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MSFT: We've Got Most of the Sidekick Data Back

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 17 comments

It seems this whole Sidekick debacle is finally coming to an end. Microsoft has said the company has managed to recover "most, if not all," of the data lost.

Earlier this week Microsoft/Danger and T-Mobile announced that all Sidekick data stored on Danger's servers was gone and the likelihood that they'd get any of it back was "extremely low." Up until now, T-Mobile has been the one making statements and offering compensation. Today, Microsoft released a statement detailing what happened that the company lost customer's data in the first place and informing users that most of the data had been retrieved.

"We are pleased to report that we have recovered most customer data for those Sidekick customers whose data was affected by the recent outage," said Roz Ho, Corporate Vice President of Premium Mobile Experiences at Microsoft.  Ho went on to say that Microsoft would begin restoring users' personal data as soon as possible, starting with personal contacts and added that Microsoft now believes the data loss only affected "a minority of Sidekick users."

Now on to the juicier topic of how it all happened in the first place.  Despite reports during the week that say it could only have been an attempt at sabotage from a vexed employee, Microsoft is still pointing the finger of blame at a server failure, claiming it had to rebuild the system piece by piece to retrieve all the data.

"We have determined that the outage was caused by a system failure that created data loss in the core database and the back-up," said Ho. "We rebuilt the system component by component, recovering data along the way. This careful process has taken a significant amount of time, but was necessary to preserve the integrity of the data."

Which do you think is more likely, sabotage or server failure? Let us know in the comments below!

Check out the full letter below (via CNet):

Dear T-Mobile Sidekick customers,

On behalf of Microsoft, I want to apologize for the recent problems with the Sidekick service and give you an update on the steps we have taken to resolve these problems.

We are pleased to report that we have recovered most customer data for those Sidekick customers whose data was affected by the recent outage. We plan to begin restoring users' personal data as soon as possible, starting with personal contacts, after we have validated the data and our restoration plan. We will then continue to work around the clock to restore data to all affected users, including calendar, notes, tasks, photographs and high scores, as quickly as possible.

We now believe that data loss affected a minority of Sidekick users. If your Sidekick account was among those affected, please continue to log into the T-Mobile Sidekick forum at http://www.t-mobile.com/sidekick for the latest updates about when data restoration will begin, and any steps you may need to take. We will work with T-Mobile to post the next update on data restoration timing no later than Saturday.

We have determined that the outage was caused by a system failure that created data loss in the core database and the back-up. We rebuilt the system component by component, recovering data along the way. This careful process has taken a significant amount of time, but was necessary to preserve the integrity of the data. We will continue working closely with T-Mobile to restore user data as quickly as possible. We are eager to deliver the level of reliable service that our incredibly loyal customers have become accustomed to, and we are taking immediate steps to help ensure this does not happen again. Specifically, we have made changes to improve the overall stability of the Sidekick Service and initiated a more resilient backup process to ensure that the integrity of our database backups is maintained.

Once again, we apologize for this situation and the inconvenience that it has created. Please know that we are working all-out to resolve this situation and restore the reliability of the service.

Sincerely,

Roz Ho

Corporate Vice President

Premium Mobile Experiences, Microsoft Corporation

Display 17 Comments.
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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    curnel_D , October 15, 2009 3:36 PM
    Sabatage! No one cares about server malfunctions. It's much more fun to think it was someone on a revenge induced rampage.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    curnel_D , October 15, 2009 3:36 PM
    Sabatage! No one cares about server malfunctions. It's much more fun to think it was someone on a revenge induced rampage.
  • 0 Hide
    the_krasno , October 15, 2009 3:51 PM
    Still this doesn not explain the failure in the back up servers.
  • 9 Hide
    magicandy , October 15, 2009 3:56 PM
    Server failure. The sabotage thing was most likely a scapegoat created just in case they couldn't recover the data.
  • 2 Hide
    JMcEntegart , October 15, 2009 3:59 PM
    Curnel_DSabatage! No one cares about server malfunctions. It's much more fun to think it was someone on a revenge induced rampage.


