January 28, 2008 9:26 AM PST
EMC pushes online backup services
Announced late last week, MozyEnterprise is the first offering to come out of the EMC Fortress strategy. The product will provide subscription-based online backup and recovery services for remote PCs and remote Windows Server environments, according to EMC.
"We've introduced EMC Fortress (as) a secure, multitenant, scalable SaaS delivery platform, providing customers with centralized billing, management and metering," said Tom Heiser, general manager of EMC's new software-as-a-service (SaaS) business unit.
The pricing shows that, with this service, EMC is making MozyEnterprise affordable even for small and midsize businesses, although the company is pitching it at the enterprise. MozyEnterprise for PC and laptop devices is priced at $5.25 a month, plus 70 cents a month per gigabyte stored, and the server module is priced at $9.25, plus $2.35 per gigabyte stored.
In September, EMC bought on-demand backup specialist Berkeley Data Systems, developers of the Mozy hosted storage/backup service, for $76 million and with it gained a path into the SaaS business.
Analyst firm 451 Group noted that MozyEnterprise represents a change of tack for EMC: "The announcement of Fortress...represents the opening up of another frontier (for EMC). There's little doubt that Mozy has taken the consumer and the SME-oriented backup market by storm, primarily by appealing to 'greenfield' companies (i.e., those without an existing backup system) and individuals that haven't adequately protected their data."
Analyst firm Gartner claimed that there is nothing intrinsically difficult about moving storage to an SaaS application. "Backup may be one of the easiest SaaS applications to implement," the Gartner said in a research note. "Many service providers leverage the Amazon S3 and Nirvanix online storage infrastructures to deliver Internet-based backups."
But Gartner also said in the same research note that there are potential problems ahead for EMC as online storage offerings become more sophisticated. "EMC will perhaps find future SaaS offerings more challenging, especially if it must modify current applications or develop them internally."
Possible targets for SaaS services include e-mail archiving and content management, Gartner stated.
Colin Barker of ZDNet UK reported from London.