By now you've  undoubtedly heard about the rather catastrophic data loss involving the Sidekick. If not, the short, short version: All of the data on the Sidekick is stored on the device or on servers run by Danger (which, of course, was purchased by Microsoft). During a recent upgrade, the Storage Area Network, or SAN, wasn't backed up before being upgraded. Basically, standard operating procedure was ignored. (This is, for the same reason, why we repeat over and over to backup your data before upgrading your Windows phone.)

Today, Microsoft issued the following:

REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 13, 2009 — We are thankful for the continued patience as Microsoft-Danger works to preserve platform stability and restore all services for our Sidekick customers. We have made significant progress this past weekend, restoring services to virtually every customer. Microsoft-Danger has teams of experts in place that are working around the clock to ensure this stability is maintained.

T-Mobile and Microsoft-Danger continue to do all we can to recover and return customers’ lost personal content. Recent efforts indicate that recovering some lost content may now be possible. We will continue to keep you updated on this front; we know how important this is to you.

T-Mobile will send a $100 customer appreciation card to those who have experienced a significant and permanent loss of personal content. This appreciation card will be in addition to the free month of data service customers have already been given. The card can be used toward T-Mobile products and services or a customer’s T-Mobile bill. Details will be sent in the next 14 days to customers who fit this category — there is no action needed on their part. We, however, remain hopeful that personal content can be recovered for the majority of our customers.

Sidekick customers can visit T-Mobile Forums regularly to access the latest updates as well as FAQs regarding this service disruption.

So how much is your data worth? Apparently $100, though some users are getting their data back.

Is this damning on cloud computing? Yep. On Danger and Microsoft? Double-yep. Does that mean the end of cloud computing, Danger, Microsoft, or the world as we know it? Certainly not.

Back up your data. Period. Nothing is infallible.