|By Maureen O'Gara||
|March 22, 2009 06:00 AM EDT||
Carbonite, the online backup vendor, says it lost data belonging to over 7,500 customers in a number of separate incidents in a suit filed in Massachusetts charging Promise Technology Inc with supplying it with $3 million worth of defective storage, according to a story in Saturday’s Boston Globe.
The catastrophe is the latest in a series of cloud failures.
Carbonite charges Promise with fraud, unfair and deceptive business practices, and breach of contract.
Carbonite is also suing system integrator Interactive Digital Systems Inc, who brought the storage in, claiming breach of warranty.
The widgetry was supposed to detect disk failures and transfer the data to a working drive. It allegedly didn’t.
The story says Promise couldn’t fix the errors and “Carbonite’s senior engineers, senior management and senior operations personnel…spent enormous amounts of time dealing with the problems.”
Carbonite claims the data losses caused “serious damage” to its business and reputation for reliability. It’s demanding unspecified damages. Promise told the Globe there was “no merit to the allegations.”
The suit was filed in Suffolk Superior Court.
Carbonite, which sells largely to consumers and small businesses and competes with EMC’s Mozy, tells its customers: “never worry about losing your files again.”
I noticed that you covered Carbonite's lawsuit against Promise Technologies and I would like to make sure that your readers understand two points with regard to the lawsuit:
- 1) The data loss event discussed in the lawsuit happened over a year ago. We do not say this to minimize the matter, but it's important for your readers to know that we stopped buying the servers that caused the problem a long time ago. This is not a current problem.
- 2) The total number of Carbonite customers who were unable to retrieve their data was 54, not 7,500.
Here is what happened: The Promise servers that we were purchasing in 2006 and 2007 use RAID technology to spread data redundantly across 15 disk drives so that if any one disk drive fails, you don't lose any data. The RAID software that makes all this work is embedded as "firmware" in the storage servers. In this case, we believe that the firmware on the servers had bugs that caused the servers to crash. Carbonite automatically restarted all 7,500 backups and more than 99% of these were completely restored without incident. Statistically, about 2 out of every 1,000 consumer hard drives will crash every week, so 54 of these customers had their PCs crash before their re-started backups were complete. Since they weren't completely backed up when their PCs crashed, these customers were unable to restore all of their files from Carbonite. Most of the 54 got some or most of their data back. We took full responsibility for what happened and I did my best to call each of these customers personally to apologize.
As a result of our problems with the Promise servers, a couple of years ago we switched to a popular Dell server that uses RAID6 - an improved RAID that allows for the loss of 3 of the 15 drives simultaneously before you lose any data. This configuration is in theory 36 million times more reliable than a single disk drive - the chances of 3 out of 15 drives failing at the same time are almost nil.
So far, Promise has refused to accept responsibility for their equipment's failures, so now we are suing them to get our money back. The Dell RAID servers have been flawless and we're extremely happy with them.
We'd appreciate anything you can do to make sure that your readers understand the facts. Please feel free to call me if you need further clarification.
David Friend | Chairman & CEO
Carbonite, Inc. | 334 Boylston St., 3rd Floor | Boston, MA | 02116
Office: 617-587-1110 | Fax: 617-587-1101
|brettraynes 05/13/09 04:44:00 AM EDT|
I agree with nschrenk about Carbonite probably relying on a single RAID volume. They don't say, so we cannot be sure.
But, they do blame RAID for the loss and claim that going to RAID6 will solve the problem.
As a minimum data needs to be replicated into separate geographically separate locations - mitigate against RIAD issues or any other single location problems.
S3 does this, but so do other professional services such as the ones we rely on (Connected, LiveVault, Attix5 and Asigra).
Suffice to say that customers should ask the question before using any service and entrusting their critical business data.
Could someone from Carbonite clarify this for us please – if a customer’s data is stored in multiple locations, then this add a ton of confidence – and would help us endorse the service as meeting best practice.
|nschrenk 05/12/09 10:41:00 AM EDT|
I infer from this story that Carbonite stores a single copy of its customers' data on a RAID6 volume in one location. And they used to do the same thing, but with RAID5. If this isn't true, please correct me, but if it is, it sure wouldn't make me feel secure.
Just think of all the types of single-machine failures that could result in data loss! What if the power supply goes bad and fries the electronics in all of the drives in the system simultaneously? What if a small fire roasts all the drives in the system? What if an administrator makes a mistake on one of the systems?
