Data Domain (corporation)

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Data Domain Corporation
TypeSubsidiary of EMC Corporation
FounderKai Li, Brian Biles
FateAcquired by Dell Inc. in 2009
SuccessorDell EMC Data Domain
HeadquartersSanta Clara, California
Key people
Kai Li, Brian Biles
ProductsData Duplication
OwnerDell EMC

Data Domain Corporation was an Information Technology company from 2001-2009 specializing in target-based data deduplication products for disk-based backup.[1] It was acquired in 2009 by EMC Corporation, and the Dell EMC Data Domain product line has been Dell EMC's flagship platform for backup, archive and disaster recovery ever since.[2][3]


Founded by Kai Li, Ben Zhu and Brian Biles, with chief architect Hugo Patterson joining three months after initial funding, the company incubated in a series of venture capital offices in Silicon Valley before product revenue began at the beginning of 2004, including U.S. Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and Greylock Partners following their 2002 funding round from NEA and Greylock.[4]

The company offered a disk-based substitute for the tape automation market. The offering was an implementation of lossless data compression, optimized for streaming workloads, which compared incoming large data segments against all others stored in its multi-TB store. This provided significant speed advantages compared to tape.[5]

Originally categorized as "capacity optimization" by industry analysts, it later became more widely known as inline "data deduplication.”[6]

Funding, IPO and acquisition[edit]

NEA and Greylock led the company’s $9.3 million Series A funding round in 2002. Sutter Hill Ventures led its $17 million Series B funding round in 2003, joined again by NEA and Greylock. Through 2005, the three companies invested a total of $40 million in Data Domain.[7]

Data Domain Corporation went public on June 27, 2007, raising $110.85 million from 7.39 million shares. This put the stock price at $15 per share, above the forecasted range of $11.50 to $13.50. The company’s market capitalization was $776.5 million at the time of the IPO.[8]

In June 2009, EMC Corporation announced their intention to acquire Data Domain Corp. for $2.4B, outbidding NetApp’s earlier offer. In July of that same year, EMC and Data Domain Corp. reached a definitive agreement regarding the acquisition.[9]

Former CEO Frank Slootman published a book about his experiences working at this company in 2011.[10]

Development of the Dell EMC Data Domain product line continues at Dell EMC.


  1. ^ "Data Domain, an EMC company." Data Domain.
  2. ^ "Data Domain boosts de-duplication performance". InfoStor. ITBusinessEdge. 2008-06-01.
  3. ^ "Dell EMC Debuts Software-Only Version Of Data Domain". CRN. The Channel Co. 2016-10-19.
  4. ^ "Data Domain Founder, Kai Li, on EMC Acquisition and the Future of Data Storage". Xconomy. Xconomy, Inc. 2009-07-09.
  5. ^ "EMC Data Domain De-duplication 2011". Wikibon. Wikibon. 2011-01-25.
  6. ^ "EMC pushes Data Domain for backup and archiving". SearchDataBackup. TechTarget. 2013-04-16.
  7. ^ "Breaking Down The VC Investment Returns Of Data Domain". Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal. 2009-07-10.
  8. ^ "Data Domain IPO prices above forecast range". Reuters. Reuters. 2007-06-27.
  9. ^ "EMC Tops NetApp's Bid for Data Domain". Dealbook. The New York Times Company. 2009-06-01.
  10. ^ Frank Slootman (2011). Tape Sucks: Inside Data Domain, a Silicon Valley Growth Story. Together Editing. ISBN 9780615484068.

External links[edit]