CIO Review >> Magazine >> April - 2012 issue

Cloud Storage Adoption Will Transform the Storage Industry Landscape


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Scott Genereux Nirvanix is the provider of enterprise-class cloud storage services. The company has raised a total of $45 million funding from Mission Ventures, Valhalla Partners, Windward Ventures, Intel Capital , and European Founders Fund.

A key trend we see in the industry is the shift to on-demand, usage-based virtual clouds and away from owning and managing storage systems, as customers try to cope with exponential data growth. Current forecasts are for nearly 8,000 exabytes of digital data to be created by 2015, growing to 35,000 exabytes in 2020— and 90 percent of that is unstructured files. With the increasing importance to businesses across all industries of these large unstructured content files, they need to be continually accessible across the globe and protected through replication in multiple geo-dispersed locations. Big data fundamentally needs to be stored in the cloud and that’s where Nirvanix cloud storage services come in. Companies are realizing that they can no longer be constrained to the confines of a physical storage system or a single data center which can be destroyed during a disaster and recompiling a disaster recovery copy is time consuming—and it only gets worse if the data is stored on tape. With the Nirvanix cloud, companies get continuous data access through multiple live replicas spread across a global grid, enabling data sharing, workflow and content collaboration while maintaining data consistency—new capabilities that simply can’t be performed with yesterday’s storage technology.

With the marketplace success of Nirvanix enterprise-class cloud storage services, as evidenced by multi-petabyte deployments at Fortune 500 customers, the disruptive power of the cloud will move into even higher gear over the next few years. Cloud storage adoption will transform the storage industry landscape by accelerating the demise of several conventional hardware vendors. In the short term they will start losing revenue and margins as they attempt to counter the consumption-based pricing model of cloud storage by lowering prices and becoming a shadow of their former selves trying to survive on sales of tier one storage only. IBM saw the changes in the storage landscape and the increasing customer demand for storage-as-a-service and recently signed a five-year OEM pact with Nirvanix to resell our cloud storage as part of its SmartCloud Enterprise Services. In the longer term, cloud storage will become a transparent part of customers’ IT infrastructure and business processes, just as it is already a feature of many consumer products—such as iCloud from Apple or Nirvanix in select ultrabooks. In sum, Nirvanix is at the forefront of a once in a generation paradigm shift. Leaders in the previous storage paradigm will not be leaders in the cloud paradigm.

I believe that entrepreneurs need to focus on finding actual solutions to existing and near-term problems. That’s where the market exists for them to prove and sell their initial concepts. Entrepreneurs always need to think ahead, but if you think too far ahead you may find yourself with a product or service in search of a problem. And at that point you can invest all the money you can find in that offering but if no one is suffering from an actual problem that it’s intended to solve, and then it’s not really a good use of anyone’s time or money.

There is ample VC funding available in the marketplace today so entrepreneurs should take their time to develop a solution that can gain near-term business traction while adding capabilities to solve future challenges.
Customers are looking for game-changing solutions to the problems they face today—if you can meet those requirements they will be eager to listen to your next generation concepts.