EMC, owner of the MozyPro online backup service since fall of 2007, sent e-mail notices to its customers on Feb. 25 saying prices for its popular SMB server backup service would be going up substantially on March 1.
The e-mail from EMC's sales department said, "The MozyPro [consumer] desktop offering will maintain the same low monthly price of $3.95 per license and 50 cents per GB [of stored capacity] ... The new MozyPro server offering will be available at a monthly price of $6.95 per license and $1.75 cents per GB."
Existing MozyPro licenses and storage on individual accounts purchased before March 1, 2008, will be "grandfathered" and pricing will remain the same, the e-mail said. Any additional storage purchased and assigned to a grandfathered license also will retain MozyPro's existing pricing plan. Grandfathered licenses will retain existing features, functionality and support, EMC said.
However, beginning on March 1, customers face the following prices: For a single server license plus 10GB of capacity, the cost jumps from $8.95 per month to $24.45 per month. For five server licenses and 20GB, the price goes from $29.75 to $69.75 per month.
For 10 licenses and 100GB, the pricing jumps from $89.50 to $244.50 per month, and for 20 servers and 500GB, the cost rockets from $329.00 to $1,014 per month.
EMC spokesperson Kevin Kempskie told eWEEK that the price changes for MozyPro server put the license model more in line with pricing for the MozyEnterprise server.
"Mozy proactively gave our resellers a heads-up about the price change more than a week ago and solicited their opinions on what was most fair and reasonable. The overwhelming response from our resellers was that this is something they can work with," Kempskie said.
The pricing difference between MozyEnterprise and MozyPro is a reflection of EMC and Mozy "fine-tuning our offerings to best fit our customer requirements," Kempskie said.
Jason Powell, a MozyPro user who works as IT director at Granger Community Church, a nonprofit, wrote in his blog about being taken aback by the price changes.
"Guess a good thing can only last so long. An approx. quadrupling in price seems ridiculous to me, but what do I know. Thank goodness for the grandfather clause," Powell wrote. "Guess I'll be making some calls to Mozy this week and see what makes the most sense for GCC."
Some other industry observers also were critical of the changes.
"When EMC bought Mozy, it was under the guise of building its new software-as-a service division to target 'small office/home office' customers," Sam Gutmann, CEO of Intronis, an online backup competitor to EMC Mozy, told eWEEK.
"Yet it's clear EMC is not positioned to service this market-illustrated by price increases that SMBs [small and midsize businesses] just can't afford."
On top of that, Gutmann said, the additional features EMC is promoting to justify the price hike "have been offered by competitors already, including desktop and Microsoft Windows server OS support, network share support, and VSS writer backup and restore to Exchange, SYSVOL and Active Directory.
"In fact, EMC/Mozy does not even offer storage in two data centers to increase success of disaster recovery," Gutmann said.
Kempskie later responded: "Mozy absolutely has two data centers in Utah that it uses for DR [data recovery] and storage. The guy [Gutmann] obviously doesn't know what he was talking about ..."
Roy Sanford, vice president of EMC Fortress, the new SAAS platform on which all Mozy services are being delivered over the Internet, told eWEEK that "the largest number of supported devices in our entire EMC Fortress and Mozy infrastructure belongs to small business and home users, and we intend to continue to maintain and grow that base. The MozyPro server price change affects only one out of five products in the entire Mozy service portfolio. Current MozyPro server users are grandfathered for the life of the contract they signed up for," he said.
"There's nothing surreptitious going on here-we're not trying to institute enterprise pricing across the board," Sanford said.