Often industry analysts provide sound, guarded advice about what the best strategy for an enterprise IT shop is: ‘Here are your options, and these are the pros and cons.’
Perhaps highlighting the importance of the situation, Gartner cloud research Kyle Hilgendorf had much more pointed advice for customers of Nirvanix, which – according to media reports – is shutting down and has advised clients that they have two weeks to vacate data from its cloud: Panic!
[READ MORE ABOUT NIRVANIX SHUTTING DOWN: Reports: Nirvanix is going down]
“What are clients do to? For most – react…and react in panic. You have 2 weeks. Go!” Hilgendorf wrote in his blog at Gartner. “You don’t have time to worry about how much data you have stored there. You don’t have time to upgrade network connections or bandwidth. You don’t have time to order large drives or arrays to ship to the provider to get your data back. You may not even get any support from the provider! You may be facing the worst company fear – losing actual data.”
Nirvanix was not a big public cloud storage player, but they did have some big-name customers, which raises the question of what the lessons learned will be if Nirvanix does shutter. Hilgendorf says the lesson is to plan for an exit strategy when putting data in the cloud. That’s reasonable.
Fellow Gartner analyst Lydia Leong put it another way:
The lesson learned from @Nirvanix may be "never trust a small company for cloud storage, even through a big-name reseller".
— Lydia Leong (@cloudpundit) September 17, 2013
So what will the impact be on the broader cloud market? Forrester analyst Henry Baltzar, who I spoke with yesterday on the topic, says customers of Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Rackspace shouldn’t worry: Those companies aren’t shutting their clouds down any time soon. Also a good point.
451 Group researcher Carl Brooks feels similarly: Any customers who were all in on Nirvanix’s cloud had a bad architecture to begin with. The bigger impact, he says, will be with Nirvanix’s broad channel and reseller market. These vendors are the ones who will likely take the most blame for the shutdown. But, Nirvanix had some problems – executive shakeups, a limited product offering, as Baltazar notes – so if a free market economy is survival of the fittest, then perhaps this was meant to be. “It may be a severe blow to innovation; it may only be an unhappy correction,” Brooks says. “Time will tell.”