“With more and more people moving their valuable family photos, home video, music collections and more to the digital arena, the need for offsite backup is growing fast. Nirvanix has the features people want most.”
Many people entrusted valuable files to the on-line archiving, file sharing and hosting company known as Streamload. Streamload rebranded as Mediamax, then span off the customer interface, which took the Mediamax name with it. The storage facilities remained with most of the Streamload staff and was renamed Nirvanix. According to media reports - which Nirvanix has not denied though specifically asked to comment - Nirvanix engineers then accidently deleted millions of files. The resulting outrage prompted Mediamax to rebrand as The Linkup to try to escape the controversy, but it did not succeed and is closing down on 8 August. Many of the files that were not deleted, did not make it into The Linkup interface from the Mediamax one. The Linkup said in a final message: "Your files are at Nirvanix. It's now up to them to decide if they want to give you access to MediaMax."
[UPDATE 29 July 2008: Although invited to comment specifically on these media reports prior to this blog opening, Nirvanix, in its reply, did not do so. Today it has emailed alleging the Techcrunch article is 'inaccurate and libelous'].
Nirvanix refuses to offer assistance to users in retrieving their 'valuable family photos, home video, music collections' and other important documents even though some customers are even offering to pay extra for this service. Further details and links at:
You won't find any of this story on the Nirvanix website on its page of case studies. Instead it gives quotes such as that above from other intermediary companies. The quote above is from the Axentra Corporation.
Given that Nirvanix is refusing to assist users in retrieving the data which they still hold on their servers and that apparently it was Nirvanix engineers who deleted the files that led to the failure of Mediamax, anyone seeking on-line storage solutions would do well to look closely to see whether Nirvanix is providing the back-end storage for any company they do business with.
They would also be wise to check the terms and conditions of the service provider to see whether any responsibility is taken for the data and whether they have any recourse to Nirvanix should the company fail for whatever reason.
As cloud storage seems to be the future, the current lack of transparency and security of data is a serious cause for concern and one requiring urgent investigation by politicians and journalists.
Until there is clear protection in law, look very carefully at the companies to which you entrust your data, particularly those that use Nirvanix as their storage provider, which are listed here (as given on the Nirvanix website):
- City Talent