Let me paint a scenario for you. You’re virtual/cloud computing environment is just plain rocking. This environment is a well-oiled machine capable of handling all your company’s needs, but you still find yourself in need of extra resources at times and make the leap into a hybrid cloud configuration. Everything is going well, really well, actually, and you have moved more and more resources into your hybrid space. Life is good…Up until you receive your two weeks’ notice; now the fun really begins. Not really.
Now, this is not going to be quite the two weeks’ notice you were expecting. Actually, the two weeks’ notice has nothing to do with your job with the company, but rather a two weeks’ notice from your public cloud provider that they are shutting down and the clock is ticking to get your data. Now what will you do?
Seem a little farfetched? I would have thought so too until I heard that this is just what Nirvanix has just gone out and done. According to Steve Ampleford, CEO of the UK-based Nirvanix partner Aorta Cloud, Nirvanix told their employees yesterday that it had “gone to the wall”. The staff was then instructed to start warning customers that the service will be switched off on September 30th.
Steve Ampleform went on to say that the company had lost its latest round of funding from it investors. Add to that the loss of its leaders, as CEO Scott Genereux was snagged by Oracle last year. He was replaced by Debra Charpaty, the former CIO of Zynga. She was the 5th CEO since 2008.
The push to the cloud has been going strong for the last couple of years, but an event like this tends to make people stop and think about what they would do in this position, then a re-evaluate the risks running on the public space. In some cases I would understand if companies were to start reeling in some of their resources and run them back in-house for a while. It seems the business model for cloud providers may be a bit tougher than many people anticipated. Companies like EMC, Iron Mountain, and Megaupload have pretty much completely dropped out of the market and in some cases are also leaving their customers scrambling for their own data.
On the other hand, this has the gives other cloud providers like Amazon, VMware, and Microsoft the opportunity to gain more market share in the space, although they must also overcome the public’s awakening over the PRISM program and these companies’ noted “partnerships”, which bring security and privacy back the forefront. Consider companies the size of National Geographic scrambling to get their data back in less time than it would take for a request for change ticket to get through the change review board and approved. There is a chance that Nirvanix could get another round of funding somewhere and continue on their way to become “the next great startup and real competitive player in the cloud space”, but the damage and second thoughts on the cloud have been put into place.
In closing, this event and the risks it highlights should be a big eye-opener; the public could and should spend quality time re-evaluating how much data companies really need running outside of the comfort and safety of the in-house company data center. It is now less than two weeks and the clock is ticking. What would you do?