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Mozy Backs Up To IBM's Turf

David A. Utter
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-08-18

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The swirl of discussion about online backup service Mozy should not center on comparisons to online storage services, because they are a different type of technology.

Online storage services, essentially hard drives available on the Internet, give people a place to store their data and retrieve it later. A number of companies, from stealthy startups to major players like AOL play in that sandbox.

AOL's announcement of the switch to a free model for its Xdrive service prompted us to observe that "The 5GB of free space, AOL brand name, and Xdrive backup and security features could be a death knell to startups in the online storage space."

To Mozy CEO and founder Josh Coates, that was cause for a more gleeful response. His Berkeley Data Systems, which parents Mozy, doesn't play with those kids. Mozy is more like the guy who remembers to bring the bases to a baseball game.

Mozy's game is online backup, so instead of dueling with little known firms that provide a virtual closet for one's games and music, they are on the playground with serious, unsmiling companies like IBM and IronMountain's Connected.com.

IronMountain charges $800 annually to backup 30GB of data, Coates said, but Mozy only charges $60 for the same amount of data. Mozy users can encrypt their information, and the software monitors designated files for changes so it can back them up too.

Coates views the online storage plays as "relatively uninteresting." Solid and cost-effective backup solutions, like what Mozy offers, make for more exciting times for Coates and company.

He has a pedigree in constructing "petabyte architectures," and knows about keeping a lot of data backed up in having once worked with the Internet Archive. Mozy's backend with that architecture allows them to scale to backup millions of records.

The clustered system utilized by Mozy employs a DRS encoding algorithm, which Coates noted improved reliability of the backup process.

On the Mozy business side, Coates said they are cash flow positive, and are drawing interest from much larger companies than they had anticipated. It will be another quarter or two before Mozy starts to actively court the business market.

Presently, Mozy performs about half a million backups per week, storing over 200 million files. Users on Windows XP can sign up for a free 2GB account or a 30GB account for $4.95 per month. Mozy clients for other platforms, including Mac, are in development.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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