Scoop: GoDaddy quietly kills its cloud computing business

Perhaps web-hosting giant GoDaddy wasn’t cut out to be a cloud computing provider after all. According to an internal email shared with me by an anonymous ex-employee, the company has decided to shutter its Cloud Servers product offering after less than a year.

The email highlights GoDaddy’s focus on winning small business customers and the apparent ill fit of Cloud Servers for that goal. “After reviewing all of our hosting products, we decided to double-down on our shared hosting and site builder products and invest to win in these spaces,” it reads. “As part of this focus, we will discontinue Cloud Servers as a stand-alone product.”

GoDaddy has confirmed the decision in an email to me via a statement from CIO Auguste Goldman:

¬†“We are focused on SMBs and SMBs don’t use this product the way we are offering it now. So, in the weeks ahead, it won’t be a stand-alone product in and of itself. However, we plan to continue developing cloud technology into our other hosted products.
“We will continue to support existing Cloud Server¬†customers in a variety of ways.”
Already, GoDaddy has removed the Cloud Servers page from its web site site, and the offering’s old URL redirects to the GoDaddy home page. GoDaddy launched Cloud Servers in May 2012, after GigaOM broke news of its impending cloud computing offering in June 2011.

This type of decision is one of the classic risks of cloud computing, where a service might be here today and gone tomorrow. Services rarely shut down immediately, thus leaving users without a chance to reclaim their data or code and move it elsewhere (well, except in the case of MegaUpload), but an eventual transition to a new service is still necessary nonetheless. Recent examples of cloud services shutting down include Motorola’s ZumoDrive cloud-storage service, the Slicehost on-demand servers service (by Rackspace (s rax)) and, nearly, TextDrive (by Joyent), which was saved at the last minute.

The GoDaddy email mirrors Goldman’s statement on this issues, saying the company is “identifying the best ways to support customers who need to transition from Cloud Servers. Once we identify these support paths, we’ll notify them of the product update.”

Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock user Lucie Lang.