Data deduplication and compression are key technologies for businesses.

By Barb Darrow
July 31, 2017

Business software company Red Hat said on Monday that it is acquiring the technology assets of Permabit, a small company that specializes in cleaning up corporate data to make storage more efficient and data access faster.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but a Red Hat spokesman said 16 people from Permabit will be joining that company.

Permabit had already partnered with Red Hat to make sure its software for cleaning up duplicated data worked with Red Hat’s existing data storage products. Permabit also sells compression technology, a simpler way to crunch data down so it takes less storage space.

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While the conventional wisdom is that data storage is cheap, it is not free. And with companies are turning to more expensive flash storage, it saves money to remove redundant data, said Richard Fichera, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research forr .

To capitalize on this shift, EMC and NetApp competed to buy data cleaning leader Data Domain eight years ago. EMC, which is now owned by Dell Technologies, prevailed with a $2.4 billion bid.

Flash, or solid-state storage, costs more than using traditional disk-based storage. But companies are sometimes willing to swallow the extra prices because of the flash’s faster performance.

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Red Hat rht , which sells a version of the Linux operating system used by many Fortune 500 companies, also offers its own storage software. And, it wants to become a more formidable challenger in data storage, a goal that can be furthered by buying Permabit’s technology, Fichera said.

In its statement, Red Hat said the transaction should not materially affect results of its second quarter, ending August 31, or the fiscal year ending February 28, 2018.

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