EMC Suddenly Cedes the Clouds

By Nicole Hemsoth

July 4, 2010

There are cool ways to get a certain message across…even when that message is a painful one.

 

 

And you know, there are not-so-cool ways to do the exact same thing. 

Perhaps EMC, who suddenly announced they were not allowing customers to “leverage” their services–and to get out asap–should have instructed their web designers to remove the banner that proclaims in peaceful hues of lime green and turquoise, “Leverage the POWER of the cloud” considering that it is followed by the announcement:

Dear Atmos Online Customers,

We are no longer planning to support production usage of Atmos Online. Going forward, Atmos Online will remain available strictly as a development environment to foster adoption of Atmos technology and Atmos cloud services offered by our continuously expanding range of partners who offer production services”

To summarize the rest: pack up your stuff and go. Because there’s no support for Atmos. We are not providing any SLA or availability guarantees so hurry—migrate anything that matters to one of our partners. Like now. Yes, now.

Oh and…

“You are welcome to continue leveraging Atmos Online for development purposes as needed. These changes also do not affect our commitment to your success”

Well, now that you put it that way, EMC, here just before the fourth of July when your users were all nice and prepared for hot dogs and fireworks and now will instead be engaged in frantic migration attempts with minimal support, that makes it all seem a little better. Really.

Perspective on EMC’s Decision—and the Implications

There is no question that this is fodder for arguments against clouds as reliable and cost-effective paradigm shifts for IT since from here, it certainly looks like there has been no warning. If it was any other company, perhaps one that wasn’t as well known, the fear would be that they would disappear altogether–data in tow.

Info-Tech Research Group put EMC in their ranks of Rising Stars in March because, according to Info-Tech’s Research Analyst Laura Hansen-Kohls, at the time they seemed to have great promise. In an interview on Friday with HPC in the Cloud, Hansen-Kohls stated, “when we spoke with them before they were named a rising star, they were a major storage vendor so they had the market share edge that was on par with someone like Amazon would have, but also, at least when we spoke to them, they seemed to be making a significant investment in the cloud even though it was clear they didn’t have a defined strategy. Still, we felt that once they got the marketing push underway and communicated more clearly they could have competed with Amazon but from what we understand now, the competition with their partners was too direct so they decided to exit.”

While this is a perfectly valid and easy to understand reason for EMC’s sudden decision to pull all support and leave customers hanging without notice, it seems like there has to be something else going on here—what could have caused a company that has spent a significant amount of money and effort getting the word out about Atmos to abandon it in a way that leaves me looking for stronger phrases than “rudely abrupt” if there are any. Some have suggested that the costs suddenly became too heavy to bear all of a sudden and others have contended that agreements with their partners led to an immediate arrangement for them to stop competing or suffer the consequences. No one from EMC has responded to my queries and for those who did receive responses, they don’t go far beyond the cryptic letter on their website.

An Important Reminder

Hansen-Kohls suggests that this news does not bode well for the long-term perception of clouds, especially for smaller enterprises. She stated, “When Amazon got into cloud, for example, they did it because they had all this excess capacity and they could rent it out for a price without any data center or other major capital investment—when you’ve got vendors like EMC, they might not have that capacity just sitting around to sell so it could be that their investment was costing more than they were actually making—this is conjecture—it could be the revenue stream in wasn’t enough to offset the cost.”

In other words, it is critical to evaluate the business model of any cloud vendor before taking the plunge—not just what their existing SLAs seem to represent. If it isn’t clear that they have the resources to begin with and those resources are being culled sustainably, then it is not a good idea. Period.

When I asked Laura Hansen-Kohls whether or not there will likely be other companies with similar offerings jumping ship and taking the customer life rafts with them, she paused for quite some time before responding (although to be fair, I did catch her off guard). She replied, “Most of the other vendors we’ve spoken with GoGrid and Joyent for example, have a clear vision of what they want to achieve and have a plan to get it. Joyent will admit to this readily, but they’ve also suffered from an unclear message. They’re going through a rebranding process and are starting to pick up the pace so I think they’re aware of some of the misconceptions that float around in the cloud and the source of confusion that is caused by the marketing terminology since marketing ran away with the term before the tech was refined. Joyent could have had a similar problem to EMC but they’re picking up fast enough and gaining ground.”

