Mozy, VMware's cloud storage provider, has had a few iterations. It was one of the first such services on the map when tiny Berkeley Data Systems launched it in American Fork, Utah, back in 2005.
After its sale to EMC in 2007, a merger with EMC's Pi Corp. in 2008 to become an entity called Decho (which was not clearly understood by the market) and subsequent rescue by VMware in 2011, the continually evolving storage service seems to have settled down. West Coast-based Mozy and VMware are still owned by EMC but work together on a daily basis on their own agendas; they deal with the East Coast mothership as needed, but also they have a lot of autonomy.
With that as a backstory, Seattle-based Mozy on Jan. 24 said that it has moved beyond backup and has opened the public beta availability of a new feature called Mozy Stash.
Like standard Mozy, Stash folders provide users with cloud-based access to their backed-up files, but they also enable availability to them at all times and across multiple devices-including all computers, smartphones and tablets. In other words, anything that uses a browser can see the files-at the same time, if need be. Operating systems and device brands are irrelevant.
Stash's file synchronization feature gives users a simple way to keep their data up to date across each of the computers they use. As soon as a file is placed in a local Stash folder-say, on a laptop-it quickly becomes available online for all devices a person uses (tablets, notebooks, smartphones, desktops). There is no need to wait for a backup or hit an upload button.
Not Exactly a New Wrinkle
If that part doesn't seem like a totally new wrinkle, well, it isn't. Box, Dropbox and SugarSync have provided this across-all-worlds access for the last couple of years, and they are building successful cloud services businesses on it. In fact, Box, probably the hottest of the new-gen cloud storage services, includes collaboration tools and a partnership with Google for some of its apps, including Google Docs.
But Mozy has its own spin on this.
"The vision for this [starting with the Mozy-Pi-Decho iteration] was that all of a person's data-whether it be email, files, instant messaging, everything-become part of an 'information space' that services you automatically," Mozy Product Manager Ted Haeger told eWEEK.
The idea is that when someone is working on a project, all the pertinent files that person needs become immediately available-into a specific file folder on the desktop-through Pi's intelligent desktop search and Mozy's cloud storage. Search becomes a background partner as needed, saving the user time.
"Mozy had all the data storage, and Pi had the data movement and availability piece. And now Paul [Maritz, VMware's CEO, who started Pi] will be talking about how this fits into the virtualization space," Haeger said.
The entire automated solution described here isn't quite ready for prime time. But if Stash and the Pi software work the way Mozy believes it will, this is a feature that will set the company apart from competing services, at least at this point. Beta users are now trying it out and reporting back their experiences.
"Stash uses a simple single-folder model which complements your online backup so that all your data is available where and when you need it, even if you choose not to synchronize it," said Mozy General Manager Russ Stockdale.
Mozy's cloud service with Stash is aimed primarily at small to medium-size businesses (about 70,000 use MozyPro for server and/or desktop/laptop backup) and consumers (MozyHome), although it has some large enterprises (such as GE, with some 300,000 corporate users) as customers. It offers a free starter service with 5GB of capacity.
eWEEK will continue to keep a close eye on developments at Mozy. For more information on Stash and about joining the beta test group, go here. For pricing information, go here for MozyPro and here for MozyHome.