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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Offsite Backup to Cloud Storage

Offsite backup is like backing up to external drive. As long as the drive is there, people will use it to backup stuff. Some will do on-demand drag and drop of important documents. Some will go buy a $50 backup software to automate the process. Bigger companies may have more dedicate resources and software to handle it.

You may found a backup software on the Seagate external hard drive you brought home. On the other hand, you may very rarely buy a copy of the backup software and found an external drive attached.

Cloud Storage is like the external hard drive. As long as it is there and accessible, people will use it for backup purpose. Companies like Carbonite and Mozy specialized in online backup with online storage attached. These are the vertical players that bundles the desktop application, backup software and the online storage all together.

However, there are more and more cloud storage services providers coming out to join the race here. We saw Amazon S3, Windows Azure Storage, AT&T Synaptic Storage, Nirvanix, Mezeo. We also see Rackspace, Peer1, the Planet, Softlayer and all the traditional hosting providers(MSP) coming on board of the cloud storage game. Eventually the ISPs will come on board. (When you have your DSL internet installed, there is a cloud storage offering in the package?)

Will the same vertical play work? Can Carbonite compete with MSP/ISP for the same MSP/ISP user? Will this force each players to focus and specialize more in the cloud storage side such as the performance, scalability, optimization and so on?  We have seen cloud storage service that supports Amazon S3 interface gains application support easily

The competition will force players to focus and specialize in their strength. For example, we see hard drive makers focus on making hard drive. Application makers focus on making applications. If you see hard drive comes with an application, it is an OEM version from another company.

Gladinet is focused on the application side, the cloud access suites. Eventually the offsite backup will stack up vertically from the application to the service provider to the cloud storage backend software. Each one is focused on its strength.


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