EMC Makes Consumer Storage Move

Vendor ties its Retrospect and Mozy offerings into a set of new software bundles

July 17, 2008

3 Min Read
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Sophisticated data protection is moving from the enterprise into the consumer market. Iomega, which was acquired by EMC for $213 million earlier this year, is rolling out external hard drives that come bundled with EMC Retrospect Express backup software and EMCs Mozy online backup service in an attempt to ensure that consumer data is safely stored.

EMC has been gradually expanding its reach from the enterprise into the consumer market. Iomega has become the linchpin in that strategy as well as the foundation for EMC’s new Consumer/Small Business Products Division. The acquisition followed the acquisition of Dantz, maker of Retrospect backup software in late 2004, and the $76 million purchase of Berkeley Data Systems, the developers of the Mozy line of online backup services, last October.

The new suite of integrated offerings represents the first joint work from the different entities. “EMC has moved quite quickly to try and take advantage of the potential synergies among its different acquisitions,” notes Lauren Whitehouse, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group.

The vendor rolled out three bundling options that customers have when buying Iomega portable drives:

  • The Retrospect Express HD 2.5 for Windows features integration with MozyHome, so users can decide whether to store information on an external hard drive or a network drive; online storage; or a combination of the two.

  • Retrospect Express 7.6 for Windows, which can be integrated into MozyHome or MozyPro, backs up internal and external hard drives, NAS devices, CD/DVDs, and removable drives.

  • Retrospect Express for Macintosh 6.1 protects a single Macintosh desktop or notebook computer by backing information up to internal and external hard drives, NAS devices, CD/DVDs, and removable drives. The integration with MozyHome is not available now but is expected to arrive in the coming months.

The new product bundles have a consumer focus, and will be priced at the same level as EMC’s existing Retrospect offerings, plus Mozy’s licensing, which, for MozyHome, offers either 2 Gbytes of storage for free or charges $4.95 a month for unlimited storage. Pricing for MozyPro, which is aimed more at businesses, starts at $3.95 per month plus 50 cents per Gbyte of data stored.

“Users whose lives are stored online in items, such pictures and videos, will be most interested in the bundled storage services,” stated Steve Fairbanks, director of product management at Mozy.

The move to provide consumers with multiple storage options is becoming clear throughout the storage marketplace. Symantec, for one, offers its customers such an option, and other vendors have been teaming up to deliver similar packages to their clients. Because it has all of the pieces in-house, EMC may be able to entice consumers to try its approach.However, the company does face some challenges in marketing its new bundles. Competition in the storage market is fierce, especially in the online backup segment, which has been growing at a rapid clip, and EMC faces stiff competition from a variety of suppliers from established vendors, like Google and Amazon, to startups, such as Carbonite.

Traditionally, EMC has focused on the business market and is a neophyte in the consumer space, though CEO Joe Tucci has already discussed the vendors plans to break into the consumer market. Because those market sectors have different sets of business drivers, it is unclear if EMC will be able to navigate them both effectively. At the very least, it seems obvious that the company wants to become as relevant in the consumer market as it is in the enterprise.

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  • Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)

  • Carbonite Inc.

  • EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC)

  • Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG)

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)

  • Iomega Corp. (NYSE: IOM)

  • Symantec Corp.

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