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EMC upgrades Mozy with eye on enterprise cloud backup

EMC sees Mozy as its entrée to enterprise cloud backups and adds it to its Data Protection Suite alongside Avamar, NetWorker and Data Domain Boost.

EMC today unveiled new enterprise features for its Mozy cloud backup application, focusing on processes -- such as mobile device backup and file synching -- that are missing from most traditional on-premises backup applications.

EMC is adding what the vendor calls "people-centric" administration tools, a sync feature, and the ability to purchase Mozy as part of EMC's Data Protection Suite.

The new features are part of Mozy's evolution into enterprise cloud backup since EMC acquired it in 2007 when it was almost solely for home and prosumer users.

"Backup is becoming less about forcing people to use specific devices to back up to a specific destination," Mozy General Manager Russ Stockdale said. "It's becoming more about protecting the data that belongs to those people and selecting a backup destination that best suits that data."

Mozy now lets administrators assign a storage pool to an individual or a group that can be consumed by multiple devices, instead of allocating storage to an end user's specific device. Storage limits can be placed on a group or an individual within the group. Stockdale said assigning storage pools will make it easier to manage endpoint and bring-your-own-device backup issues.

Mozy also added keyless activation for accounts, which eliminates the steps of having admins provision a device and assigning a unique key identifier to a user. Instead, they send users an email with their account activation link. Users create their passwords on the Mozy user account page and activate Mozy for their devices.

New user features include Mozy Sync GA, a file-sync folder that lets end users keep data updated and available across devices but lacks full link-sharing and collaboration capabilities that are in dedicated file-sync and file-share applications -- including EMC's Syncplicity.

"Think of it as a proverbial USB stick in the sky you can access anytime from anywhere," Stockdale said.

Another new feature is Dynamic Resumable Puts, which ensures large file backups such as .PSTs are always resumed even if the file is changing or the backup is paused for any reason.

Mozy has also added a reporting application programming interface (API) for reseller and channel partners. The API lets partners integrate their remote monitoring or professional services automation systems to access backup data, such as storage consumption and backup history status.

Mozy joins EMC enterprise backup apps

MozyEnterprise is now available as a cloud backup option with EMC's Data Protection Suite -- which also consists of Avamar, NetWorker, Data Domain Boost, Data Protection Advisor and SourceOne software. The cloud addition is priced by annual subscription based on capacity tiers (1TB to 10 TB, 11 TB to 25 TB, 26 TB to 50 TB, and 51 TB and above.) Pricing ranges from $9,500 per TB per year in the lowest capacity tier to $6,600 per TB in the highest capacity level.

Stockdale said around 75% of Mozy customers are now businesses. Mozy revenue is split almost evenly among its MozyHome, MozyPro for small- and medium-sized businesses and MozyEnterprise versions.

It took some time for EMC to figure out what to do with Mozy. The vendor sold it to its VMware subsidiary in 2011, but brought it back under the EMC banner last year.

EMC moved Mozy into its Backup and Recovery Systems (BRS) division this year, using it to complement its Avamar and NetWorker backup applications -- especially for backing up personal devices.

"Putting Mozy under the BRS group is telling," said Robert Amatruda, IDC research director for data protection. "I used to scratch my head when I looked at EMC buying Mozy, but now I'm seeing a lot of integration points. There is a clear need for that enterprise-level protection to endpoints, and [file-]sync and -share. I think over time you'll see a lot greater integration with the rest of EMC's data recovery platform."

Enterprises have been reluctant to use the cloud for the bulk of their backups, even before the demise of cloud storage provider Nirvanix suddenly went out of business. Still, Amatruda said organizations are looking for traditional backup vendors to offer the ability to use the cloud for some backup sets.

"When a large cloud company like Nirvanix pulls the plug, it's a reality check," he said. "But we see hybrid approaches being adopted for backup."

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