Q: Are there drawbacks to online backup?
There certainly are drawbacks, but those also present some service opportunities. The first is that anytime that you are backing up large amounts of data over the Web, it's going to take a significant amount of time. Those very first online backups that are done could take months to move across the wire. That presents an opportunity for a lot of these companies to provide a rapid-start service, where they can go in with an appliance, back everything up for that initial first full backup, and then go back to their facilities, load it up, and from that point on, the backups are just doing incremental backups.
On the other end of that restore, in the event of a disaster or an outage, service providers can provide the ability to rapidly restore all of that data. Obviously it's not going to be time-efficient to be able to do that over the Internet, so there's an opportunity for those providers to have a rapid-restore service, where all their data is loaded onto an appliance at that remote site, shipped to the customer site locally, and then restored from there.
Online backup also provides an opportunity for service providers, if they want to, to provide those recovery locations if necessary. If they've got the available space, and those smaller SMBs and SMEs don't have a recovery center or a secondary data center, it provides an opportunity for those service providers to say, "We've got some extra space, we can allow you to recover from our data center and provide you with some people space."