SOS Server Save Angles to Bring Online Backup to Business

By Kenneth Corbin

As IT across all segments, from consumer to enterprise, continues what seems an inexorable march to the cloud, the online backup market sits poised for rapid growth.

Citing industry estimates that the market could swell to $10 billion, SOS Online Backup is making its case to resellers, consumers and businesses that its cloud technology backup solution sits in the optimal nexus of price, functionality and security.

The company offers an SOS backup solution in the cloud for home users, promising to protect the totality of their digital life, including social media content and mobile devices running the Android or Apple operating system.

However, increasingly the company is moving into the business space, particularly with ServerSave, its solution for the workplace that safeguards content from an organization's litany of servers and PCs.

"Our aim for SOS ServerSave was to backup all servers and workstations -- SQL, Exchange, Windows, fileservers, full local machines -- and provide an end-point solution for workstations and laptops," said Ken Shaw, CEO of SOS Online Backup. "With all these components, SOS ServerSave's ultimate goal for the IT manager is to eliminate the pain of managing these different pieces from different portals."

According to Shaw, the market for server backup technology in the public cloud is headed for a "price-functionality inflection point," one that will dramatically reshape the value proposition of the market.

"Server backup is going to start doing more for less money, and SOS ServerSave is poised to be the first to spearhead this trend," he said.

The company's ServerSave product offers bare-metal backup and restore of Windows, SQL, SharePoint and Exchange servers with management consolidated in a single portal, dubbed Pulse Centralized Management, and an unlimited headcount for a single account.

SOS nets more than half of its revenue through the reseller channel, with the balance coming from direct sales to consumers and businesses.

SOS maintains 11 data centers throughout the world. It boasts military-level encryption by which data on servers and computers are encrypted with the 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), and 128 SSL when in transit. In storage, data is encrypted at 1024-bit AES.

The firm also claims an advantage in online backup upload speeds over rival service providers Mozy and Carbonite.

As it looks ahead to the 2012 roadmap, SOS Online Backup is planning two major announcements to expand its enterprise profile.

"These will be public and private cloud backup and storage solutions at very competitive price points," Shaw said.

SOS Online Backup, which was formed in 2001 and made its public launch in 2006, is heavily funded by its founders and contributions from angel investors. In September, the company raised $3 million in a round of Series A financing from venture capital firm Splashpond, bringing its total funding since launch to $10 million.

To date, the firm has signed up more than half a million users, which places it well behind leading rival Carbonite by measure of market share. But SOS Online Backup likes to think of itself as punching above its weight class. At the time of its Series A round of financing, the company pointed out that its larger competitor had raised more than $100 million. Then, taking the measure of the two companies' respective user bases, SOS Online Backup estimated its customer-acquisition cost at roughly a quarter of Carbonite's.

Kenneth Corbin is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. He has written on politics, technology and other subjects for more than four years, most recently as the Washington correspondent for InternetNews.com, covering Congress, the White House, the FCC and other regulatory affairs. He can be found on LinkedIn here

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This article was originally published on December 20, 2011