This guest post was submitted by Jeremy Snyder, VP Americas for DropMySite. The company develops backup software for hosted websites and email accounts, and has enabled over 100,000 backup accounts worldwide to date via its online service.
Backup is one of those funny things. We all have to do it in some form or another, and historically it’s been a pain. For most hosts, backup is done in a traditional way — with server-side software and/or on-site media (tape, disk, DVDs) — and customer service around retrieving backups is a cost center.
DropMySite / DropMyEmail decided to take a different approach — by combining off-site storage with customer self-service and wrapping it together into a SaaS offering, backup can suddenly become a profit center for your company and be a Value-Added Service (VAS) for your customers.
Is backup a good VAS offering?
With competition in the hosting industry being as fierce as it is, every hosting provider is looking for a way to differentiate. In general, value-added services are a great way to offer a higher level of service to your customers.
In a recently published whitepaper, ActionTec has noted that backup is a strong VAS, and they’ve also drawn the connection that applications and value-added services boost overall average revenue per user (ARPU) for network and Internet service providers. Creating bundles makes it easier for customers to get all the services they need in one simple purchasing decision, and that’s a natural fit for hosting companies that already offer a variety of packages.
How DropMySite and DropMyEmail can help your hosting business
DropMySite and DropMyEmail are the first two products from Singapore-based DropMySite Private Limited (the local equivalent of an LLC). We provide two different types of backups as a service:
But we do backups differently from traditional models. We like to say that we are backup for the Internet age, and that we backup the Internet. Our goal is to make it easy to backup critical, but unaddressed data repositories.
How DMS and DME are different than traditional backups
|Traditional Backups||DMS/DME Internet backups|
|Backup software runs on the server and accesses local disks and file systems||Backup software runs on DMS/DME servers. There is no software to install. Backups access customer data via FTP, sFTP, SSH, IMAP with one-time authentication of customer accounts|
|Backup is written to a local medium (disk, tape, etc)||Backups are written to infinitely scalable Internet-accessible object storage|
|Backups must be rotated to preserved media||Backups are compressed and written to infinitely scalable object storage|
|Backups are not always encrypted||Backups are always encrypted in transit and on disk|
|Backups are a cost that hosting providers must bear||Backups are a value-added service that customers pay for|
|Restoring a backup is a customer support ticket||Customers can self-serve for getting access to backups and restoring files|
|Must pay license fees for backup software||Free to you; your customers pay for their backups. We share revenue.|
|Other costs are incurred for software, media, labor.||Pay only if your customers use it.|
In essence, we shift backups from being something you have to do and costs you money to being something that saves you time and earns you money.
The technology behind DMS/DME
DMS & DME use a blend of open-source and proprietary components. We try to take all of the heavy lifting of running backups away from our hosting partners. You specialize in hosting, we specialize in backups. Here are some technology highlights:
DMS & DME have full APIs around them for account provisioning and management
Our APIs also include the ability to create, access and manage backups
White-label and co-branding integration is possible using our APIs
DMS & DME write to object storage, such as Amazon S3 (default option). However, any API-compatible object storage that supports read/write/update functionality can be integrated. So if you have your own storage solution, we’re happy to work with you to send the backups there.
So, what do you think?
We’re looking for hosting companies interested in learning more about DropMySite, and especially for those who want us to integrate DMS/DME into InterWorx.
What do you think? Let us know what you think in the comments!