Chris Mellor at The Register picked up on the announcement from EMC on June 29th that the Atmos Online service is being withdrawn from production service and will return to a development platform. In the future, Atmos Online will only be available from partners, however the other flavours of Atmos (virtual appliance and hardware) will still be available.
There are plenty of rumours circulating on Twitter (mainly from Netapp employees) speculating on the reasons why this move has been made. Alex McDonald takes the route of making a Stalinist comparison which does seem slightly over the top, however his job is to be critical of the competition, so this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. The main thoughts are that either the service wasn’t making money or there was dessention from partners who also provide Atmos and so EMC were forced to pull their own service to placate their partners.
At the end of the day, only EMC know the answer.
Personally, I’m disappointed to see the service go. I did some analysis on the API when it was first released and I could see some benefits over both Nirvanix and Amazon’s cloud storage services.
However some questions still remain unanswered. Hopefully EMC may choose to answer them.
- According to StorageZilla, Mozy is a big Atmos user. Does this mean that Mozy will be pushing all their data to be managed through one of their partners or will they retain their own Atmos infrastructure? If they choose to retain, why would it have been a problem to continue offering Atmos Online if the infrastructure was already there?
- What plans are there for partners to offer Atmos services in all geographical areas? Here’s a link to the woefully poor AT&T Storage as a Service offering. It gives no real detail on what the service is, how to use it, where it is available and so on. Compare and contrast to Amazon AWS, where I can get full details, documentation and sign up immediately with an Amazon account and a credit card.
I’m not sure relying on partners like AT&T is the best move in the world. Amazon (and Nirvanix) features and functionality far exceed the Atmos offering. For once, EMC isn’t the lead player. They are going to have to work hard to keep up and the move away from offering the Atmos service directly doesn’t allow them to retain control and only looks like a backward move. I think this means we may be seeing Atmos’ slow death, despite EMC’s protestations otherwise.