RE: Carbonite

Well, let’s review. You have
already stated that Carbonite cannot currently meet my needs so it’s out
of the running. That makes you simply an expert in the field, doesn’t it?

 

Oh yes, I do blog. That’s just
another reason why I say what I mean and mean what I say. I am quite real, with
quite real requirements. So far, only Mozy seems to get close to them, but you
know the market far better than I ever will.

 

Right now, I’m trying
Mozy. But, time will tell.

 

From: David Friend
[mailto:DFriend@carbonite.com]
Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 19:59
To: royall@conchbbs.com
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

You’ll have to tell
me!  I can see it on the blogs now: “Carbonite CEO recommends
competitor’s product.” 
J

 

David Friend | Chairman
& CEO

Carbonite, Inc. |177 Huntington Ave., 15thFloor | Boston, MA |
02115

Office: 617-587-1110 | Fax: 617-587-1101
www.carbonite.com
 
Backup.  Simple.

 

From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall@conchbbs.com]
Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 3:54 PM
To: David Friend
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

So, now
that you really know my usage model, which of your competitors would you
recommend? (Hey, I can’t imagine a more honest observer under the
circumstances.)

 

From: David Friend [mailto:DFriend@carbonite.com]

Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 14:45
To: royall@conchbbs.com
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

Good
points, and thanks again for your thinking on this complicated issue. 

 

Dave

 

David Friend | Chairman & CEO
Carbonite, Inc. |177 Huntington Ave., 15thFloor | Boston, MA |
02115

Office: 617-587-1110 | Fax: 617-587-1101
www.carbonite.com
 
Backup.  Simple.

 

From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall@conchbbs.com]
Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 3:43 PM
To: David Friend
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

I am
struck how our two topics of conversation are converging. You don’t like
caps, but that is really what cellular carriers do in practice. The paragraph
you cite indicates that AT&T will simply give you a surcharge if you exceed
the cap, but that’s not what happens. In practice, if you exceed your
limit more than once or twice, your contract is terminated with cause. If you
don’t believe me, please listen to past podcasts of Mobile Tech Roundup.
The explanation the carriers give is that these data hogs are abusing and
overtaxing the networks. That should seem very familiar to you!

 

You
don’t like caps, but I think the current Carbonite plan is crying out to
be gamed. As I’ve said, l could easily game Carbonite by writing a script
to copy my 115GB Music folder to the internal drive in, say, 50GB chunks. As
long as the client sees the files in each chunk within every 60 days, your
server would obediently maintain a virtual archive. Of course you know what I
mean, but we would both rather see a business model where laptop users can back
up what they need to without breaking you. I think that means tiering, like it
or not.

 

From: David Friend [mailto:DFriend@carbonite.com]

Sent: Monday, October 05, 2009 09:48
To: royall@conchbbs.com
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

Scott:
I’m really glad you turned me on to the AT&T pricing, because their
wording is actually very interesting.  They are not saying that they will
shut you off if you hit 5GB, but it gives them the right to impose additional
charges (unspecified) provided that they also give you time to leave
first.   I don’t like the idea of a hard cap because your
backup just stops working, and that’s a poor user experience.  
What I would like to do is find a way to gently limit our exposure to people
who are using far more than 150GB.   These serious abusers are very
small in number but are huge money losers for us. 

 

Thanks
for bringing this to my attention. 

 

If you are on a data plan that does not include a monthly MB/GB
allowance and additional data usage rates, you agree that AT&T has the
right to impose additional charges if you use more than 5 GB in a month;
provided that, prior to the imposition of any additional charges, AT&T shall
provide you with notice and you shall have the right to terminate your
Service.“

 

David Friend | Chairman & CEO
Carbonite, Inc. | 177 Huntington Ave., 15th Floor | Boston, MA |
02115

Office: 617-587-1110 | Fax: 617-587-1101
www.carbonite.com
 

 

From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall@conchbbs.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 04, 2009 6:47 PM
To: David Friend
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

I
started to say AT&T is notorious, but the truth is that all US carriers are
equally bad. In fact, Verizon recently had to stop saying
“unlimited” to avoid legal Hell. I was fortunate enough to have a
Verizon manager appeal to Corporate to double my limit to 10 GB for medical
reasons (which they no longer do).

