EMC Spinoff Diligent Targets Storage, Backup

Releases digital tape virtualization technology for mainframe storage.

EMC Corp. spinoff Diligent Technologies Corp. will debut this week, rolling out storage products aimed at mainframe storage, backup and recovery, according to officials of both companies.

The new company, a quarter of which is owned by EMC, will start with three product categories. One takes over EMCs CopyCross technology, which makes disk storage act as a virtual tape drive for mainframe storage, officials said. Another expedites backup and recovery, and the remaining product performs data management and message queuing, according to sources familiar with the vendors plans.

EMC spun the company off because technologies such as CopyCross no longer fit into the Hopkinton, Mass., companys vision, according to Don Swatik, vice president of the Global Solutions Group at EMC.

"We are focusing all of our energies into automated network storage," Swatik said. "From a focus point of view, [products such as CopyCross are] not directly aligned." Asked if other EMC products may be shed, he said, "I wouldnt draw any conclusions there at this point."

Diligent is majority-owned by private investors; its chairman and CEO, Doron Kempel, a former EMC vice president; and Moshe Yanai, who retired from EMC this year after leading its flagship Symmetrix development since the late 1980s. Yanai has no executive role in Diligent.

Kempel said, "My role is to make the relationship with EMC work."

With the launch, Diligent plans to announce its version of CopyCross, called Diligent Tape Virtualization. Its licensed back to EMC for resale, Kempel and EMC officials said. The product has only 30 installations worldwide. Diligent has developed support for non-EMC storage. But so far, EMC is the only licensee, and Diligent has no plans to sell directly to users, Kempel said.

The product competes against Computer Associates International Inc.s BrightStor CA-Vtape software, which is hardware-independent, and against IBMs Virtual Tape Server and Storage Technology Corp.s Virtual Storage Manager, which are bundled with those companies storage hardware.

Kempel declined to elaborate on the strategy or launch timing for the remaining product areas.

However, sources with knowledge of the vendors plans said Diligents backup and recovery product uses disk library units, generically known as a disk-to-disk system, to speed backup.

Nitsan Hargil, an analyst with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc., in New York, sees pros and cons in EMCs move. For products such as CopyCross, "Diligent can give it to EMC cheaper than EMC had it on its own," Hargil said.

"Wed talk to them, but Id love to see how many people not from EMC they bring in at the senior level," said John Atkinson, senior manager of IT Services at biotechnology company Abgenix Inc., in Fremont, Calif.

Diligent has about 15 employees in its Framingham, Mass., interim headquarters and about 65 in a research and development office, in Tel Aviv, Israel, that formerly belonged to EMC.

Diligent Tape Virtualization

  • Lets mainframes process and back up to disk as virtual tape
  • Works with TimeFinder and Symmetrix Remote Data Facility
  • Compatible with BMC Software Inc. and CA software
  • Diligent version does not yet work with non-EMC hardware