The early days of the de-duplication target market could be characterized as the Wild West, with a slew of start-ups shooting it out in an emerging market with tremendous potential. That phase was followed by a consolidation phase where the big guns (most notably EMC and IBM) acquired start-ups in a buy-is-better-than-build spree. A few smaller companies remain, but it's becoming increasingly clear that the disk-based de-duplication market will likely be dominated by IT titans such as EMC and IBM. We think that HP, although coming from behind, has a good chance of joining those ranks.
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