    Agreed. Who's says life at Microsoft can't be sexy?
  • 1 Hide
    zak_mckraken , October 15, 2009 4:04 PM
    MS is still screwed in the lawsuit. Even if they do manage to recover all lost data, the fact that they stated they recovered "most" of the user data is the perfect opportunity for people to claim they are still lacking data, even though they don't. People are just that greedy.
  • 2 Hide
    warezme , October 15, 2009 4:12 PM
    Sabotage derived from the Netherlands when workers would throw their wooden shoes or sabots into the textile mills to break them as explained in a star trek movie.
  • 5 Hide
    bydesign , October 15, 2009 4:21 PM
    Got to love cloud computing... This is just the tip of iceberg with this technology. The real destater will be the modern day equivalent of the destruction of the great library of Alexandria.
  • 0 Hide
    ssalim , October 15, 2009 4:40 PM
    Server outage and the backup too? Yea right. For a small newbie company maybe but for Microsoft/Danger? No way in hell.

    S-A-B-O-T-A-G-E
  • 0 Hide
    ravewulf , October 15, 2009 4:46 PM
    bydesignGot to love cloud computing... This is just the tip of iceberg with this technology. The real destater will be the modern day equivalent of the destruction of the great library of Alexandria.

    I think one of the better ways we could implement cloud computing is if data is stored locally as well as in the cloud. They both can act as data redundencey and the cloud can be used to sync changes between all connected computers. There should also be a safety mechanism for when data is deleted on a device. Windows Live Mesh seems to do this fairly well, even if it is still in beta.
  • 1 Hide
    dextermat , October 15, 2009 5:03 PM
    Once again, that well known company put themselves; "sucks" in Microsucks lol
  • 0 Hide
    dirtykid , October 15, 2009 6:25 PM
    ravewulfI think one of the better ways we could implement cloud computing is if data is stored locally as well as in the cloud. They both can act as data redundencey and the cloud can be used to sync changes between all connected computers. There should also be a safety mechanism for when data is deleted on a device. Windows Live Mesh seems to do this fairly well, even if it is still in beta.


    Um, do we all really want to be synchronizing the exabytes of data that cloud based computing is presuming to support? Synching my data with a local source might not cause 'extra bandwidth' charges monthly, until I have a 20 megapixel camera...
  • 0 Hide
    jecht , October 15, 2009 8:11 PM
    Quote:
    Now on to the juicer topic of how it all happened in the first place.


    The juicer...topic? Wait wait, are you saying a JUICER caused the crash?! Like, someone plugged in a juicer and it blew the circuit?! Holy crap! There you have it folks, someone plugged in a juicer and crashed the servers!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 16, 2009 4:05 AM
    Server outage and the backup too? Yea right. For a small newbie company maybe but for Microsoft/Danger? No way in hell.

    S-A-B-O-T-A-G-E

    Why do people underestimate human incompetence?
  • 0 Hide
    liquidsnake718 , October 16, 2009 5:49 AM
    recent outage? What kind? Power?
  • 0 Hide
    anamaniac , October 16, 2009 6:32 AM
    JMcEntegartAgreed. Who's says life at Microsoft can't be sexy?

    ^_^
    jechtThe juicer...topic? Wait wait, are you saying a JUICER caused the crash?! Like, someone plugged in a juicer and it blew the circuit?! Holy crap! There you have it folks, someone plugged in a juicer and crashed the servers!

    My microwave crashes my computer (blows a breaker sometimes), but not the juicer, doesn't quite use as much power...
  • -1 Hide
    ossie , October 16, 2009 8:49 AM
    More likely is microsuxx trying to eliminate competition's products. Historically, most of their attempts, resulted in data loss.
    Dogfooding is great!
  • 0 Hide
    tanderskey , October 16, 2009 10:15 AM
    so its either "a system failure" or "sabotage" ... hmm ... those are my only two choices ... and both sound a bit lame.

    i wonder if they were in middle of a some type of database upgrade and it hung ... or the upgrade corrupted everything ... and because theyre using all of their own products they cant admit to that and so label it a generic system failure.

    but they wouldnt have been silly enough to be upgrading all their clustered, geographically redundant databases at the same time, would they?

    ... they are clustered and geographically redundant (times three) arent they?

    ... there is also some lazy monthly backup to hard media because they need a stop-gap for important customer data, right?

    you think they'll ever say what cloud computing service they were using ... Microsoft's own Azure, perchance?