EVault is attempting to make a few waves in in the industry by offering 100 GB of cloud backup free to customers. The move aims to disrupt a heated cloud backup space, but also likely signals an impending commoditization of cloud backup services that could result in more niche and specialized offerings going forward.
The market doesn’t seem to be in short supply of free cloud consumer backup. But enterprise? Not so much.
That’s where EVault is hoping to shake things up a bit. The San Francisco-based backup and archiving firm is aiming to gain a competitive edge by offering 100 GB of free cloud backup to customers who sign up for its services.
As part of the offer, users will have access to files, and be able to retain up to three days of backups. The promotion also comes with the intention of ramping up customers to its cloud solutions, entailing a team of recovery experts to get customers up and running, as well as continuous online support.
EVault partners can then provide services around the cloud backup offering from the firm's Web-based portal, a management console that gives them the ability to schedule and monitor backup jobs, troubleshoot issues and generate reports for compliance, auditing and general network analysis.
Meanwhile, free storage and backup offers are hardly new. In fact, EVault takes a page from numerous other vendors that have whetted the appetite of customers with free backup trials that have mostly ranged from 2 to 10 GBs, and largely targeted consumer markets. ExchangeDefender, for example, recently launched free cloud backup add-on that aimed to attract users by combining consumer-level flexibility with a slew of business-class features.
Where EVault aims to achieve competitive advantage is with the size and scope, hoping to shake up the industry a little further by giving away 100 GBs of free backup aimed squarely for business markets.
Even still, disruptive offerings of this magnitude have been done before. Last year, cloud storage provider SymFoam attempted to make a dent in cloud storage markets by offering customers 100 GBs of storage and self-service technical support, while giving reseller partners the same allocation along with unlimited access to live technical support.
The method is well worn. Vendors hoping to disrupt well-established markets will offer free services or software with the intention of getting noticed in the industry. The vendor then leverages the uptick of business to peddle more sophisticated paid offerings it can then charge at a premium once customers are hooked.
Those tactics will likely become more prevalent in cloud backup markets that are rapidly gaining traction. An ABI Research report projects that the business continuity and disaster recovery market will have grown from $24.3 billion in 2009 to almost $40 billion in 2015, with cloud and virtualization being some of the biggest drivers.
And its not lost on EVault that competition is thick. CA Technologies, Inc. has a bigger stake in the cloud backup space after it overhauled its CA ARCServe platform that allowed backup and recovery to occur on all connected cloud, virtual, or physical on-premise platforms, regardless of operating system. And smaller players such as Asigra and Axcient, among others, have attempted to make their own mark in the cloud backup space with competitive offerings.
And with cloud backup markets filling fast, its behooves EVault to find new ways to reach and attract more customers.
But ultimately EVault’s offer and similar backup promotions signal the inexorable march toward commoditization of many basic cloud services, including storage and backup. That means that well-established industry players will be required to come up with new and innovative cloud products – aimed at a wider swath of markets – in order to stay afloat.