The Rise And Fall Of The Zmanda Empire
There are two kinds of online businesses: those that grow to buy other businesses or those that grow in order to be offered as tasty morsels to the first class of businesses. And until somebody buys them out or they become as titanic as Microsoft you cannot know which is which. Zmanda was founded in 2006 and is one of the companies that are a part of the second category. It was a cloud backup software company and it was recently bought by Carbonite, although the terms of the deal are not known. Still by this acquisition Carbonite has not only taken an important step towards showing its market value but has also created admirable conditions for its future development.
Zmanda offered a series of open source cloud backup tools like Amanda and Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL. They had open partnerships with Sun, MySQL and, through their Zmanda Cloud Backup software, with Amazon and Google. Zmanda cloud backup was one of the first software solutions that allowed users to back up their data on the Cloud although they did not provide the storage opportunities themselves. For that they had developed the partnerships with Google Cloud Storage and Amazon S3 service. Their most brilliant feature though was the ability to backup data for Microsoft SQL server, Exchange Server, Oracle, SharePoint, MySQL and PostgresSQL on virtually and platform including Linux and Solaris.
Carbonite, on the other hand, is an online backup service provider that has been able to grow steadily since the company was founded in 2005 despite the fact that they do not provide any free storage opportunity. However they were able to corner the market by being the first company to provide unlimited backup space for a fixed price. Until now they have focused on individual users, home based professionals and small businesses. However in August 2011 they went public raising $62.5 million in its offering and we are just now getting to see how they have started to use that money.
By acquiring Zmanda, Carbonite have taken the first step towards broadening their services. They are planning to use Zmanda’s ability to backup server and databases to expand on the services they are currently able to provide for small and medium businesses. In return, current Zmanda customers are getting access to Carbonite’s Business cloud services.
So is the change in management really that dramatic? Not really! Both companies’ clients are getting an enhanced service than the one they used to and the transition is being done as smoothly as possible. Chander Kant, former CEO of Zmanda, is free to develop a new company or product and now has the financial backup to do that comfortably and Carbonite has grown just that more. And yet the change in management can give pause for reflection about the purpose of most cloud services we are currently using. Zmanda users will certainly feel a change in the way their services are provided and there will be very little they can do about it so the one lesson we can take from this is to always try to partner with the kind of companies that grow into giants and not into food for giants.
By Luchi Gabriel Manescu