EMC To Acquire Online Storage Service for $76 Million

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2007-09-24
 
 
 

EMC will acquire Berkeley Data Systems, a small, Utah-based firm that offers subscription backup plans for free or as little as $3.95 per month, sources told eWEEK Sept. 24.

Neither EMC nor Berkeley Data Systems would confirm the report, which was originally published by TechCrunchs Michael Arrington, but data storage industry sources, who asked not to be identified, told eWEEK the $76 million acquisition is a done deal.

The deal gives EMC a play in online data backup, a measure EMC President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Tucci alluded to on Feb. 14 at the RSA Security conference in San Francisco.

Privately-held Berkeley Data Systems has about 50 employees, with most based in American Fork, Utah -- about an hour south of Salt Lake City. It provides unlimited backup as a service that individuals can use to back up digital files—documents, photos, video—to a secure, multi-petabyte outside server on subscription basis.

To read more about Berkeley Data Systems unlimited online storage, click here.

The companys main product is Mozy Home Unlimited Backup, a consumer offering of 2GB of storage for free and the unlimited backup—which includes an unlimited number of restores—for $4.95 per month. The service attracted more than 100,000 customers in its first few months through word of mouth, and just crossed the 300,000 customer mark, said Berkeley Data Systems CEO and founder Josh Coates.

About 8,000 customers subscribe to MozyPro, Berkeley Data Systems business product, introduced last winter, which also offers the first 2GB of storage for free, and unlimited backup—which also includes an unlimited number of restores—for $3.95 per month per PC or server and 50 cents per gigabyte of additional storage used per month. Users also may choose month-to-month or annual payment plans.

One of MozyPros customers is GE, currently the second-largest company in the world with more than 300,000 employees. Berkeley Data Systems announced that deal last April 23.

Berkeley Data Systems added a Mac OS X version of Mozy Home last spring.

EMCs competitors in the online storage business will include AmeriVault, Iron Mountain, Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Arsenal Digital Solutions, CommVault and a number of others.

Is this the beginning of a consolidation trend in the online storage business?

"Not really," Executive Vice President and CMO Brian Reagan of Arsenal Digital Solutions, Cary, N.C., a well-established online data storage provider, told eWEEK.

Is EMCs buying spree really over? Click here to read more.

"The consolidation has been occurring slowly but steadily since 2005, when Iron Mountain bought LiveVault. Since then, weve seen one major acquisition per year. Last year, it was Seagate/Evault. This year its EMC/Mozy, though on a smaller scale. I dont think this acquisition represents a tipping point, particularly since Mozy is still a young company primarily serving a consumer market."

Reagan said that this acquisition demonstrates significant interest in a service model for data protection, versus traditional hardware/software purchases.

"Thats a win for customers as they have choice when making a decision about protecting their critical data," Reagan said. "For companies like Arsenal Digital, who have been operating in this model for nearly a decade, its strong affirmation of our doing the right thing."

Tucci told reporters Feb. 14 that EMC was done making major acquisitions, but four more have followed. The company, based in Hopkinton, Mass., has acquired some 37 companies since 2001.

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