Symform is set to discontinue their cloud storage service on July 31, 2016, according to an email sent to users. The peer-to-peer (P2P) storage service is the latest in a series closures that is sure to send shockwaves through the cloud storage industry.
Symform was the most popular P2P storage service. It raised $20 million from investors prior to their 2014 acquisition by Quantum Corporation. The deal clearly didn’t work out for Quantum, which cited the following:
At Quantum, we strive to make great products that deliver a great user experience and solve key business problems. At the same time, we periodically evaluate our products and services in the context of our overall strategic goals and direction.
With this in mind, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue our Symform storage cloud services as of July 31, 2016. We appreciate the many customers who have used and contributed to the Symform service.
The company set up a list of frequently asked questions. Paid users on the monthly plan will not be charged in June. Annual subscription users will not be charged in June, and get a prorated refund for the remainder of the subscription.
Symform had a unique P2P storage system. Users could get up to 5 TB of free cloud storage, by contributing excess space on their hard drive. Files were encrypted and scattered across Symform’s users, with built-in redundancy in case users went offline or blocks of data were lost.
Symform also offered paid plans, for those who didn’t feel like sacrificing space on their drives, or couldn’t keep them online 24/7 to contribute to the Symform cloud. However, these paid plans were expensive, starting at $10/month for 100 GB. Symform didn’t adjust their plans, even after Google Drive slashed prices in 2014 and started the cloud storage price wars.
The service also didn’t offer file synchronization or sharing – common features on services like Dropbox and OneDrive. The lack of these features, along with the high price, likely contributed to the closure.