It is possible to get data protection for your virtual and cloud environments for free today, but there are are often limits. Trialware as it is called provides just enough of a taste for the data protection tool to convince you to buy the versions with more capabilities. However, for the SMB, the free versions may be good enough.
In addition to PaaS there is a class of vendors who provide external services to PaaS through “marketplaces” that the vendor sets up. We refer to these generically as Application Services as a Service (ASaaS). The stakes are potentially huge – the PaaS takes over from the Operating System as the dominant factor in the purchasing decision for server-side technology. We’re not saying it definitely will happen, but it might.
The Freemium sales model is a business model innovation best suited to inexpensive products that are very easily understood (and therefore not very new or very different) and that solve an obvious problem in a manner that is more convenient for the customer to acquire and implement. There are not many new virtualization and cloud technology companies who set out to produce undifferentiated products which suggests that a general application of the Freemium model to startups in our ecosystem is ill advised. Enterprise customers should pay great attention to products that are being marketing in this manner to ensure that they do not end up growing the use of something that was purchased in a tactical manner into a strategic use case.