Potential Longevity of the Particle Cloud

The Particle community looks pretty solid and seems to be growing nicely.

My question to the community is however, if I were to invest in building a set of complex home automation systems using Particle hardware, I am pretty much reliant on the Particle platform/cloud, which is fine. Until however “someday” a bigger fish competitor comes along and buys Particle, so they can eventually shut it down in favour of their product.

I am not at all wishing for this to happen, but it happens, it’s how business and the world works.

If this were to happen and the Particle cloud was taken down, would that mean that all my Particle devices comprising the systems I have built are now basically bricks?


Nope. The devices are not dependant on the cloud. It’s nice if it’s there, but you can use them without it. Without a cloud of sorts you won’t have the fancy REST API and the rest of the goodies, but the devices as such remain fully functional wifi enabled microcontrollers.
Even now, you can disable the cloud connection by running it in “manual” mode.

Furthermore, there is a ‘local cloud’ which supports basic functionally, which can be hosted on a device of your own. That way, most of the functionality stays intact.

Of course, it may require some code changes, and a bit more effort to convert everything, but they definitely won’t become bricks. That’s the beauty of open source :smile:


Thanks for clarifying.

So it sounds like the system firmware could potentially be forked and modified to support your “own cloud” with a bit of work if you wanted to go down that route.

One of the biggest benefits to this platform that I see is the REST API functionality, because for someone who doesn’t program in C++ it makes it accessible and fun to get started with basic projects. Therefore it’s reassuring to know that this could theoretically be maintained in the event that the Particle cloud becomes obsolete at any stage.

Not only theoretically.
There is a (dated but) working official local cloud server and a work-in-progress rework of a community member @Brewskey


Thanks for sharing, that project look quite interesting.

I wouldn’t mind the idea of running your own server, say on an AWS EC2 instance…

Hello @noofny this is a good question.
However in my opinion, if it comes to commercial products would be better to have some clarifications about long-term commitment to production and availability of your boards and longevity of the Particle Cloud.
It should be written somewhere in the FAQ.
It is the default rule for planning product lifecycle.
@zach @zachary @will

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Here’s where open source comes in again. In the hypothetical situation where Particle would shut down tomorrow (due to some executive orders or something), the schematics, BOM, and local cloud are all still open source. You could build your own devices, and run your own cloud.
True, it’s not as hands-off as using the current cloud, but it’s doable. That’s also why investments are being made in some ‘proprietary’ parts of the cloud: the console, product management, etc. Those all contribute to an ecosystem where Particle can stay healthy and continue to deliver the awesome platform it has grown into.


Not being a Particle employee I take some “artistic license” and say Particle is not planning on going belly up and if they still did (which noone would hope for) how would they be able to tell you about it now already?
It’s like demanding a person to inform you in case of his accidental death (supernaturalism aside ;-))

Other then that Particle’s life is the cloud foremost and not actually the hardware. So as long Particle lives, the cloud will live.

But true, that can be put in words in a prominent spot (if it’s not already there)

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@noofny @ScruffR

Yeah, the cloud we are working on is nearly stable.

It added some new features:

  • Webhooks
  • OTA system firmware updates
  • Local compile
  • Easily swap out data storage for users/devices. You could easily use your own REST api for this or use some cloud data storage

We were going to try to implement products and customers but as we dug into how Particle had implemented these, we would pretty much need to implement organizations and a ton of other features that wouldn’t make any sense without building a UI into the webserver. The work would probably take another two months to wrap up and we don’t really need these things for our project.


Hey folks. As others have pointed out, we do have an open source implementation of Particle’s device communication protocol, nostalgically still named spark-server, that you can host locally.

The main limitation of spark server, though, is that it is packaged and bundled as a single application for convenience of deployment, and to address that use case is not designed to meet the scalability needs of a production grade product.

If you’re interested in building a product on Particle, we don’t recommend building a solution off of spark-server. If you have concerns about the longevity of Particle, I encourage you to reach out to us so we can answer whatever questions that we can.


Thanks guys - really helps paint a clear picture of where stuff is at and certainly puts to rest any concerns I had about Particle as a platform.

Very impressive experience on the forums so far too, great community, lots of quick responses and good quality responses.



Thanks @noofny! I think everyone on the forums is proud of the community we’ve grown together :slight_smile: Hope it continues to be useful!