The great whale of storage, the TRex of the storage business, EMC itself, is buying possibly the smallest minnow in the storage sea, Mozy, for $76 million.

Considering that Mozy raised just $1.9 million in capital in May, 2005, this is an amazing return on the initial investment.

Mozy's backup product sticks some software on a PC and then slowly backs it up over time whenever you're connected to the Internet to Mozy's archive system. The software is very polite and very easy to deal with. Restore isn't as fast as from an external drive of course.

This gives EMC another avenue along which to pursue the data protection business. This one leads to home users, SOHO businesses and perhaps even the small side of the SME market. If they can't be bothered with disk-based backup and find the idea of tape backup indigestible then online backup is just what they might be looking for.

It also gives EMC a potential mass market services business foothold.