Iron Mountain Becomes Third Provider to Exit Public Cloud Storage Market

G00211632

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Summary

Iron Mountain is the third vendor to drop out of the public cloud storage market to concentrate on other technology areas. In 2009, Gartner predicted that less than one-third of cloud investments would reach ROI by 2011.

News Analysis

Event

On 8 April 2011, Iron Mountain confirmed that it is sunsetting its public cloud storage business. The company said that the official end date for the service would be "no sooner than 1H13," but said it stopped accepting any new customers as of 1 April 2011. Iron Mountain says it will continue to offer services to its current cloud storage customers, help them migrate to another provider or return the data.

Virtual File Store customers that stay with Iron Mountain will be transferred to a higher-value offering, File System Archiving (FSA) in 2012. The new offering will be a hybrid that leverages policy-based archiving on site and in the cloud with indexing and classification capabilities.

Archive Service Platform customers have no migration path and are being terminated or moved to an alternative service provider.

Analysis

Iron Mountain's announcement that it will end its two-year run as a public cloud storage service makes it the third public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provider to abandon the market over the past 12 months. The others are:

  • Startup Vaultscape, which launched its service in 2009, closed its doors in 2010.

  • EMC announced Atmos Online in 2009 and took it offline a year later, citing conflicts with service providers that were also potential Atmos customers.

To date, public cloud storage IaaS has had a modest level of adoption. Not incidentally, all three service providers’ go-to-market strategies focused purely on cloud storage unaccompanied by any cloud compute services. Now, only Nirvanix and Zetta remain as pure-play public cloud providers of network attached storage. In 2009 Gartner predicted that less than one-third of cloud investments would reach ROI by 2011 (see "Predicts 2009: Cloud Computing Beckons" ). When announcing Iron Mountain's exit from this market segment, Digital Services Executive Vice President David Jones acknowledged that part of the motivation included profitability pressures.

Iron Mountain announced its Virtual File Store cloud-based file service on 22 February 2009, and later augmented it with the Archive Service Platform, which enabled software vendors to integrate the Iron Mountain API to leverage the company's cloud back end. Given the migration path and new offering that Iron Mountain is extending to Virtual File Store customers that choose to stay with Iron Mountain, these customers will derive significant added value from FSA's ability to search and retrieve data.

Recommendations

Current Iron Mountain cloud storage customers:

  • Accept Iron Mountain’s offer to assist with migrating to alternative providers. No incremental costs should be associated with these services.

  • Negotiate with new cloud storage service providers to waive ingestion charges or negotiate with Iron Mountain to pay them.

  • Investigate the new FSA offering and see if it offers value for your company.

Cloud-based storage service providers exiting this market:

  • To retain existing customers, provide a transfer option that is of equal value or adds more value to the existing offering.

Recommended Reading

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© 2011 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartners research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.

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