Author(s): Terri McClure

Published: April 25, 2011

Why Nirvanix Has an Edge

I saw a tweet this week from @davidchapa saying "I wonder if the cloud can hold all the blogs written about it this week... ." I am beginning to think we might be stretching the limits! But some have asked lately why I think Nirvanix has legs in light of Iron Mountain folding up its cloud file archive service and the sheer audaciousness they show by going against monsters like Amazon and Microsoft, so I figured I would answer that question here.

It's pretty simple, really. Not many people realize that Nirvanix hedged its cloud service bets by selling its software into private cloud deployments. In fact-they recently signed a good sized deal to provide the storage software infrastructure for an archive service being developed for a specific vertical market (I'd name the vertical but would end up on the NDA tightrope). They beat out some pretty big name cloud software providers in doing so.

We are seeing some very interesting trends anecdotally around cloud storage adoption by vertical-some vertical markets seem to be jumping into the private cloud wholeheartedly (media and entertainment, for example) while others in more regulated verticals are looking at building cloud-like services-oriented architectures inside the four walls of IT (private clouds). So I am bullish on Nirvanix because they have some good traction as a service provider, (see Steve's blog from earlier this year) and are starting to see some good traction as a software provider for private clouds, making Nirvanix the Hannah Montana of the cloud storage space because they get the best of both worlds.

There is yet one more angle that makes me bullish-and that is the service and support side of the coin. We still see service and support as a key reason users choose their primary storage vendor. This slide is from the scale-out storage research we published in December - service and support is clearly the dominant reason users chose their primary scale-out storage vendor.

This trend is pretty consistent across our research. Why should that change in the cloud? It doesn't. And that is where Nirvanix is also offering some differentiation. It offers enterprise-level service and support, not just an e-mail address.

There will undoubtedly still be some shakeout in the cloud storage space-that is a fact of life in a new market cycle and probably one of the safest predictions I can make as an analyst. There will absolutely be outages like the one we saw from Amazon last week. I don't know of any storage technology that has never had an outage, enterprise or entry level, so that's a pretty safe prediction, too. Will Nirvanix survive against deep-pocketed behemoths like Microsoft and Amazon? Only time will tell, but the way it is hedging its bets leveraging service and multiple approaches to the cloud market, it is certainly increasing its chances.

You can read Terri's other blog entries at IT Depends.

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ESG Senior Analyst Terri McClure focuses on network attached storage, file systems, unified storage, cloud storage, and online file sharing and collaboration solutions. Since joining ESG, she has become a much-sought-after analyst in the storage space. Terri brings more than 20 years of data storage industry experience to her role.

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