Industry picks over Doyenz's UK cloud disaster

Cloud plug

Industry watchers have savaged US cloud backup provider Doyenz for not giving users enough notice about closing down its UK service.

As revealed by IT Pro yesterday, the SMB-focused firm is switching off its rCloud disaster recovery service in the UK tomorrow and has given users until the end of the month to retrieve their data.

The firm, who launched in the UK around nine months ago, is understood to have broken the news to its customers and reseller partners earlier this week.

I suspect they have not done as well as they'd hoped as quickly as they wanted.

Last month, tech site Geek Wire reported that an unspecified number of the firm's US staff had been laid off.

At the time of writing, IT Pro had still not received an official statement from the firm to explain its actions, despite repeatedly requesting one.

However, industry sources have suggested to IT Pro the firm's decision to axe its UK service is because of investor pressure.

The company is backed by venture capitalists, and our source claim its backers have may have got impatient waiting for the firm to gain a foothold in the UK.

"Venture capitalists are notoriously impatient, so I suspect they have not reached the right size of customers in the UK and not done as well as they'd hoped as quickly as they wanted," said our source.

Post mortem

Doyenz operated a UK datacentre, but Clive Longbottom, service director at analyst firm Quocirca, said this may not have been enough to persuade firms to hand their data over to a US vendor.

"Even if the data is stored in the user's country, if the facility is owned and/or operated by a US company, the data may have to be opened up to US authorities, if they invoke the Patriot Act," Longbottom told IT Pro.

The SMB online backup market, where Doyenz was playing, is a highly competitive place, with many small firms opting to use Dropbox or Google Drive-type services, said Longbottom.

"Many SMBs have also had no formal approach to backup in the past, so why should they suddenly leap up and [adopt one] now," he added.

"They market needs educating [about why backup is important], and this requires more than just a US company putting a few banner ads around, hoping that having built the same mousetrap as everyone else the masses will beat a path to their door."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.