Word hit earlier this week that cloud storage provider Nirvanix was shutting its doors, giving customers and partners only two weeks to get their data off its servers. The challenges are at best understated for those with too little time to reclaim their cloud-based data, but the far-reaching effects could have a significant impact on other cloud providers.
Charles King, president and principal analyst at Pund-IT, called it "dreadful news" for Nirvanix's customers, but he noted the event "could also tarnish the reputations and expectations around other small cloud storage players." Considering there are easily more than 100 file sync and share cloud providers, some of which are quite small, that could prove disastrous for some of those businesses.
Could this have a negative impact on the trust of cloud storage solutions—particularly those provided by smaller players and startups? Well, time will tell, won't it? If so, it may be unfair to those left standing, and it could mean businesses increasingly turn to the more well-established file sync and share providers instead of trusting relative newcomers.
Nirvanix competitors are jumping on the shutdown news with their own 2 cents, of course.
For instance, cloud-based data protection solutions provider Quantum Cloud Solutions contacted Talkin' Cloud to note that cloud is important, but so is on-premise data backup.
"The Nirvanix shutdown underscores the importance of retaining a full copy of data on premise. That's why we offer this option in our Q-Cloud data protection service. Having an on-premise copy provides fast restores that, when combined with an offsite copy, gives full protection for any situation," wrote Rob McDonald, director of product marketing at Quantum.
Not exactly an out-of-the-ordinary standpoint—and it's one I've heard from businesspeople who are still a little wary of the cloud. For some reason, there still seems to be a perception that with cloud computing, it's an "all or nothing" endeavor. Those in the industry know that's untrue, of course.
At the same time, others are suggesting the Nirvanix shutdown is evidence that a pure cloud storage play isn't viable.
According to Zetta.net, which is a former cloud storage-only provider that has since expanded, cloud storage has become a commodity. In an email to Talkin' Cloud, the company mentioned the commodity pricing that has become more common through the likes of Amazon (AMZN) Web Services and Google (GOOG).
Zetta.net's leaders believe cloud storage is not longer valuable as a standalone product but instead needs to be integrated as a feature within a larger cloud solution set.
Storage went the way of commodity in the traditional IT space oodles of years ago, so it's really only a matter of time before cloud storage follows a similar route. Is it that time already? Maybe. Then again, maybe this is just an example of a company that failed in its business of choice and came crashing down.