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Evernote coughs to data loss

Evernote coughs to data loss

Evernote's cloud-based system should offer redundancy - but a hardware failure resulted in lost data.

Cloud-based note-taking service Evernote has admitted that a "series of hardware failures" means that around a fifth of its customers have lost some of their notes for good.

According to the official blog, the company - which offers a web-based system for taking rich-media notes along with iPhone and Android mobile clients which synchronise to a central location - suffered a failure of one of their servers back in July which resulted in 6,323 users losing any notes edited between the 1st and the 4th of July.

Although each affected customer has been contacted individually - and given recompense for the foul-up in the form of a one-year upgrade to the company's Premium offering - Evernote's Phil Libin has only now gone public with the issue, defending the decision to delay a public announcement as being "to give our support staff the time to work with the actual people affected instead of fielding a flood of requests from the more than 99% of users who were not in the affected group but had no way of determining that themselves."

Libin has also stated that the problem "was a one-time issue," and that the company has "significantly improved our reporting and redundancy infrastructure to ensure that it does not happen again."

While the loss of data is thought to be minimal - affecting, as it does, only a selection of users who edited or created notes during the failure - and most users are thought to have been able to re-synchronise their data from locally-stored copies, it's an embarrassing occurrence for a company which promises to keep your important notes safe - and a stark highlight that cloud computing can sometimes offer unconsidered risks, no matter how many precautions a company takes.

Were any of you affected by Evernote's issues, or does this just reaffirm your commitment to not trust any mass-storage system you can't hold in your hands? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

7 Comments

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proxess 11th August 2010, 10:37 Quote
I use Springpad for this kind of stuff.
Jim 11th August 2010, 12:11 Quote
Always reassuring when a company in this field doesn't take a backup.
rickysio 11th August 2010, 15:01 Quote
Which is why I have my own redundant backup.
HourBeforeDawn 11th August 2010, 21:49 Quote
lol the point of cloud was to remove the concerns of personal backups and relying on corporations and their server farms to have multiple redundancies... well they failed..
fodder 12th August 2010, 00:06 Quote
In this case, is the cloud not the backup? The android device has it's copy, and the cloud it's version. If one or the other fails there is always the other. Mind you, with so many clients using the hardware, if it does fail then the chances of the originating device failing increase by a factor of the number of users.

And yes, they should have a backup of their own if they are providing a premium service.
dyzophoria 12th August 2010, 14:06 Quote
without the exact details of their hardware problem its hard to assume that they didnt make a backup though. if they planned a service like that without a backup, I can't hardly believe that any of the admins would had the balls to agree to that. lol (being an admin myself that is)
r0z|3o0n 13th August 2010, 01:35 Quote
Whenever I see a data loss like this I have to wonder if a disgruntled employee or external attack was involved.

Even with fairly rudimentary data protection measures it's kinda difficult to completely lose data in an entirely human-independent way.
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