EMC is set to release a hosted backup and recovery service. The new offering will use technology from the company's acquisition of Berkeley Data Systems.

The new MozyEnterprise software-as-a-service product is the first offering in EMC's new Fortress line. MozyEnterprise will provide subscription-based online backup and recovery services for remote PCs and Windows Servers, EMC said.

Roy Sanford, vice president for EMC's new SaaS business unit, noted that files stored in the hosted system will be encrypted before they are stored on EMS host servers.

The MozyEnterprise for PC and laptop devices is priced at $5.25 (£2.70) a month plus 70 cents (36p) a month per gigabyte stored. For servers, the monthly price jumps to $9.25 (£4.70) plus $2.35 (£1.20) per gigabyte stored, noted Sanford.

The MozyEnterprise service combines three Mozy online backup products - MozyHome, MozyPro and MozyEnterprise - that EMC gained with its acquisition of Berkeley.

Currently, EMC is managing 5 petabytes of Mozy storage for more than 500,000 devices.

The new SaaS application will be hosted by EMC and sold by the company along with resellers like Verizon Business and Broadview Networks.

Since the acquisition, several features have been added to the acquired Mozy technology, Sanford said. Those include RSA Security authentication, authorisation and key-management capabilities, and a physical data-seeding option that saves users time and bandwidth by storing the information on a hard drive that's uploaded directly by EMC onto its hosted systems. In addition, he said, the support operation has been beefed up.

According to IDC, the case for online backup is becoming stronger for companies of all sizes. The research firm predicts that sales of hosted backup storage services will reach $715 million in 2011, up from $235 million in 2007.

The Mozy client software can be auto-installed on each device under administrator control, EMC said. Data backups sent to EMC servers can be managed via a web-based console over Internet Explorer. Restore options for recovering data include online, client-based, DVD, hard drive and virtual drive, said Sanford.

Sanford refused to elaborate on future SaaS offerings from Fortress. However, he did say that over time, EMC will entertain the idea of connecting third-party applications to its fledgling Fortress platform. Sanford said that at least in the near term, EMC does not envisage Fortress competing against Amazon.com's Simple Storage Service hosted product, which is used by service providers to offer backup and other types of online services.

"We do not see ourselves in what we're announcing as an S3 competitor," he said. "[But] in the long-term scope, we never say never."