What happens when a cloud service fails and closes? Network World looks at the demise of The Linkup, a cloud storage previously known as Media Max, which shut down Aug. 8 after losing "an unspecified amount of customer data," perhaps as much as 45 percent of all data the service stored.
The resulting blame game has raised a critical question: when you store your data in the cloud, where does it live and who really "owns" it? The failure of The Linkup has shown that these questions may not be as clear-cut as customers believe, and has resulted in finger-pointing between The Linkup management and Nirvanix.
The bottom line appears to be that a "major storage problem" in June 2007 at the former parent of both The Linkup and Nirvanix left some customer files inaccessible. Nirvanix says the files were never transferred to the system it hosted for The Linkup, so it never had custody of them. The files may still be floating around somewhere in the cloud, but are only accessible through software/systems from the predecessor company. It's a complicated mess. In addition to the Network World coverage, you can read more at The Industry Standard, a blog post from Nirvanix, and discussion at Slashdot.