A backup service built on top of a much more robust storage system like Amazon S3 would make me feel a whole lot more secure than what Carbonite appears to offer. Keeping a copy of the data on another machine in the same data center is a minimum requirement, and keeping a copy on a machine in a different data center would be nice.
|brettraynes 05/12/09 09:52:00 AM EDT|
Backup Direct (www.backupdirect.net) has been supplying business-grade online backup services for seven years. We like to think we know what we are doing and have seen enough examples of the good, the bad and the ugly in this industry!
We are in the fortunate position of using other vendors' technologies – not our own – and select suppliers based on a detailed knowledge of our customers' requirements and the vendors’ capabilities.
Now, as Carbonite has/had been going for a few years max and Promise has/had 20-years of experience – I think one can infer (but not prove) that Carbonite should shoulder at least some of the blame for this loss. It looks a little like they are 'workmen blaming their tools'.
We have seen this happen before. It is so easy to put up a web site and some code to backup data – but to make it work in a scaled-up environment is hugely more complex. To argue that RAID6 is 36-million times more reliable to than RAID5 shows naivety in the extreme – and a lack of deep understanding of the real issues – some of which include people, processes, design...There is a very low barrier to entry in the online backup industry – which puts customer data at risk.
Connected's technology from Iron Mountain forms the core of our PC backup service. It has over three million paying users (I stress 3m pay to use it – not free). Companies having chosen it after proper due-diligence include: Intel, Hilton, Amazon, Google, Boeing, PwC, Grant Thornton, Logica...
These companies put effort into selecting vendors. But the standard small business or home user cannot do this. They are left to rely on the marketing 'hype' from certain vendors – which evidently can be weightier than the service infrastructure behind it.
|vchar 04/01/09 02:54:00 PM EDT|
Carbonite customers’ data loss is not Promise’s fault. For some more context on this case, see Promise's response in a letter sent to customers this week at www.promise.com/ support/ Announcements.asp
|onlinebackups 03/24/09 09:29:24 AM EDT|
You failed to mention this data loss happened back in 2007, and only a small handful of customers were actually affected. Once Carbonite realized the disk failure, they flagged those files to be backed up again, and were transferred from the user's PC to Carbonite's backup servers again. Carbonite is still a good backup system, although I still prefer Mozy.
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
Oct. 20, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 10,938
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
Oct. 20, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,510
Most of us already know that adopting new cloud applications can boost a business’s productivity by enabling organizations to be more agile and ready to change course in our fast-moving and connected digital world. But the rapid adoption of cloud apps and services also brings with it profound security threats, including visibility and control challenges that aren’t present in traditional on-premises environments. At the same time, the cloud – because of its interconnected, flexible and adaptable...
Oct. 20, 2016 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,652
Established in 1998, Calsoft is a leading software product engineering Services Company specializing in Storage, Networking, Virtualization and Cloud business verticals. Calsoft provides End-to-End Product Development, Quality Assurance Sustenance, Solution Engineering and Professional Services expertise to assist customers in achieving their product development and business goals. The company's deep domain knowledge of Storage, Virtualization, Networking and Cloud verticals helps in delivering ...
Oct. 20, 2016 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 876
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
Oct. 20, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,747
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
Oct. 20, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 5,861
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
Oct. 20, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 9,556
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service.
Oct. 20, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 835
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, will discuss the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docke...
Oct. 20, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,127
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
Oct. 20, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 7,843
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Oct. 20, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 707
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Oct. 20, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 5,054
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
Oct. 20, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,383
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Oct. 20, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 6,739
SYS-CON Events announced today that Coalfire will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Coalfire is the trusted leader in cybersecurity risk management and compliance services. Coalfire integrates advisory and technical assessments and recommendations to the corporate directors, executives, boards, and IT organizations for global brands and organizations in the technology, cloud, health...
Oct. 20, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,428
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, will contrast how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He will show the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He will also have live demos of building immutable pipe...
Oct. 20, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,428
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
Oct. 20, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 827
Cloud based infrastructure deployment is becoming more and more appealing to customers, from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs due to its pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise storage vendors are able to reach out to these customers by integrating in cloud based deployments; this needs adaptability and interoperability of the products confirming to cloud standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack, or Azure. As compared to off the shelf commodity storage, enterprise storages by its reliability, high-availabil...
Oct. 20, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 847
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Oct. 20, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,312
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
Oct. 20, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 709