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Gloves come off in the storage cloud

HP Upline crashed this week, just a few days after it was launched. As Chris Rock once said, “Grand opening, Grand closing.”

The crash of such a brand-new service isn’t as impactful on end users as a crash with a more established player, but it’s still got to hurt for HP, especially given the importance for storage vendors of establishing competitive offerings in cloud computing and SaaS sooner rather than later.  

According to Sheila Watkins, spokeswoman for HP’s Personal Systems Group, “HP chose to temporarily suspend the Upline service to investigate what we believe is an isolated technical issue.” She said HP expects Upline will be available again by the end of the week.

EMC, which has made cloud computing a top priority, went on the offensive with this right away. “HP Upline continues the long tradition of screwing HP customers,” trumpeted EMC employee Storagezilla, who revealed he’s not only a critic of HP, he’s also (technically) one of those customers. Part of his post also includes a copy of the letter HP sent to its customers apologizing for the crash and promising refunds. No way obtaining such a letter was what he was hoping for when signing up for the account…

Meanwhile, type in the words ‘HP Upline’ in Google, and you might see a tasteful advisory from EMC’s Mozy, asking: “Shafted by Upline?”

Carbonite has Upline-ified its own search engine marketing with a similar, if less bluntly worded, ad.

Elsewhere, hosted storage service provider Nirvanix has mounted its strongest attack on rival Amazon S3 yet, offering a 30-day “fee holiday” for all uploads from any source to a new account on its Storage Delivery Network (SDN). If the free 30 days arent’ enough, Nirvanix, which uses a Web content-delivery infrastructure to speed storage transfers over the wire, also unveiled an “Amazon S3 Migration Tool,” specifically meant to get users off S3 and onto the Nirvanix service.

“I say always pick on the biggest guy,” Nirvanix chief marketing officer Johnathan Buckley said. “”If we can show we’re 300 to 400 times as fast as Amazon, why can’t we steal those customers?”

Especially interesting, in light of all this catfighting, is something Storagezilla also pointed out:

Wired wrote a puff piece on Amazon Web Services, the story of which I’ve heard at every web get together from where I’m sitting now, around the world and back again. But what’s interesting is that AWS’s total revenue for 2007 was $100M.

Lets face it $100M in anyone’s language is good money but when you consider that Amazon is the undisputed leader in that space that’s a piddling amount of revenue and a clear sign that this market hasn’t even started moving yet.

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Hi Beth, Zilla-man is a truly funny guy and one of my fave bloggers. Thanks for the post. I find the whole cloud storage thing to be real interesting. It attracts zealots to be sure (unlike iSCSI! :)) who pretty much give me the "Farley is a dinosaur who is overly concerned with uptime" spiel when I pour my small bits of sand on it. I'm just not seeing the reliability that most people I know think about as priority #1.
So, how has Upline been doing since it came back online?