Naming their subsidiary 'Danger' was only a subtle hint, but the hint was there.
My last post highlighted the problem of maintaining a secure Cloud Computing environment in the face of easily guessed login names and general password apathy. Now Microsoft has had to admit that their cloud may not be as resilient as they hoped it was. One of their subsidiaries (aptly named 'Danger') has lost customer data. Note that this data is not just misplaced or waiting for a restore of backup tapes - it is no more, it has ceased to be, it has expired and gone on to meet its maker. It is ex-data.
If you were an IT Manager and you had just 'lost' some data, imagine explaining that situation to your boss. What are your chances of escaping this situation with just a formal apology and an offer to forgo your bonus for the quarter? Probably quite small, but I'm betting that's exactly what Microsoft/Danger will offer. A snail-mailed letter on good quality paper printed where-ever its cheapest and an offer of an additional three months service for free. But first you must manually re-enter all of your data into our system...
I was also interested to read of a potential problem where lost data can be retrieved, but because of a massive server farm breakdown (terrorist attack?) there is insufficient bandwidth to restore all of the data in a timely manner.
Am I the only one worried about this? Sometimes I feel like Private James Frazer from Dad's Army with his oft-repeated observation of "We're dooooomed". I see many advantages in Cloud Computing, but the whole thing is moving too fast and aiming too high for my liking. My advice? Make haste slowly with the cloud and keep on-site backups of everything.