads, which compares incoming large data segments against all others stored in its multi-TB store. Originally categorized as "capacity optimization" by industry analysts, it later became more widely known as inline "data deduplication." Also, unlike most non-archival computer storage products, it went to extreme technical lengths to ensure data longevity (vs. system longevity). Its design goal was to be "the storage of last resort." Unlike most of its early competition, it was first packaged as a file-system appliance; this made it more predictable than a software product and simpler to manage than a virtual tape library system.
Following several rounds of venture funding totaling $40 million, the company IPO’d in June, 2007 with a total market capitalization of $776.5 million.
In June 2009, EMC Corporation announced their intention to acquire Data Domain Corp for $2.4B, outbidding NetApp's previous offer. In July, the two companies reached definitive agreement regarding the acquisition. Since then, Data Domain systems have been a product line brand within the EMC Core Technologies portfolio. According to IDC, EMC in 2014 captured 62.3% share of the market for purpose-built backup devices worldwide. The majority of this share was from Data Domain product revenue.
Former CEO Frank Slootman published a book about his experiences in 2011.
Since acquiring Data Domain, EMC has integrated the platform with its Data Protection Suite software and begun offering expanded software enhancements. According to a 2013 IDC analysis, Data Domain reduced loss of user productivity from backup, restore, and retrieval operations by 81% and the researchers state that “consolidating backup and archive data on a Data Domain system can have a dramatic impact on overall costs and operations.”