Exclusive Interview with David Coallier of CloudSplit - Page 3
Q: Did Sidekick failure show a weakness in cloud hosting?
A: Many people believe Sidekick was a failure in cloud computing. However, I personally believe the problem was not the technology but the implementation of the technology. The simple fact that there was no real-time backup solutions to recover the clients data was a massive oversight by the T-Mobile team.
It does show that people may rely on cloud computing for a bit too much and the fact that it's a buzzword may blind certain people about the reality of hosting. Cloud computing will not solve your personal problems; it will not fix your faulty developers and racing conditions. It will help you achieve something but won't achieve it by itself. By not considering the potential problems, you are bound to have unexpected results and I believe this is what happened in the case of Sidekick.
The problem did not lie only in the cloud hosting provider but also in the architects that designed the system to not be redundant and not have external backups of any sort.
Q: How could have T-Mobile reacted better?
A: I don't recall seeing anything very specific regarding the T-Mobile's reaction apart from a few random blog posts and some vague quotes. However, following standard IT best practices would have definitely kept them out of the deep waters. There was neither apparent failover solutions nor redundancy setup which indicates that something went very wrong in the technical chain of decisions at T-Mobile. The best way to react is definitely to do their due diligence and get back on their feet. Nothing else can be done really.
I appreciate the time taken by David to answer these questions in the busy time leading up to the launch of CloudSplit.