September 19th, 2013 by Brian Beeler
Nirvanix Suggests Users Move Their Data to Another Cloud, Shutdown Imminent
While not official yet, word is that Nirvanix has run out of operating capital and will have to shut down at the end of the month if no new financing is secured. Even if they do find a financial lifeline, the damage to their brand at this point may be irreparable and if the business were worth much, they would have surely found a buyer looking to increase footprint and/or customer count. Either way, Nirvanix is telling customers to move their data before the month is out or risk losing it.
When enterprises adopt a public could strategy, one of the core tenets is the assumption that the cloud is pervasive, always there. Of course we all know that to be untrue, outages abound, none more public than when Amazon suffers periodic and usually brief issues. While Nirvanix certainly isn’t at the scale of Azure, Amazon or the other big brands, they did find traction in many places, often being integrated into service offerings from the likes of Symantec, HP, Dell, TwinStrata, Riverbed and many others.
What to do?
Enterprises using Nirvanix should have already begun the migration process to another provider. Of all the Nirvanix partners, most are paired up with multiple cloud services, so they’ll likely be supporting their customers as they scamper to find another more reliable solution. The obvious problem however, is that depending on how much data a company has with Nirvanix, the transfer out may not be complete within the end of month window. National Geographic for instance was a one-time touted customer of Nirvanix. To move terabytes of video and photos is not a rapid process. A quick back of the napkin computation shows that to move even a small data set of 2TB at a speed of 30Mbps would take nearly 7 days. Assuming a larger data set but faster pipe, a 50TB data set with 1Gbps speed would take about 5 days.
Fundamentally nothing changes in the public cloud space, though we do pick up a temporary "err on the side of caution" attitude while we watch this event play out. Nirvanix isn’t inherently evil or bad; it just appears to have not worked out for them. It’s more important that enterprises use this time to re-evaluate their cloud strategy and ensure that processes are in place to be able to fluidly move to another cloud service provider in the even it’s required. It’s also a good time to run failure analysis to make sure that you could survive should data go dark from a single CSP. In this case customers at least got a 2-week warning; next time that may not be the case.