One of the selling points for cloud technologies is the basic fact that the services are provided from the cloud; that the customer need not worry about a single location that they need to maintain in order to keep their data secure. The reality, however, is a bit different. While some customers imagine the cloud as some big RAID storage device with data striped across the universe, that's not generally the way it is.
Cloud providers store data at their physical locations, and unless customers pay for additional services to mirror data across multiple locations (or some form of data replication / data protection that spans multiple locations), that cloud data is probably all stored together in one facility. And that means that the data is potentially at risk, should that facility be at risk.
This is the situation that many cloud customers in Dallas found themselves in last week, as unusual weather conditions resulted in multiple tornados causing damage across the metropolitan area. While I've seen no reports of datacenter damage that took down customer services, as yet, one provider too the proactive step of giving their customers the option of moving data out of their Dallas facility, to one of their other physical datacenters, worldwide. And this service is provided at no charge to their customers.
Nirvanix, who has reported no damage at their datacenter in Dallas, made this offer as part of the expansion of their Disaster Avoidance Program, to all of their existing customers. The option was to move the data either temporarily or permanently to a different Nirvanix datacenter as a way to increase the security and availability of the data in light of the severe weather issues plaguing Dallas.
By giving customers this additional option in controlling their use of the cloud, Nirvanix is able to leverage their infrastructure to increase customer comfort with the cloud in a very practical way.