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EMC Mozy targets Mac backup

EMC releases MozyHome for Mac workstations in the SaaS backup space and says it plans to address integration between its Mac Retrospect product and Mozy.

EMC's Mozy backup Storage as a Service (SaaS) products are beginning to offer feature parity for Mac workstations with the release today of MozyHome.

According to Vance Checketts, Mozy chief operating officer, the client is free for backing up the first 2 GB and costs $4.95 per month for unlimited online capacity. The client is installed on the Mac to perform a one-time scan of the workstation. It logs files to be backed up, then automatically copies and encrypts the files with private-key encryption available. As with the PC version, the product also offers bandwidth throttling. Users running virtual desktops or software, such as Boot Camp that allows Macs to run Windows, would use the Mac client to backup both operating systems.

EMC will expand Mozy's Mac capabilities but is not alone in the Mac SaaS backup space, according to analyst Lauren Whitehouse, Enterprise Strategy Group. "Mozy will have to compete with offerings from iBackup, iDrive and even Apple," she pointed out. "Although, Mozy's pricing is more disruptive than its competitors."

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In Retrospect, what's EMC's roadmap?

The Mac client was written and developed entirely by Mozy before the EMC acquisition. In fact, beta customers were testing it when EMC grabbed Mozy in late 2007. So, the new client includes no integration with EMC's popular on-premise Mac backup product, Retrospect. That product ships with EMC's Lifeline home NAS box. Checketts said EMC will address its overall strategy for Retrospect and Mozy Home for Mac at its EMC World annual conference this month.

"Hold that thought," Checketts said when asked about the relationship of Retrospect and Mozy's Mac service. "There is a plan to tie all that together, but that's EMC World material."

Slow, but just the start

Walter Petruska, information security officer for the University of San Francisco, was a MozyHome beta tester and said its general release will allow him to offer new services to end users on campus. "We've been planning to offer our users a customized landing page [for the Mozy service] and a discount off the Home price if they've purchased it for themselves," he said, adding that the campus has 400 Macs that have needed backing up for some time.

Petruska said he hopes the generally available release will offer higher performance than the beta software. He didn't collect any formal data on performance, but said it ran slowly on campus in the beta phase. "When we talked to Mozy about it, their response was always, 'yes, but it's a beta,'" he said.

While Petruska said he plans to get started rolling out MozyHome clients right away, the university is most eager for the Pro and Enterprise versions of the client to come out. Mozy Pro and Enterprise software editions for PCs offer centralized administration, control over rule sets and backup monitoring to ensure data is compliant with regulations.

"We see this as an important first step toward releasing a corporate edition," Petruska said.

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