EMC unveils first SaaS offerings after Berkeley buy

EMC Corp. Monday is set to unveil a hosted backup and recovery service based on technology gained from its $76 million acquisition of Berkeley Data Systems in September.

The new MozyEnterprise software-as-a-service product is the first offering in EMC's new Fortress line of hosted software. MozyEnterprise will provide subscription-based online backup and recovery services for remote PCs and remote Windows Server environments, EMC said.

Roy Sanford, vice president for EMC's new SaaS business unit, noted that files stored in the hosted system will be encrypted before they are stored on EMS host servers.

The MozyEnterprise for PC and laptop devices is priced at $5.25 a month plus 70 cents a month per gigabyte stored. For servers, the monthly price jumps to $9.25 plus $2.35 per gigabyte stored, noted Sanford. The service is available now in the U.S., he said.

The MozyEnterprise service combines three Mozy online backup products -- MozyHome, MozyPro and MozyEnterprise -- that EMC gained with its acquisition of Berkeley.

Currently, EMC is managing 5 petabytes of Mozy storage for more than 500,000 devices.

The new SaaS application will be hosted by EMC and sold by the company along with resellers like Verizon Business and Broadview Networks. The offering is targeted at home users, small-to-midsize companies and large enterprises, remarked Sanford.

Since the acquisition, several features have been added to the acquired Mozy technology, Sanford said. Those include RSA Security authentication, authorization and key-management capabilities and a physical data-seeding option that saves users time and bandwidth by storing the information on a hard drive that's uploaded directly by EMC onto its hosted systems. In addition, he said, the support operation has been beefed up.

Aimable Mugara, IT director for the nonprofit Free The Children organization in Toronto, said the data-seeding option should be a huge benefit to companies worried about clogging up bandwidth or spending long hours transitioning from physical to online storage. Mugara, who has been using MozyPro for six months to back up 1TB of data from his organization every two to three days, said he hopes that EMC's enhancements and improved support come as advertised.

Mugara said that as a much larger company, EMC should be able to provide better support than Berkeley.

Mugara, who is responsible for an IT operation serving a workforce scattered across the world, said online backup offers him a sense of comfort that critical project information is always accessible and will never fall victim to lost or stolen devices.

In fact, according to Framingham, Mass.-based IDC, the case for online backup is becoming stronger for companies of all sizes. The research firm predicts that sales of hosted backup storage services will reach $715 million in 2011, up from $235 million in 2007.

The Mozy client software can be autoinstalled on each device under administrator control, EMC said. Data backups sent to EMC servers can be managed via a Web-based console over Internet Explorer. Restore options for recovering data include online, client-based, DVD, hard drive and virtual drive, said Sanford.

Sanford refused to elaborate on future SaaS offerings from Fortress. However, he did say that over time, EMC will entertain the idea of connecting third-party applications to its fledgling Fortress platform. Sanford said that at least in the near term, EMC does not envision Fortress competing against Amazon.com's Simple Storage Service hosted product, which is used by service providers to offer backup and other types of online services.

"We do not see ourselves in what we're announcing as an S3 competitor," he said. "[But] in the long-term scope, we never say never."


Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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