Feeds

HP takes backup service Upline offline

A swift shambolic cloud dive

The essential guide to IT transformation

HP is withdrawing from cloud backup in haste, closing down its HP Upline online backup service for small and medium enterprises.

HP Upline was created by HP after it bought Opelin in November 2007. It was a small company headquartered in San Jose with development labs in India and its CEO was Dave Kleinberg.

The company had launched Titanize, a cloud backup, web file access and synching service for SMEs in the USA. This was the time when online backup services like Mozy were getting a great rep and online backup to the cloud looked a great idea, particularly if you had a good brand image.

The acquisition price wasn't revealed and HP Upline was released in April 2008, and promptly crashed as its infrastructure couldn't withstand the load of users taking advantage of the free trial offer. HP was both right and wrong; brand image was key, but so was a rock-solid infrastructure providing a rock-solid service. There was also the problem that the service was intended for the USA only but its filters did not screen out non-US people.

After that the service continued with a free trial offer and subscription plans available. A year later and online backup and file sharing services have sprouted like rampant weeds; Mozy - bought by EMC, Nirvanix, Microsoft LiveMesh, Yahoo Briefcase - going on March 30th, Carbonite, Humyo, SquirrelSave, Spare Backup, Tilana, DVS, Robobak, ClunkClick, Memopal, Steek, Symantec SwapDrive, ElephantDrive and Jungle Disk.

The miracle is that so few have closed - both failures being big brand jobs. The problems are pretty basic in that a cloud backup service has to have a brand to pull in users and/or a distribution channel using the channel member's brands - the SpareBackup ploy, plus access to a bullet-proof infrastructure.

HP had the brand but, initially at least, not the infrastructure. Now it has taken the decision to get off the SME backup cloud and call it a day. Both HP and Yahoo have probably seen that they will have to spend big bucks to get their respective services to a point where they have sufficient users to pay for the infrastructure, and in this deepening recession the investment gamble could well fail.

Building up a cloud backup infrastructure costs millions and you need massive backing - Mozy has EMC with its cloud aspirations - or good revenue streams through distribution channels like those Carbonite and Spare Backup have. Many of the services above will be renting server and storage capacity from server hosting operations and not building out their own infrastructure. We can expect to see lots of supplier consolidation and exits as this market matures.

HP's exit is a shambles as the Upline website is still offering a free trial service despite an email having been sent to existing users saying the service is closing down on March 31. Existing subscribing Upline users get their money back.

Recession-hit SMEs aren't flocking to the service, so HP, which couldn't immediately comment, is flocking off instead. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.