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Nirvanix is also making its software available to partners who can use a customer's hardware to build private storage clouds, Zivanic said.
Zivanic said it was a mistake for Iron Mountain to exit the public cloud storage business so quickly.
"That would be OK if this were a mature, stable market," he said. "But in a market that is growing and changing quickly, it was a mistake."
Iron Mountain, unfortunately, found it in a position where it was difficult to differentiate itself from the competition, Zivanic said.
"What did Iron Mountain bring to the table?" he said. "Amazon provides cheap cloud storage available to the masses. But for the enterprise, customers are coming to Nirvanix. We allow customers to specify where their data is stored, while Amazon doesn't. That's a requirement for enterprise customers who need to know where their data is stored. We also let customers provision their own data, and set up sub accounts and handle billing."
Jeff Bell, director of corporate marketing for Zetta, said his company can take care of Iron Mountain customers on both the backup and the archiving side with its storage cloud.
"This is a natural business for Zetta," Bell said. "We can provide the same features, but without the need for a local appliance. Iron Mountain required an appliance. With Zetta, it's a natural feature. And with Zetta's Mirror Backup, customers can install our agent free and easily suck their data out of Iron Mountain."
Zetta charges customers about 45 cents per GB per month, with prices falling as capacity increases, Bell said. He said Iron Mountain was charging customers as much as $2 per GB per month.
Zetta is still relatively small, with only two data centers and "hundreds" of customers, Bell said. "But we're growing," he said. "Our business is accelerating."
Iron Mountain's decision to exit the market was no surprise to Andres Rodriguez, founder and CEO of Nasuni, a Natick, Mass.-based developer of appliances that allow customers access public storage clouds from such providers as Amazon, AT&T, Nirvanix, Peer 1 Hosting, Rackspace, and Microsoft's Windows Azure.
Nasuni has already started migrating customers from Iron Mountain, which was also a public storage cloud partner of Nasuni's, to other cloud providers, Rodriguez said.
"We own the accounts with Iron Mountain," he said. "And every customer owns its own credentials with Iron Mountain. We are working with our customers to suck their data from Iron Mountain and move them to another cloud supplier. For them, it's just like buying a new hard drive."
Iron Mountain has been very good about talking to its customers about its plan to shut down some of its services, Rodriguez said. "In reality, it's hard to compete with Amazon, Microsoft, and Google," he said. "They are formidable opponents."
Rodriguez said he is sad to see Iron Mountain exit the public cloud storage market.
"To their credit, they're exiting because they don't feel they can deliver the level of service needed at a cost customers can afford," he said. "But there are many entities in this business who are in a great position to manage the front end of cloud storage without owning the storage itself. The big play is to add account management, including encryption, key escrow, billing support, SLAs, and portability. There is plenty of room for big companies like IBM and Hewlett-Packard to step in and deliver these services."