EMC buys online backup services provider

By Kevin Komiega

—EMC announced this week that it has acquired online backup-and-recovery services provider Berkeley Data Systems for $76 million, a deal which gives EMC access to the consumer storage market.

Berkeley Data Systems provides Mozy, an online subscription service for consumers and small businesses that is designed to remotely protect data that resides on desktops, laptops, and remote office servers.

EMC did not disclose the financial details of the acquisition, though it is rumored to be in the range of $70 million to $80 million. The company says the transaction will not have a material impact on EMC revenues for 2007.

Berkeley Data Systems currently offers its service in two flavors—MozyHome and MozyPro. MozyHome users can sign up for up to 2GB of free backup space or pay a fee of $4.95 per month for unlimited capacity. Business customers can license MozyPro for $3.95 a month per user with an additional capacity fee of $0.50/gigabyte per month.

The MozyPro service provides customers with an administrative console that includes reporting and configuration tools for centralized management. The service also offers bandwidth throttling, encryption, and "near" continuous data protection (CDP); MozyPro automatically detects and backs up new and changed files every two hours.

Berkeley Data Systems launched its MozyPro service last April and claims to have signed up more than 8,000 business customers. The company's customer list also includes more than 300,000 consumer customers.

According to Josh Coates, founder and former CEO of Berkeley Data Systems, Mozy will operate as a separate business within the EMC New Ventures Group, and EMC will continue to invest in Mozy's portfolio of online backup-and-recovery services.

Coates says Mozy users will not experience any changes in service, pricing, or support.

Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group, says acquiring Berkeley Data Systems provides EMC with a risk-free way to enter the consumer storage market—a move he considers long overdue.

"They can learn without any real downside. Plus, if it helps them figure out consumer market opportunities, that's 100% accretive," says Duplessie. "With more and more data being created out at the edge, it's sort of surprising it took this long."

This article was originally published on October 05, 2007