Digital Lifeboat: Data Backup without the Data Centers

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somewhere else on the network. You’re actually not even required to function as a storage node—you just have to give Digital Lifeboat the option. If a user has an old machine that is getting stuffed with files, the Digital Lifeboat software will just use other parts of the network.

“In aggregate, the average PC brings way more resources to the cloud than they consume,” Teglovic says.

Other companies have tried something similar, Teglovic says, but require more action from the users—they have to opt in with more contributions to the system in order to get more storage, and do too much junior system administrator work.

“We’re betting the company that the amount of free space in the cloud will always be adequate. And no one else has ever made that bet or built … the system to make all of the technology behind that opaque to the user,” he says.

In the year or so that it was in beta mode, Teglovic says, Digital Lifeboat has added more than 5,000 users and is managing more than 3 petabytes of hard drive storage (a petabyte is 1 million gigabytes). “That is a hell of a lot of space,” he says.

Digital Lifeboat is betting that its prices, starting at $30 a year, will be much more attractive to consumers than some options they are more familiar with. Carbonite’s unlimited backup starts at $60 per computer per year, and Mozy’s is about $72 for 50 gigabytes, which is billed as one computer’s worth of space. Digital Lifeboat can price lower because it’s operating a storage business on software’s much higher margins, Teglovic says.

The company’s other founder is Steve Hull, who serves as Digital Lifeboat’s technology chief. Hull and Teglovic have worked together before, when Teglovic was CEO and Hull the vice president of engineering at iShip, a shipping software company. iShip was purchased by for more than $200 million in stock in 1999, and then sold to UPS in 2001.

Teglovic says the peer-to-peer idea behind Digital Lifeboat is gaining steam in the broader technology marketplace, with examples like video-calling service Skype and social music upstart Spotify using connections between users to deliver their products.

“It’s a quietly developing paradigm,” Teglovic says. “If you look at all the computers in the country, that’s a lot of computing power. And the question has always been, what can you use it for?” Back at that office between the trailer park and the cemetery, they think they’ve found a pretty good answer.

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8 responses to “Digital Lifeboat: Data Backup without the Data Centers”

  1. Alexis Elizabeth Drob says:

    Digital lifeboat should be ashamed of itself for what it did to it’s users. They left us high and dry. They lied to us and now we have to scramble to find new backup services!!! Shame on you liars!!!

  2. P Blodgett says:

    I help Digital Lifeboat when it was in Beta and they told me that all Beta user’s would get “life time Storage”. Why did this company lie to us and how can they get away with this untruth? I have a folder on my hard drive of a backuo my computer that Digital Lifeboat made when this company was in Beta. Any body that see this don’t trust this company ,they are “CROOKS” looks like they did this to many Beta helpers. Please email me any one that falls in this SCAM

    • InventingJoy says:

      Pls describe your experience. Did you join? Did they fail to back up? On what basis are you calling them crooks & scammers? I’m using the service & your information is important to me.

  3. P Blodgett says:

    During theirBeta phase, Digital Lifeboat
    is free to backup and free to restore.
    Any customer account created during
    the Beta phase with service installed and
    active will be FREE FOR LIFE.
    The above statement was “DIGITAL LIFEBOAT” promise to us beta users.

  4. InventingJoy says:

    I, also did the beta. I was promised the same thing & have been using it for several years, I think . I’ve never received a bill. I had to restore one time & it worked great. I’m still using it but fortunately haven’t had to restore. So I hear on these rumors but I don’t really know if its still working bcs I haven’t had to restore. Could someone pls enlighten me? I like the real time back up. My only critism is it only backs up data but not the programs. But I couldn’t find any other service that backs up programs either. that’s a pain when you need to restore, especially if you no longer have your original programs. Also, I can’t find an email for contact. Pls email me