Symantec decided last week to end its cloud-based backup and recovery services business. It told partners that the Backup Exec software could still be used for premise based backup though.
I am surprised that it closed instead of selling it to any of the many other companies offering backup. There were quite a few who jumped into to tell Symantec partners that they were available to take over the service.
There isn't a lack of cloud backup services. In fact, there are many - that all do about the same thing in the same exact way without much in the way of differentiation or marketing. A photographer pal of mine has been telling me about his troubles finding a reasonable service to backup all of his photos. It has been a nightmare.
Cloud backup is a lot like cloud communications: the marketing sucks so it becomes a price war.
When you have terabytes of data to backup, it can take weeks - even 3.2 months - to make one initial backup. That sounds crazy to the average buyer. Then there is the growing monthly cost for storage. Backup is good that way for partners: it doesn't shrink; it grows.
But some of the older data should be stored a different way. Maybe stuff older than 2 years is on DVD or flash drives or something that can be stored offsite but able to be retrieved with a phone call or service request. Something that tells a story about service and not just automation.
The initial backup is long. There are ways to do it, like Green Cloud, to make it quicker and easier on the customer. However, it seems like cloud backup wants to be this passive robot service that provides little customer touch while collecting payments. Dumb move for an industry. No wonder some are starting to close.
Makes it harder for others because as more backup services close, customers get anxious about moving their data to the cloud. This will result in more closures and more prospects thinking twice. Nice cycle. (And notice I didn't joke about the NSA reading all the data in the cloud?)
The ones really scrambling are channel partners. It's their face and reputation - and yes even their revenue - on the line when a company like Symantec pulls the plug.