Let's talk the Cloud a little more, shall we?

To recap: A large number of Sidekick users learned that their data — e-mail, contacts, calendar, etc. — had gone up in smoke, on the server side. The Sidekick ecosystem once was run by Danger, which is now owned by Microsoft, which has taken responsibility for the outage and/or data loss. T-Mobile's sending $100 "customer appreciate cards" for the trouble, if you permanently lost data.

Microsoft now says "we have recovered most, if not all, customer data." (Read Microsoft's full statement from T-Mobile's forums [via Giz] after the break.)

So, let's ask the obvious: This has been a high-profile outage and data loss. And as often is case after an event such as this, we'll see alot of "Is the Cloud safe?" headlines. Oh, and lawsuits. Our take? The Cloud is a service, and an important one. But reliability and redundancy go hand-in-hand. Any service that puts all its eggs in one basket is just asking for trouble. And we're not even getting into the reported trouble surrounding Project Pink, and more recent claims that the Sidekick snafu was sabotage. Unsubstantiated at best, though certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

For most services — Gmail, Exchange, whatever — it's pretty simple to export your contacts and the like and back them up elsewhere. jkOnTheRun offers a few tips on backing up your Gmail e-mails themselves. Have other tips? Let us know in the comments.  

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, if not all, 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 these forums 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