T-Mobile cloud burst is setback for business users
Cloud computing itself was the biggest loser this week with reports that T-Mobile and Microsoft subsidiary Danger have had a hardware failure that has left mobile customers without data services, including address books and calendars.
For those customers who didn’t do a back up and store the info o their phones too, there is even more bad news. It may be gone forever.
While reports are coming in indicating that data has been restored for some users, rumors have also circulated which claim no working backups are available.
T-Mobile is offering a free month of data services to disgruntled users of its sidekick phone, together with the ability to cancel their contracts without penalty. It will be interesting to see how many cut and run.
Microsoft, whose Danger subsidiary powers the data services that the Sidekick relies upon, has also suffered reputational damage. Its servers housed Sidekick user data and again, according to some of the rumors circulating, the company may have failed to make backups before moving forward with an upgrade that didn’t go so smoothly. Microsoft paid half a billion dollars for Danger.
The use of cloud computing has suffered the worst reputational damage, as this incident confirms all the criticism that non-believers have made of a service that essentially takes responsibility for data security out of the hands of the user.
While cloud fans will argue that this problem was the result of incompetence rather than a problem with cloud computing, it raised the issue of data scurity right back into the spotlight. Is it reasonable, to trust a third party to handle your data, whether you are an individual or a corporation. Logic suggests not.
This latest blow to the cloud computing model follows a recent successful cyber attack on the Twitter microblogging service that was enabled by a personal security lapse that opened up access to confidential business data stored on Google Apps.