I would like to further clarify two points with regard to Carbonite’s lawsuit against Promise Technologies:
- This event happened over a year ago. We do not say this to minimize the matter. But we do want to point out that this has not happened in a long time and is not an ongoing problem.
- The total number of Carbonite customers who were unable to retrieve their data was 54, not 7,500.
is what happened: The Promise servers that we were purchasing in 2006
and 2007 use RAID technology to spread data redundantly across 15 disk
drives so that if any one disk drive fails, you don't lose any data.
The RAID software that makes all this work is embedded as "firmware" in
the storage servers. In this case, we believe that the firmware on the
servers had bugs that caused the servers to crash. Carbonite
automatically restarted all 7,500 backups and more than 99% of these
were completely restored without incident. Statistically, about 2 out
of every 1,000 consumer hard drives will crash every week, so 54 of
these customers had their PCs crash before their re-started backups
were complete. Since they weren’t completely backed up when their PCs
crashed, these customers were unable to restore all of their files from
Carbonite. Most of the 54 got some or most of their data back. We took
full responsibility for what happened and I did my best to call each of
these customers personally to apologize.
As a result of our
problems with the Promise servers, we switched to a popular Dell server
that uses RAID6 – an improved RAID that allows for the loss of 3 of the
15 drives simultaneously before you lose any data. This configuration
is in theory 36 million times more reliable than a single disk drive —
the chances of 3 out of 15 drives failing at the same time are almost
So far, Promise has refused to accept responsibility for
their equipment’s failures, so now we are suing them to get our money
back. The Dell RAID servers have been flawless and we're extremely
happy with them. Dave Friend, CEOCarbonite, Inc.