EMC merges home backup with cloud-based storage

Integration between Retrospect backup software, Mozy online backup service, and Iomega external hard drives.

The fruits of three EMC acquisitions are coming together with an integration involving Retrospect backup software, the Mozy online backup service, and Iomega external hard drives.

Targeted at consumers, the offering announced Wednesday nonetheless is a potential preview of enterprise products that join EMC's storage, online backup and traditional backup capabilities. Iomega hard drive buyers are being offered a free download of Retrospect backup and restoration software and easy access to the Mozy cloud-based backup service. Combining the offerings gives customers an extra level of data redundancy and access to files anywhere via the Web.

"Essentially EMC is saying, we've got these products, the target audience for the products is the same, let's bring them together and over time further integrate them," says Steve Fairbanks, Mozy's director of product management.

Customers could have used the products jointly before but this integration lets them configure everything at once rather than go through multiple installation processes, Fairbanks says.

"For the average consumer who's purchasing an Iomega device, they don't want to deal with multiple things and installing them separately," he says.

The integrated user interface makes it easy to back up data on the Iomega drive and schedule reoccurring data backups in the cloud through the Mozy online system, he says.

While this is a consumer offering, both Retrospect and Mozy also have products designed for businesses that could be used in future integrations, Fairbanks says.

"I think over time we'll move in that direction [enterprise products combining Iomega, Mozy and Retrospect], but I don't have anything specific to announce today," he said Tuesday.

EMC struck its deal to buy Iomega for US$213 million in April, about a half-year after acquiring Berkeley Data Systems, the owner of Mozy. The Retrospect packaged software is a result of EMC's acquisition of Dantz in October 2004.

Even before being acquired by EMC, Iomega was selling Retrospect's backup software in a package with its external hard drives.

Iomega drive owners now get 2GB of free storage from the MozyHome online service, or unlimited Mozy storage for US$4.95 a month, according to EMC. An Iomega 500GB hard drive typically runs for about $125, Fairbanks says.

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