 

I have
already described my own mode of how I might use Carbonite. If we expand my
model to talk about laptop users in general, it is easy to say they don’t
use external drives. But wait, isn’t that an iPhone you have? If you
connect an iPhone to a Windows machine, it is an external drive. A external
drive with a lot of valuable data, and iTunes only backs up what they sell you.
If you have a digital camera (I have two), those pictures really can’t
live inside your laptop. A laptop is a lot like a city’s downtown, it is
a nexus of activity. However, there isn’t room for much of the data it
uses to actually live there! As a result, a laptop becomes a city where the
suburbs come and go as needed. Maybe one model is to figure out a way to
protect those “suburbs.” You mentioned that you break even at 150GB
for $5/mo., and perhaps that should be telling you something. Maybe you
should/could sell Carbonite optionally in 150GB chunks. This isn’t
necessarily tiering, because you’re focusing on EXTERNAL drives. Your
current product covers the internal drives so what I just came up with would be
a bolt-on. Indeed, it could be a product users could buy multiples of, much
like tiers.


 Cabonite made this week’s episode of Security Now. Check it out.

From: David Friend [mailto:DFriend@carbonite.com]

Sent: Saturday, October 03, 2009 10:18
To: royall@conchbbs.com
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

Hmmm. 
I did not know that.  I will look at my AT&T contract.  I’m
sure I did my initial backup of about 50GB at my desk, so that would have gone
over wi-fi.  But most of the time now I’m on AT&T, but the
incremental backups daily are pretty minor. 

 

I
think what we may need is something in that $100/yr range, as you suggest
Scott.  It probably should be capped at some number, but have no restrictions
in terms of the drives that would be backed up.   The new product I
alluded to, Carbonite Pro, will be coming out in Nov but it is really aimed at
businesses, not individuals, so I don’t think it would be a good fit for
you.   It seems to me that we need both an entry-level consumer
product and one that is a step up for users who need more speed, support for
external drives,  and perhaps a premium level of customer support. 
I’d be interested in what you think would make sense. 


Dave

 

David Friend | Chairman & CEO
Carbonite, Inc. |177 Huntington Ave., 15thFloor | Boston, MA |
02115

Office: 617-587-1110 | Fax: 617-587-1101
www.carbonite.com
 
Backup.  Simple.

 

From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall@conchbbs.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 03, 2009 10:26 AM
To: David Friend
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

None
of the carriers are truly “unlimited.” Read your fine print and
you’ll find a 5 GB cap.  

 

From: David Friend [mailto:DFriend@carbonite.com]

Sent: Saturday, October 03, 2009 08:52
To: royall@conchbbs.com
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

Scott: 
Interesting suggestion, but not sure what’s so bad about backing up on
EVDO?  I have AT&T for my laptop and back up stuff on the network all
the time without any difficulty.   Is your data service
metered?  Mine is unlimited, so there’s no cost.  And since
Carbonite basically sleeps when I’m typing on my laptop, it doesn’t
interfere with browsing speed. 

 

Dave

 

David Friend | Chairman & CEO
Carbonite, Inc. |177 Huntington Ave., 15thFloor | Boston, MA |
02115

Office: 617-587-1110 | Fax: 617-587-1101
www.carbonite.com
 
Backup.  Simple.

 

From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall@conchbbs.com]
Sent: Friday, October 02, 2009 3:16 PM
To: David Friend
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

David,

 

I
suppose everyone has their own definition of what’s
“economical.” I’m on very limited funds, and even I think
your $50/yr. subscription price is obscenely low. I understand that
you’re trying to attract customers, but there’s a price-point where
you start attracting people who are unlikely to stay for a variety of reasons.
I think you’re well below that. I would support both $100/yr. for 300 GB,
and then additional tiers.

 

If I
may switch topics slightly, there are some changes to your client that would
really help laptop users. Most important would be the awareness of the type of
internet connection. I’m typing this email on the road to a meeting, and
I darn sure wouldn’t like Carbonite backing up stuff on EVDO unless I explicitly
order it to. True, Carbonite can be disabled, but it’s actually designed
to be forgotten.

 

Meanwhile,
I really need to back up that USB drive. Can you offer any ETA on your new
product?

 

Scott

 

From: David Friend [mailto:DFriend@carbonite.com]

Sent: Friday, October 02, 2009 06:00
To: royall@conchbbs.com
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

Scott:
 The policy is 60 days.   If you delete a file on your PC, we
delete it 60 days later.  That gives you plenty of time to change your
mind or download the file to another PC using Remote File Access.  If your
whole computer is disconnected from Carbonite, i.e., there is no explicit
Windows file deletion, we store the files for as long as your subscription
lasts. 