The main message here, to quote Hansen-Kolhls, is that “knowing your risk tolerance when you go into the cloud is critical. If you’re putting data in the cloud you can’t live without, such as in a case like this, you have to know what your risk tolerance is for losing that data for a certain amount of time. If there are compliance restrictions, for instance, they can’t tolerate this at all—this is a real kick in the argument against moving into the cloud. EMC is not making any promises how long they’ll keep the data there.”

Like many others who read the news, which was so thoughtlessly timed with the closing bell on a pre-holiday Friday in the United States, Hansen-Kohl’s response to the customer email cited above was, “ I read it and I was shocked. No SLA, no production–get your data out because there’s no guarantee it will be here. It so sudden—there was no forewarning, thus no giving anyone time to transition—the enterprises who move to the cloud need a contingency plan so they can get their data out when something like this happens.
 

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Researchers Use Supercomputing to Study Links Between Hurricanes and Climate Change

July 19, 2019

As climate change looms, researchers are scrambling to answer the question of how a warming planet will affect the frequency and severity of already-deadly hurricanes. Now, a team of researchers from the University of Il Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

San Diego Supercomputer Center to Welcome ‘Expanse’ Supercomputer in 2020

July 18, 2019

With a $10 million dollar award from the National Science Foundation, San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California San Diego is procuring a new supercomputer, called Expanse, to be deployed next Read more…

By Staff report

Informing Designs of Safer, More Efficient Aircraft with Exascale Computing

July 18, 2019

During the process of designing an aircraft, aeronautical engineers must perform predictive simulations to understand how airflow around the plane impacts flight characteristics. However, modeling the complexities and su Read more…

By Rob Johnson

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Bring the Combined Power of HPC and AI to Your Business Transformation

A growing number of commercial businesses are implementing HPC solutions to derive actionable business insights, to run higher performance applications and to gain a competitive advantage. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Smarter Technology Revs Up Red Bull Racing

In 21st century business, companies that effectively leverage their information resources – thrive. As it turns out, the same is true in Formula One racing. Read more…

How Fast is Your Rubik Solver; This One’s Probably Faster

July 18, 2019

In the race to solve Rubik’s Cube, the time-to-finish keeps shrinking. This year Philipp Weyer from Germany won the 10th World Cube Association (WCA) Championship held in Melbourne, Australia, with a 6.74-second perfo Read more…

By John Russell

Informing Designs of Safer, More Efficient Aircraft with Exascale Computing

July 18, 2019

During the process of designing an aircraft, aeronautical engineers must perform predictive simulations to understand how airflow around the plane impacts fligh Read more…

By Rob Johnson

Intel Debuts Pohoiki Beach, Its 8M Neuron Neuromorphic Development System

July 17, 2019

Neuromorphic computing has received less fanfare of late than quantum computing whose mystery has captured public attention and which seems to have generated mo Read more…

By John Russell

Goonhilly Unveils New Immersion-Cooled Platform, Doubles Down on Sustainability Mission

July 16, 2019

Goonhilly Earth Station has opened its new datacenter – an enhancement to its existing tier 3 facility – in Cornwall, England, touting an ambitious commitme Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

ISC19 Cluster Competition: Application Results, Finally!

July 15, 2019

Our exhaustive coverage of the ISC19 Student Cluster Competition continues as we discuss the application scores below. While the scores were typically high, som Read more…

By Dan Olds

Nvidia Expands DGX-Ready AI Program to 19 Countries

July 11, 2019

Nvidia’s DGX-Ready Data Center Program, announced in January and designed to provide colo and public cloud-like options to access the company’s GPU-powered Read more…

By Doug Black

Argonne Team Makes Record Globus File Transfer

July 10, 2019

A team of scientists at Argonne National Laboratory has broken a data transfer record by moving a staggering 2.9 petabytes of data for a research project.  The data – from three large cosmological simulations – was generated and stored on the Summit supercomputer at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF)... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Nvidia, Google Tie in Second MLPerf Training ‘At-Scale’ Round

July 10, 2019

Results for the second round of the AI benchmarking suite known as MLPerf were published today with Google Cloud and Nvidia each picking up three wins in the at Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Applied Materials Embedding New Memory Technologies in Chips

July 9, 2019

Applied Materials, the $17 billion Santa Clara-based materials engineering company for the semiconductor industry, today announced manufacturing systems enablin Read more…

