Volume 3, Number 33 -- September 27, 2006

EMC Buys Virtual Tape Library Specialist Neartek

Published: September 27, 2006

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

Although EMC has made no formal announcement of the deal, virtual tape library software maker Neartek has quietly said that EMC has bought the assets of the company and that it has ceased operations as of September 1.

Like IBM and Sun Microsystems, EMC uses VTL software created by FalconStor in its own VTL product, the Clariion DL. So exactly what EMC has planned for Neartek's Virtual Storage Engine, which runs on Windows, is unclear. The most obvious explanation for the acquisition is that Neartek was on the financial ropes and was approached by EMC, which did not want the technology to fall into its competitors' hands--or those of FalconStor, for that matter. Sometimes, acquisitions are defensive moves as well as offensive ones.

VTL software makes a server that is archiving data think that it is talking to a tape drive that is spinning data onto a tape cartridge instead of what it is really doing, which is caching the data onto disk for later archiving to tape. Virtual Storage Engine 2, the latest release of Neartek's software, runs on a Windows box and can talk to just about any kind of server you can think of--Windows, Unix, Linux, i5/OS, mainframe, and a bunch of other legacy systems--and emulate all manner of tape drives--LTO, AIT, DLT, 3590, and others.

Neartek did not explain how it intended to support its existing customers. This is all that the company's Web site currently says: "We wish to thank all our employees and customers for helping make this strategic acquisition possible. The company, following this acquisition, will cease operations."

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Editor: Alex Woodie
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik,
Shannon O'Donnell, Timothy Prickett Morgan
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