Backup in the cloud was hard for some to do in 2009.
I’m a fan of cloud computing; have been since 1993 when I first heard it promoted. I’ve found over the years that hype cycles are more cyclical than linear – at least at the macro level – despite the linear representation used by Gartner.
But in any case, 2009 was a tough year for cloud computing and backup. A few of the problems:
- The infamous blogging service Journalspace.com failure where 14,000 customer blogs were completely and forever lost.
- The bookmark storage service Magnolia.com failure where all bookmarks were lost.
- The T-Mobile Sidekick/Microsoft Danger failure in which 400,000 Sidekick users were told that their contact information was lost (note: Microsoft/Danger actually got a lot of the data restored eventually.)
- Hewlett Packard Upline (to which I personally subscribed) and Yahoo! Briefcase went belly up – admittedly in a planned fashion.
But nothing…nothing…matched the sheer spectacle of the debacle that was Carbonite and its online backup service.
Carbonite was caught faking customer reviews on Amazon.com. However, that was nothing compared to the loss of backup data for 7500 customers. In a move that will reverberate in the annals of poor decision making regarding public relations, after losing the data and no one really noticing, Carbonite filed suit against their storage providers Promise Technologies and Interactive Digital Systems (note: Promise Technology – for enterprise-grade storage – really?) That raised the issue publicly. Carbonite employed the…well, unique…theory that data wasn’t really lost for most customers because the customers just re-executed their backups. Not exactly inspiring, is it?