Vodafone, EMC to offer cloud storage

The operator and EMC's Decho subsidiary have announced a partnership that will see Vodafone offer cloud services for businesses and consumers, starting with PC Backup
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Vodafone is to offer cloud-based backup services using EMC's Mozy facility to small businesses and consumers.

On Tuesday, the Vodafone Group announced a strategic partnership with Decho, a subsidiary created by EMC in 2008 to offer software-as-a-service (SaaS) products such as Mozy. Vodafone and Decho will "develop a range of cloud-based services for both business customers and consumers", the operator said in a statement.

The first of the services to be announced is Vodafone PC Backup, which will let users securely back up data on a computer to a remotely hosted site, then view or share that data through a web browser on other PCs or netbooks.

Business customers will also be able to use a web-based management console to centrally control storage allocations and permissions for multiple users.

"Our customers are often using a range of connected devices each day, with different information and data contained on each one," Vodafone mobile broadband director Huw Medcraft said in a statement.

"Vodafone PC Backup will enable them to centrally store this content, providing users with the added reassurance that as a Vodafone customer their files — be they critical work documents for businesses or family photographs — will be there when they need it and accessible through a variety of devices and across both fixed and mobile networks."

When it launches in the UK sometime over the next year, Vodafone PC Backup will be offered alongside antivirus software as part of the operator's high-end fixed-line or mobile broadband packages, a Vodafone spokesperson told ZDNet UK.

Business customers will be offered tiered packages starting at 10GB of storage, while consumers would get unlimited storage "subject to a fair-use policy, to stop people effectively reselling storage", the spokesperson said. No information was available on what the fair use cap would be, or how much any of the packages would cost.

The cloud service will be secured by 256-bit encryption, and users will be able to choose between a private encryption key and a key supplied by Vodafone. "With a key that's defined by us, if the key is lost, we can restore that information," the company's spokesperson said.

All user data for European countries will be stored in a single datacentre in an as-yet-unspecified EU country. The spokesperson stressed that the datacentre includes "different physical sites" to provide redundancy and failover.

Vodafone's spokesperson declined to provide any details of which types of cloud services Vodafone and Decho are expecting to launch in the future.

Earlier this month, an HP executive told ZDNet UK that all the major European telcos would soon start offering various cloud-based services.

Editorial standards