There has been a ton of press coverage on the Nirvanix and IBM OEM partnership including an extremely enthusiastic article from Forbes. They kind of imply that IBM’s deal with Nirvanix has driven up their stock to a 52 week high. That is really powerful if that is the case. Each of the myriad of articles pretty much say the same thing: this is a BIG deal.
Here is what the IBM OEM with Nirvanix means in the real world:
– IBM Global Services is a powerhouse and is certainly able to drive some enormous opportunities. It will be interesting to see some big wins based on this relationship. IBM could potentially change the whole cloud storage game based on their execution and go-to-market.
– Perhaps more importantly this relationship validates Nirvanix to large corporations, organizations and government entities that might have otherwise have been interested in the solution but hesitant because of their size.
– Not only does this help to validate Nirvanix but Cloud storage as well! Let’s not forget there is still a great deal of uncertainty out in the market. Again, IBM GSS lessens Cloud FUD a great deal.
– IBM Global Services, a well-respected and extremely successful business most likely did intensive due diligence and this should accelerate the decision-making process for other companies looking at Nirvanix.
– Additionally, it raises Nirvanix above the crowd and gives them visibility to new markets and customers that weren’t paying attention to them before.
The next day after the IBM announcement there was another one with Cerner, the large healthcare services provider. Cerner will provide cloud storage for the healthcare industry. This is also a big deal focusing on a very strong vertical industry with a major player. It perhaps was overshadowed a bit but in many ways is just as important. The amount of unstructured content is massive in the healthcare industry and having a focused partner to drive this market is critical to being a leader.
You can argue all you want with me but Nirvanix really has no viable compeitition. And you really should pay attention to storage companies that provide unique value (e.g. Data Domain, Isilon). Yes, there are “ish” competitors – solutions that sort of appear as competitive products but really aren’t. The cloud services by Amazon, Microsoft and Google are not competitive. Nirvanix is focused on the Enterprise and these other services are essentially focused on individuals and not companies. In other words, a techno-geek will use Amazon S3 for some project or service but an Enterprise-class IT department isn’t going to use it for storing their unstructured data long term. In addition to whatever technology pros and cons with different cloud offerings there is an extremely valuable and essential issue of building relationships with their vendors that is important to the Enterprise. They want people they can work with, negotiate services and terms, that understand issues in the data center, provide personalized service and influence the direction and vision of the solution. You are not going to get that with Amazon, et al
The large storage vendors for all intents and purposes are absent from this market. And I mean all of them – Dell, EMC, HDS, HP, IBM Storage, NetApp and Oracle have nothing really to speak of. Interestingly, one of the next big things in storage is going to be cloud and none of them have anything real and at best something that is some level of being cloud-ish.
Why This Matters
Cloud storage will not replace the data center. However, it is an essential part of the overall services that every IT professional should be considering and planning on going forward. Unstructured data is growing at a far more rapid rate than any other data type and it will continue to do so. And the majority of this data is dormant and is consuming endless amounts of Tier 1 and Tier 2 storage on premises or at some co-location facility. The impact on capital and operational expenditures is extreme and will only get worse over time. The is an unsustainable situation that requires a resolution. Additionally, cloud storage offers a great platform for replicated and backup data as well. Furthermore, there is an opportunity for new businesses to emerge using cloud storage as its basis – this is already happening but we are at the tip of the iceberg. And Nirvanix is the only cloud storage vendor that is building true momentum for this market
Here is a list of all of the articles on the Nirvanix and IBM deal if you want to check them out: