Zmanda Open Source: Backup At One-Tenth the Price?
Linux redefined pricing in the operating system market. Now, Zmanda hopes to apply those same open source pricing pressures in the backup market. Zmanda claims that its backup system costs one-fifth to one-tenth as much as alternatives from Symantec and EMC. But is open source backup — at any price — ready for the enterprise?
In many cases, the answer is yes. Zmanda is a long-time MySQL partner — meaning that many MySQL database customers backup their systems using Zmanda. “We are to open source backup like MySQL is to the open source database market,” crows Chander Kant, CEO of Zmanda in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Sounds great, but can Zmanda really displace big-time storage companies like Symantec and EMC? Yes, no and maybe. As more and more companies make the move to Linux, MySQL, SugarCRM and other open source applications, they’ll be inclined to give Zmanda a look.
It will be more difficult, The VAR Guy believes, for Zmanda to displace Symantec and EMC in more traditional closed-source backup settings involving Exchange Server, SQL Server and Oracle. Plus, the company only has about 50 employees — not exactly an army that can trample Symantec and EMC.
However, it’s critical to note: Zmanda does support closed-source applications. And in a tight economy, cost-conscious customers may push back on traditional closed-source backup from big, established software companies. Kant estimates that Zmanda can cost one-fifth to one-tenth the price of traditional EMC and Symantec options.
That’s good news and bad news for VARs. Solutions providers won’t make much initial profit selling low-cost Zmanda software. But solutions providers that focus on selling Zmanda as a managed service can generate recurring managed storage revenue. And here’s an interesting twist: VARs can link Zmanda’s storage software to Amazon.com’s Simple Storage Service (S3). In other words, VARs that don’t have their own network operation center (NOC) can depend on Amazon S3’s cloud.
Sounds pretty neat. But is it? The VAR Guy is all ears.