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Atmos Online Goes Offline

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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Mellor at The Register picked up on the announcement from EMC on June 29th that the Atmos Online service is being withdrawn from production service and will return to a development platform.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.

  1. 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?
  2. 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.

About Chris M Evans

Chris M Evans has worked in the technology industry since 1987, starting as a systems programmer on the IBM mainframe platform, while retaining an interest in storage. After working abroad, he co-founded an Internet-based music distribution company during the .com era, returning to consultancy in the new millennium. In 2009 Chris co-founded Langton Blue Ltd (www.langtonblue.com), a boutique consultancy firm focused on delivering business benefit through efficient technology deployments. Chris writes a popular blog at http://blog.architecting.it, attends many conferences and invitation-only events and can be found providing regular industry contributions through Twitter (@chrismevans) and other social media outlets.
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  • http://storagezilla.typepad.com Storagzilla

    Mozy is located in it’s own data centres. There is no shared infrastructure with Atmos Online nor are their any dependencies.

    Saying Atmos is dying after introducing a new VM based offering to reach further into the market and signing up more partners is a bit sensationalist.

    http://www.emc.com/about/news/press/2010/20100512-02.htm

    Though admittedly not as sensationalist as invoking a man who starved closed to two million of his own people while still exporting grain.

    Not only that eBay CareCore and VistaPrint, real customers with massive storage requirements were on hand at EMC World to discuss how they’re using the platform.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B51x2O2ydNk

    http://searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid201_gci1510970,00.html

    Now, all I have is a product with a brand new offering and customers who’ll go on record saying it’s exceeded their expectations.

    That’s not as fun as the FUD being slung by competitors but it’s 100% more accurate.

  • admin

    Mark

    I don’t doubt that Atmos as a hardware or virtual solution will continue (in fact I need to get a copy of the virtual appliance and try it out). What I was calling out was the demise of Atmos Online; it doesn’t look promising when you’re depending on partners to get this thing going and I can’t sign up on their website or find any basics about it (see the now fixed AT&T link). Amazon are miles ahead here and continuing to innovate with new and extended features that complement the pure storage offering. I can’t see now Atmos Online via partners will catch up.

    Chris

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