SEAGATE and its LaCie subsidiary have announced the closure of the Wuala cloud storage service.
A notice on the company website confirmed that no new purchase of storage is available as of today. It will shift to read only at the end of September before complete closure on 15 November.
In a statement sent to The INQUIRER the company elaborated, "Seagate is discontinuing service of Wuala in order to focus attention on the key areas of business that we see the most opportunity for our growth and revenue.
"Our partnerships with established consumer and SMB cloud offerings continue to demonstrate strong value to our customers, leading us to the decision to discontinue development of our own service."
After the November 15th cut off, all data will be deleted irretrievably. The company has advised customers to begin the process of downloading their content now.
Customers who have paid upfront for the service will be entitled to a pro rata refund effective from today, which will be processed and refunded automatically.
Wuala has recommended Tresorit, an end-to-end encrypted cloud storage service as a replacement, and is offering an easy transfer service as well as discounts on subscriptions.
Wuala has said that all data will be deleted on 15 November, but questions have been raised about the security of the deletion as the user will have no control over how thoroughly the data will be beyond recovery.
Dr Chenxi Wang, VP of cloud security and strategy at CipherCloud, said: “Wuala’s closure is emblematic of the commoditisation of cloud storage. We’re likely to see more closures and consolidations, which will mean more end users asking the same questions about their data and business continuity.
"These closures are highly disruptive for businesses. Customers are unexpectedly having to find another storage provider and face time pressures for moving their data out or face losing it.
"Aside from the business disruption, customers also have to worry about confidentiality for their data. What measures will Wuala take when they delete data? Will Wuala literally overwrite the bits on the disks, or will they simply delete the handle to the data?
"Will the physical disks on which the data is stored be repurposed by another entity? If so, customer data left on the hardware disks may still be accessible. Just like when you dispose of an older computer at home, you need to clean out the memory to protect your privacy before you donate or recycle the computer. When storage is in the cloud, we can’t forget about the hardware extensions that can still ‘remember’ our information."
The first clue that Wuala was to be shut down was the release of Seagate's latest Backup Plus drive in June, which was offered with OneDrive cloud storage.
What isn't clear in all this is how it affects S-Drive, the service that allows Seagate/LaCie NAS users to access their data remotely and which is based around the Wuala framework. µ
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