In 2002, after selling my first startup, I took some time off to design, build and raise money for a prototype comparable to Dropbox. I called the underlying technology FileSync. I eventually gave up on the project due to lack of funding and embarked on an exciting new career at another early-stage startup before eventually joining the leader in cloud to cloud backup. FileSync recently came back into my mind while I was reflecting on the value of Backupify and our future direction as a company.
FileSync’s pitch was as follows:
- Long-term: network-storage is superior - having centralized data storage is clearly superior to keeping your storage locally where it is in danger, can’t be shared, and is tied inextricably to a device.
- But network-connectivity is lagging - there are too many times when you will not have network access, and it will take years to make network access ubiquitous.
- Therefore, a hybrid system is needed - to give you the advantages of network storage with a “backup system” (your local copy) when needed.
Hybrid systems are a creative way out of today’s problems as we push aggressively into the future. Just look at hybrid cars, for example. Most agree an electric solution is the long-term best answer for fuel efficiency and carbon emissions. However, 14 years later, pure electric cars are only now becoming practical. In the meantime, we’ve enjoyed many of the benefits of electric cars for over a decade and have learned a great deal about the challenges and obstacles facing electric vehicles, accelerating our move to the better future.
In cloud backup, hybrid solutions are a necessary bridge between the present and the future, enabling technology to become useful today. They also help us work out the kinks enabling a purer solution in the future.
Like FileSync, Backupify is built on a hybrid approach:
- Long-term: cloud applications are superior - having third-party, centrally-hosted apps, with multi-device access, collaboration features, automatic updates and no hardware costs is clearly superior to running your own apps locally.
- But you are giving up data control and aggregated data access - having a secure second copy of all your data in one place is a critical business need, for both operations and business risk management. Data behind silos changes the nature of the customer-vendor relationship, unless there is a second copy. Data behind silos forces aggregation to happen with each silo separately and greatly increasing the cost of aggregation.
- Therefore a hybrid system is needed - to give you the advantages of cloud applications without the risks of losing control and aggregation of your data. Backupify was born of this opportunity.
In our history and our future, we have and will continue to consider new ways to mix the state-of-the-art with the state-of-the-future to bring the best solutions to our customers. Where do you see opportunities for hybrid solutions to bridge the present to the future? For those of you who are Backupify customers, what hybrid opportunities do you see for us in servicing your needs. Let us know by commenting on this post.