We’ve all noticed the trend over the past couple of years or so; more and more online backup companies sprouting up all time, with many of them claiming to offer unlimited backup services. Well, it appears that the “unlimited bubble” has broken, or at least begun to show signs of leakage. Indeed, last January the largest offsite backup vendor, one of the most popular online backup services around with over one million clients, decided to pull the plug on its unlimited backup service. What would cause one of the originators of unlimited backup to “back up” on what they were previously offering their customers?
The official word from the vendor was that people were abusing the system, storing mega-large files that they couldn’t store themselves, specifically referencing high definition video as one of the culprits. This, they claimed, was effecting their smaller group of higher paying premium customers in an adverse way and thus losing the company money. So, the question is, will this be a trend?
Well, in light of this event, a few other well known players in the online backup game have recently released statements assuring users of their unlimited backup plans that they will indeed be continuing to offer the unlimited service that they have always provided. However, this has nonetheless brought about the question of whether or not offering unlimited online backup is a sustainable practice, especially considering that the large vendor is such a major player in the online backup business. After all, while offering unlimited backup can be extremely attractive to customers, it can also apparently bring about a situation in which supply simply cannot keep up with demand.
On the other hand, of course, restricting the amount of data storage available to users of online backup can definitely bring down the appeal for backing up in the cloud for a whole demographic of computer users. Sure, most office computer users and home computer users who do not do much other than go online, look at photos and edit word documents only need around two or four gigs of storage space to successfully back up their entire systems, but what about the folks who edit music or video, or who decide to digitize their entire music collection? With limited backup many users have to choose which files they are going to back up, which in turn makes the process of backing up online more cumbersome, robbing online backup of one of its essential elements, convenience.
No doubt about it, unlimited storage is a great selling point for backing up your data online, and online backup companies all have a huge potential market that has yet to truly be tapped. While backing up in the cloud has certainly gained in popularity, only one percent of computers are currently backed up online. But, if these companies are going to continue to offer unlimited storage capacities to customers they are going to have to heed what happened to the largest vendor and provide it in the right way. Offering unlimited online backup at too low a price can obviously create a scenario where people will abuse the system, so pricing structures have to be tiered to correctly reflect the amount it costs the company to store these larger quantities of data.
Leave a ReplyWant to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!