By Doug Black

High Performance (Potato) Chips

May 5, 2006

In this article, we focus on how Procter & Gamble is using high performance computing to create some common, everyday supermarket products. Tom Lange, a 27-year veteran of the company, tells us how P&G models products, processes and production systems for the betterment of consumer package goods. Read more…

By Michael Feldman

Cray, AMD to Extend DOE’s Exascale Frontier

May 7, 2019

Cray and AMD are coming back to Oak Ridge National Laboratory to partner on the world’s largest and most expensive supercomputer. The Department of Energy’s Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Graphene Surprises Again, This Time for Quantum Computing

May 8, 2019

Graphene is fascinating stuff with promise for use in a seeming endless number of applications. This month researchers from the University of Vienna and Institu Read more…

By John Russell

AMD Verifies Its Largest 7nm Chip Design in Ten Hours

June 5, 2019

AMD announced last week that its engineers had successfully executed the first physical verification of its largest 7nm chip design – in just ten hours. The AMD Radeon Instinct Vega20 – which boasts 13.2 billion transistors – was tested using a TSMC-certified Calibre nmDRC software platform from Mentor. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

TSMC and Samsung Moving to 5nm; Whither Moore’s Law?

June 12, 2019

With reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TMSC) and Samsung are moving quickly to 5nm manufacturing, it’s a good time to again ponder whither goes the venerable Moore’s law. Shrinking feature size has of course been the primary hallmark of achieving Moore’s law... Read more…

By John Russell

Deep Learning Competitors Stalk Nvidia

May 14, 2019

There is no shortage of processing architectures emerging to accelerate deep learning workloads, with two more options emerging this week to challenge GPU leader Nvidia. First, Intel researchers claimed a new deep learning record for image classification on the ResNet-50 convolutional neural network. Separately, Israeli AI chip startup Hailo.ai... Read more…

By George Leopold

Nvidia Embraces Arm, Declares Intent to Accelerate All CPU Architectures

June 17, 2019

As the Top500 list was being announced at ISC in Frankfurt today with an upgraded petascale Arm supercomputer in the top third of the list, Nvidia announced its Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Top500 Purely Petaflops; US Maintains Performance Lead

June 17, 2019

With the kick-off of the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt this morning, the 53rd Top500 list made its debut, and this one's for petafl Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

ISC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
GOOGLE
GOOGLE
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL

Intel Launches Cascade Lake Xeons with Up to 56 Cores

April 2, 2019

At Intel's Data-Centric Innovation Day in San Francisco (April 2), the company unveiled its second-generation Xeon Scalable (Cascade Lake) family and debuted it Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cray – and the Cray Brand – to Be Positioned at Tip of HPE’s HPC Spear

May 22, 2019

More so than with most acquisitions of this kind, HPE’s purchase of Cray for $1.3 billion, announced last week, seems to have elements of that overused, often Read more…

By Doug Black and Tiffany Trader

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hardware That Powered the Black Hole Image

June 24, 2019

Two months ago, the first-ever image of a black hole took the internet by storm. A team of scientists took years to produce and verify the striking image – an Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Announcing four new HPC capabilities in Google Cloud Platform

April 15, 2019

When you’re running compute-bound or memory-bound applications for high performance computing or large, data-dependent machine learning training workloads on Read more…

By Wyatt Gorman, HPC Specialist, Google Cloud; Brad Calder, VP of Engineering, Google Cloud; Bart Sano, VP of Platforms, Google Cloud

Chinese Company Sugon Placed on US ‘Entity List’ After Strong Showing at International Supercomputing Conference

June 26, 2019

After more than a decade of advancing its supercomputing prowess, operating the world’s most powerful supercomputer from June 2013 to June 2018, China is keep Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

In Wake of Nvidia-Mellanox: Xilinx to Acquire Solarflare

April 25, 2019

With echoes of Nvidia’s recent acquisition of Mellanox, FPGA maker Xilinx has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Solarflare Communications, provider Read more…

By Doug Black

Qualcomm Invests in RISC-V Startup SiFive

June 7, 2019

Investors are zeroing in on the open standard RISC-V instruction set architecture and the processor intellectual property being developed by a batch of high-flying chip startups. Last fall, Esperanto Technologies announced a $58 million funding round. Read more…

By George Leopold

Nvidia Claims 6000x Speed-Up for Stock Trading Backtest Benchmark

May 13, 2019

A stock trading backtesting algorithm used by hedge funds to simulate trading variants has received a massive, GPU-based performance boost, according to Nvidia, Read more…

By Doug Black

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This