Dell has agreed to buy storage technology company Ocarina Networks for an undisclosed price.

Round Rock, Texas-based Dell plans to use Ocarina’s storage-optimization technology, which streamlines the storage of digital data from email to images. Dell is trying to compete head-on with rivals such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Cisco Systems. The purchase of San Jose, Calif.-based Ocarina will let Dell expand its portfolio of data management tools.

Dell said it plans to expand Ocarina’s engineering and sales capability after the deal is completed. The deal is expected to close at the end of the month. Ocarina compresses data and eliminates duplicates, helping companies store data more cheaply, even as they are required by law to preserve their archives.

Ocarina was founded in 2007 by Murli Thirumale. It released its flagship product, the Ocarina Appliance Reader, in April 2008. The company raised $12 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Highland Capital in 2007. It raised another $20 million from the same investors and Jafco Ventures in 2009.


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