 

You’re
correct that we should be moving to an archival model, and that is indeed on
the roadmap.   However, it just doesn’t work economically with
an “unlimited” pricing plan.  Just like any all-you-can-eat
plan, your economics are based on averages – you’re always going to
lose money on a small percentage of users.  In the case of archiving,
large users would so skew the formula that everyone would have to be charged
substantially more money, and we would no longer be competitive with vendors
who offer tiered pricing.  All the giant users would migrate to us, and
the bulk of the average users would migrate to a competitor. 


Dave

 

David Friend | Chairman & CEO
Carbonite, Inc. |177 Huntington Ave., 15thFloor | Boston, MA |
02115

Office: 617-587-1110 | Fax: 617-587-1101
www.carbonite.com
 
Backup.  Simple.

 

From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall@conchbbs.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2009 11:48 PM
To: David Friend; leo@leoville.com
Subject: RE: Carbonite

 

David,

 

I am
amused to think of Leo paying for the terabytes he backs up! However, your
response raises a very interesting and important issue. You say that
you’re currently only in the “back up” business, meaning that
Carbonite mirrors protected files on internal permanent drives. Very well, but
what happens when a file is deleted locally? How long does it take for your
client to report the deletion, and then, for your servers to delete the backup?
The various comments from Leo in his multitude of podcasts suggest that he uses
Carbonite as short-term archiving. Indeed, the distinction between a
“back up” and an archive is fuzzy and entirely dependent on the
answers to the above questions.

 

In
essence, I’m suggesting that those questions have to be answered the same
way regardless of a file’s location. After all, Windows doesn’t
care where your Documents folder is, so why should Carbonite? Your concerns are
valid, but they are equally valid for internal drives. If you have folder X on
an internal drive, you can swap files into and out of it. Of course, Carbonite
will eventually delete files that aren’t in X presently so why should a
USB drive be any different? A drive really is just a folder on steroids.

 

In my
case, 250 GB would be plenty. Even 150 GB would be enough, if I can pick the
files. But, why should anyone tell me what I can safe-guard? I suppose
that’s an argument for tiering. You see, once you get past exceptions
like Leo who are drowning in bandwidth, you see a much drier landscape. We have
bandwidth, but nowhere near what the San Francisco and New York pundits assume
is the norm. Those people who think it’s time for IPTV are in for a wait.
Most of America is a good piece below the cloud so ubiquitous real-time
cloud-based services are a pipe-dream for us (literally), and will be for the
near future. If Carbonite wishes to be relevant in more than a few places, I
think you must shift to an archival model because average users simply
don’t have the bandwidth to make “cloud” back ups worthwhile.
Restoring any large amount of data would be painful.

 

Scott

 

From: David Friend [mailto:DFriend@carbonite.com]

Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2009 15:38
To: leo@leoville.com; royall@conchbbs.com
Subject: Carbonite

 

Hi, guys. 
 There’s a technical issue and a commercial issue.  Leo is
exactly right about the $5/mo.   We already lose money on a small
percentage of our users, and that’s the price we pay in order to make it
really easy for everyone.  However, we don’t want to make the
economics any worse than necessary or we’d have to raise prices for
everyone.  A small number of users already use a highly disproportionate
amount of our storage.   The alternative would be to charge by the
gigabyte like most of our competitors do, or simply shut off your backup
without notice if you get too big, as one of our “unlimited” competitors
does.  There’s no free lunch, and none of us can afford to back up
more than about 150GBs without losing money at $5/mo.   In a few
months we will have a new product on the market that will backup USB external
drives, NAS, and any other lettered drives.  But pricing will be tiered by
the GB, not unlimited.  I’m sure people will buy one license and
back up all their PCs, and that’s fine. 

 

Regarding USB drives, here’s
why we don’t back them up today:  What should we do when the drive
is unplugged?  Do we assume that the data is deleted and so delete the
backup?  If not, then we are essentially archiving the data, not backing
it up.  If we don’t delete data when you unplug the drive, someone
could fill up an external drive, load it up to Carbonite, erase the drive and
fill it up with other data, and repeat.   This is not what
we’re getting paid to do and it wouldn’t make any economic sense at
all.   If we’re charging you by the GB, then of course
we’re happy to archive as well as back up. 

 

Hope that answers the
question.  

 

Dave

 

David Friend |
Chairman & CEO

Carbonite,
Inc. | 177 Huntington Ave., 15th Floor | Boston, MA | 02115

Office:
617-587-1110 | Fax: 617-587-1101

www.carbonite.com  

 

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