MSP TODAY NEWS

Why Can't Online Backup Services Stay in Business?

By Doug Barney

Who could have ever imagined that Symantec would stop selling its hosted backup and disaster recovery service, giving partners some two months notice to make other arrangements to sell other backup services? This is according to a recent report from Bloomberg.

The initial impact is on partners who can only offer new contracts until Jan. 6, though we’re not sure what service provider would sell a tool that is on borrowed time and who would buy it.

Existing customers, however, can serve out the terms of their agreements, which mean some can use the service till January 2015.

And despite the Backup.Exec.cloud sales shutdown looming in January, the Symantec Web site still shows it as a current and presumably viable service.

This news follows that of Nirvanix which shut down with far less notice. Unlike Symantec, which is giving users a year, Nirvanix gave just weeks.

Just like with Symantec, Nirvanix’ website after the shutdown decision acted like everything was normal. In fact, the company still called itself “the leading provider of enterprise-class cloud storage services. The company offers cloud storage solutions designed specifically for customers with expectations of extreme security, reliability and redundancy levels. Enterprise requirements are such that you can't have any scheduled or unscheduled downtime.”

This belied the fact that customers had until the end of this past September to move their data. There was no formal announcement of the Nirvanix shutdown, as with Symantec who reached out instead to customers and partners directly with the news.

In what seems for all the world a step backwards, Symantec is reportedly offering customers the option to move backup from the cloud back to the premises!

The Migration Problem

Moving gigabytes, terabytes and potentially petabytes could take an enormous amount of time when it has to move from one cloud to another, especially if moving across the public cloud. And if you are using the cloud for disaster recovery, you can be sure there’s loads of data. Fortunately for Symantec customers, time is on their side in this endeavor.

The Nirvanix Surprise

At first flush, Nirvanix seemed to be one of the larger more stable cloud storage players. It appeared to have a highly experienced executive staff, some 1,200 customers, and has raised $70 million – including $25 million just last year.

Backup Makers Tout Their Options

An “offer by Zetta.net enables Symantec Backup Exec.Cloud customers to apply the unused balance of their service – up to 6 months – to Zetta’s award-winning enterprise-grade cloud backup & DR service – free of charge – in addition to a 20 percent discount on an annual cloud backup contract,” the company said.

Carbonite also weighed in with this. “Current Backup Exec.cloud customers who switch to Carbonite will receive the equivalent of their Backup Exec.cloud subscription for free!”

And Asigra is pitching discounts. “Symantec Partners who join the Asigra Partner ecosystem before March 31, 2014 will receive a one-time special offer of 60 percent off list pricing,” the company said.




Edited by Alisen Downey

MSPToday Editor at Large

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