Bye Bye Vembu. Indian Online Backup Company Leaves Partners Out in the Cold

We are getting a lot of calls from Vembu partners lately. I’m sorry for your trouble. I, like many of you, can’t understand this new direction they’ve taken. It seems like just purely a money grab at the expense of their Partners. It’s short sighted and more than unfair.

Rob Cosgrove

Rob Cosgrove, CEO Remote Backup Systems

Here’s the history.

Vembu is an Indian company based in Chennai. They started their business in 2004 with a peer-to-peer backup system that they cobbled together out of a handful of Open Source and Public Domain (read: “free”) software packages, using PHP and Javascript in an attempt to make them all work together.

After a few years of watching RBS grow with our more powerful Client-Server architecture, Vembu tried to morph their software into something that could compete with us. Unfortunately for them and for their eventual Partners, they built the new product called “Storegrid” on top of their aging and cumbersome morass of PD and Open Source stuff that was already straining under the weight of too many dissimilar and out of date components never envisioned by their developers as being able to work together.

The result was a visually pretty system, sold with a LOT of misleading hype about how powerful it was. About four thousand partners (according to an old Vembu website) drunk the Kool Aid and well, you know the rest. The software eventually collapsed under its own weight and inadequacy to handle changing requirements, and it died, leaving former Partners scrambling to replace it with something that would work.

RBS has worked with several Vembu Partners to put together a special package to which we hope you will be able to move over with a minimum of disruption to your business. There are some differences, of course, but I hope you and your end users will be better served.

We are currently in a rapid development phase to add features that you are used to using in your Vembu software, like HyperV support (we already do VMware.) We currently support full image backups to a local device, maintaining a mountable .VHD file ready to mount and use. We’re adding the ability to maintain full image backups off site.

We want your input. Tell us what you want. Phone us. Give us a chance to show you our solutions, and explain the differences. We’ll tell you why and how we do some things differently from Vembu – why we made the development and business decisions that we did, and how our decisions resulted in BETTER software for you.

Because our software was developed from very different business, architectural and security paradigms, there are obviously some differences between our RBackup and their Storegrid. For example, we fully comply with HIPAA, PCI, SOX, and all other data security and privacy regulations worldwide. Our understanding of these compliance regulations led us to develop our software to be more restrictive in sharing data among accounts.

For example, we do in-application deduplication within accounts, and not globally. It is not possible to remain compliant while applying deduplication on a global level because accounts use different encryption keys and methods. Encrypted data cannot be effectively deduplicated.

As you probably know, the Vembu software installs an Apache web server inside end users’ networks. (We would NEVER EVER do that.) It answers on a commonly known port number, it is an old out of date version missing many important patches, and it has known, serious, security vulnerabilities – several of which are serious enough to trigger recent very public warnings from two security assessment firms.

If you haven’t seen this, here’s one of many links. We think this problem and Vembu’s lack of adequate response has the potential to cause legal and business problems for their (former) Partners, end user managers who made the decision to go with a Vembu product, and for the company itself. We have heard that one of the teams who found these vulnerabilities has threatened to weaponize the exploit and release it publically if Vembu continues to refuse to address their problems.

In another example, our software does not require a “replication server.” Our Client software itself does replication, multi-homing, auto failover and recovery. Each of our Client installations can maintain a local data store as well as TWO remote data stores for highly redundant backups. There is no need to install a “server” on a customers’ site (unless you want to.)

Our Servers can do replication, load balancing, mirroring, failover and recovery.

I’ve been watching Vembu since 2004 when they started. Unfortunately, this current behavior has precedent. It is an acceleration of the same fickle, sporadic company policy that we’ve seen since their start. This policy extends to Development, resulting in a product that might be pretty on the face of it, that makes big promises, but is a total mess inside.

RBS has, for the past 27 years, always honored our commitment to serve our Partners without competing with them, without ever pulling the rug out from under them, creating the software they want from their direct involvement in our development cycle, and maintaining our goal of making YOU successful. I promise we will never engage in the kind of shenanigans you’ve been unfairly subjected to lately.

If we don’t currently have exactly the package you’re looking for, I promise you we are working on it for you. Tell us what you want. Try our Evaluation software for a while. In recent weeks we have doubled our development efforts to help you replace Vembu. Be a part of building your next backup platform. We’d love to have your input.

Rob Cosgrove is President of Remote Backup Systems, developers of the RBackup and Mercury Online Backup software platforms, providing software powering more than 8,500 Service Providers in 65 countries since 1987. He is the founder of the Online Backup industry.

About The Author

Rob Cosgrove /

Rob Cosgrove is President of Remote Backup Systems, developers of the fully brandable RBackup Online Backup software platform, powering more than 9,500 Service Providers, MSPs and VARs wordwide since 1987. He is the founder of the Online Backup industry and author of several books, the most recent, "The Online Backup Guide for Service Providers", available at and bookstores.