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Cloud storage exempt from Ninefold's uptime boost

Cloud company says uptime will rise yet still has all its disks in one basket

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Australian public cloud company Ninefold is claiming new levels of reliability and availability but still runs its cloud storage service from a single data centre.

The company has announced that it has taken up residence in the IC2 data centre owned by parent company Macquarie Telecom and claims placing its kit there means it is “the first cloud services provider in Australia to offer customers a third availability zone.”

Doing so, it says, means Ninefold “supports customer demand for failsafe uptime and risk mitigation among cloud forward developers, start-ups and digital agencies.” The company's canned statement about its new availability zone goes on to say such customers will feel “safe in the knowledge that their data is secure in Australian owned and based facilities” and “value the benefits of a multiple zone strategy when deploying their applications into production.”

All of which is hard to dispute.

But the company's position is not entirely consistent, because in a previous journalistic life your correspondent learned that the company operates two of EMC's Atmos cloud storage rigs, and while there is redundancy between the two both are in the same room. Needless to say that leaves Ninefold's cloud storage service not quite capable of “failsafe uptime” in the event of a failure at that data centre.

We therefore asked Ninefold if the new “availability zone” meant it had moved, upgraded or added to its cloud storage rig.

Chairman and Co-Founder Peter James replied with the following non-answer:

“Today’s announcement addresses the strong customer demand for cloud compute and attached storage across multiple zones. This is the focus of our engineers in building the third availability zone in IC2. We have yet to make an announcement re cloud storage.”

We pressed James for a more direct answer and he called to confirm that Ninefold still operates the two Atmos rigs in the one location but has decided to prioritise investment in compute, network and direct-attached storage as that's what customers are buying.

The announcement of the new zone at IC2, he said “is about giving customers additional certainty and the ability to load balance between zones and ultimately is about reliability and uptime.”

James also told The Reg that “many of our customers are taking advantage of cloud storage”, but could not explain why they don't deserve additional uptime or reliability, other than his belief that satisfying demand for cloud computing is a wiser investment for Ninefold at present. ®

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