The concept behind cloud storage (like many cloud type things these days) is simple. Why pay big bucks out on expensive to buy and expensive to run storage tin when you can take your storage as a managed service delivered over the WAN and paid for on a per GB basis?
Everybody has been getting in on the band wagon. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Rackspace and so on.
Now the downside to the industry is that companies who buy cloud storage are going to be spending much less with the traditional storage vendors such as HDS, EMC and NetApps. So the traditional storage vendors are doing one of two things. There are those who are taking the FUD route. Warning you that your data in the cloud may not be secure. What if your data connections go down? What SLA can the cloud supplier really offer? What if the cloud supplier goes out of business? You get the idea.
But the cloud storage vendors are quick to point out that they offer comprehensive SLAs and that they are big and stable companies and the risk of them going bust is small.
EMC is one such supplier who has been selling it’s Atmos cloud based storage solution to all who will buy it on the back of the big company credentials and solid SLAs.
So when EMC suddenly decided to pull the plug on Atmos last week, you have to question their motives!
Existing customers will now have to go through the pain of migrating what could be huge volumes of data, off Atmos and onto a new cloud storage platform. In some cases a company may even be forced to invest in a new SAN (and I am sure the EMC rep will be along very soon to help them do this) as they will have lost all trust in cloud storage from any vendor.
But if EMC can do this, what is to stop Microsoft or Rackspace or one of any number of small providers doing the same?
So any organisation looking at cloud based storage will now no doubt stop and rethink this decision. Is the risk just too high?
In some cases the answer will be yes and they will invest in traditional onsite SANs just like they always did.
In any case, EMC has now successfully cast a level of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) into the cloud storage market place which is going to impact take up of these services and drive the sales of onsite SANs back up again. The cynic in me has to question if Atmos has all been one big campaign to damage the cloud based storage market in the first place. After all, one of the main companies to gain from this would be EMC themselves and that just feels wrong.