Cloud Data in Danger

October 11, 2009

The data in question was in Danger. To be specific, the data were on servers operated by Danger, the subsidiary of Microsoft. The data in question included contacts, calendars, photos, etc., belonging to users of T-Mobile Sidekicks. This announcement from T-Mobile shows why I emphasize the past tense.

Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger’s latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device – such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos – that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger.

John Mayer tweeted happily about what he sees as the silver lining to this cloud failure: Perez Hilton loses 2000 contacts in his Sidekick (via Mashable Pete). That raises my opinion of John Mayer and of Twitter.

The interesting question is: who will be seen as the villain(s) in this story? Hilton apparently casts T-Mobile in that role. It seems to be that T-Mobile’s main mistake was putting Sidekick user data in Danger, and so Danger, and parent Microsoft, are more directly responsible.

And what will this Danger Disaster do to confidence in the cloud, and in other cloudy companies such as Google? Om contrasted this incident with the Google mail outage, pointing out that the Danger disaster is far worse. I think that the Danger disaster will be good for Google, and for other firms that are similarly seen as being cloud-competent (e.g., 37Signals).

I’m tagging this post DangerDisaster, not CloudCatastrophe.

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