HP has taken the wraps off a new online storage service for consumers and small offices, called HP Upline. The service has three levels: Home and Home Office, Family Account and Professional Account. Home accounts include one license, unlimited storage, online backup and basic support for $59 per year; a family account adds 3 licenses and a management dashboard for $149 per year; and a professional account gets 3 licenses, expandable to 100, as well as priority support.
The product is limited to PCs and doesn’t include some of the more advanced features being offered by online storage services such as file versioning. However, it does offer users the ability to tag content for later search and share, and to publish files online using the service through a feature called the Upline Library.
Like most online storage offerings to date, this offering is small in scale and limited in its features when compared with on-premise products. Most analysts and vendors say online storage will be limited by bandwidth constraints and security concerns to the low end of the market, with most services on the market looking a lot like HP Upline. Symantec has focused its backup software as a service (SaaS) within its Windows-centric Backup Exec product, traditionally sold into smaller shops; EMC’s Mozy Enterprise service, despite the name, is at this point recommended only for workstation-level backup. However, a “hybrid” approach for larger shops is now being proposed by EMC.