Is Backup a Security Product or a Storage Product?

by Lynnette Nolan | Dec 11, 2008

Following up on my comments on Microsoft OneCare, I'd be interested to have you put on your wizard hats and tell me how the world is going to view companies like Carbonite five years hence. One scenario is that backup will be considered as part of the data security industry, and will be merged into anti-virus, firewall, anti-spyware, and the like. Another view is that backup will be one of a number of data storage-related products, such as archiving, local backup, bare metal restore, smart document storage, and so forth. A third scenario is that backup is just such a big opportunity in itself (after all, there are 700 million Internet-connected PCs out there) that you can build a very large company doing nothing but online backup.

The first scenario suggests that backup companies will eventually be gobbled up by the anti-virus companies, just as Symantec acquired Swapdrive (now part of the Norton 360 suite). The second scenario is that backup is about storage, and the EMC acquisition of Mozy would argue that direction. They are already making noises about bundling backup with other storage products, such as Iomega. The third is that none of these guys will have the focus to do a really exceptional job at online backup, and well-funded pure-play companies like Carbonite will build brand and distribution and a new category will emerge dominated by pure-play vendors.

Anyone care to comment?

CEO, Carbonite