EMC has announced its MozyEnterprise storage-as-a-service offering, which is based on its EMC Fortress delivery platform and provides online backup and data recovery for small and medium business, laptop users, remote and branch offices of enterprises, where it covers desktops and servers. It is not intended for structured, database backup applications though.

EMC bought Berkeley Data Systems for its Mozy online backup technology and service in September, 2007. There is such a general and growing demand for storage-as-a-service, part of the generic software-as-a-service (SaaS) that EMC set up a new SaaS business unit, headed by Roy Sanford. The hardware and software infrastructure platform underlying it is Fortress and the first EMC software offering is online backup.

However Fortress has already been mentioned by EMC in connection with eRoom a collaborative workspace environment, which describes a fortress-like online document store: "eRoom.net offers extraordinary network and server security through the EMC Center ("EMC GSC"). The EMC hosting center is a physical and virtual fortress designed to ensure on-going access and connectivity to your data while providing top-notch security."

An EMC job ad also mentioned Fortress. We may as well envisage a scenario in which all EMC software applications might be delivered over the net as services. Customer's data is stored inside Fortress which is EMC's first step in the emerging cloud computing concept.

EMC describes Fortress as a secure, hardened, multi-tenant, scalable SaaS delivery platform providing customers with centralised billing, management and metering.

MozyEnterprise is positioned as the first EMC Saas application relying on it, implying that there will be others. EMC's SaaS strategy calls for the delivery of additional IT-based SaaS applications built on the EMC Fortress platform over time, in key areas such as 'trusted data services', whatever that means.

Competitors

Zmanda and Seagate's EVault are the obvious competitors. EVault is aimed at the SMB market. Zmanda is based on the open source Amanda backup product and uses Amazon's S3 (Simple Storage Service) storage hosting service as the backup target.

IBM has bought Arsenal Digital for its online backup offering.

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