Thursday, April 28, 2011

You’re not gonna believe this! Oh, yes you will!

When Amazon’s EC2 cloud services system crashed a week ago, shutting down service to scores of client companies, it not only inconvenienced many of them for days, but somehow wiped out critical company data for some of them

That’s not the part you’re going to have trouble believing.

Here’s the unbelievable part.

Besides the fact Amazon still hasn’t explained what happened to its supposedly safe and reliable data storage system, it is now telling a few clients some or all of their stored data is gone and in some cases only partly retrievable.

But wait, it gets worse. One of their customers got an impersonal e-mail this week, which began: “Hello,” and explained that while trying to recover one or more of “your Amazon EBS volumes” Amazon was only able to recover an “inconsistent data snapshot.”

The e-mail did say, “We are very sorry, but ultimately our efforts to manually recover your volume was unsuccessful.”

Now here’s the really unbelievable part: “What we were able to recover has been made available via a snapshot….If you have no need for this snapshot, please delete it to avoid incurring storage charges.”

Wait, there is good news, in the last paragraph of this generic e-mail they did add, “We apologize for this volume loss and any impact to your business.” The message was signed “Amazon Web Services, EBS Support.

I know, I know, you didn’t expect much more.

Why didn’t someone personally call the client and apologize and explain what happened and what is lost and offer to help in anyway, rather than remind the client they would be “facing storage charges” if they didn’t delete the junk Amazon saved for them.

Just when I think intelligent and otherwise successful people cannot surprise me anymore, one does.

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