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700GB email lost, O Well

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700GB email lost, O Well

I have just read on service status that the 700gb of email is lost for good. I am getting the inpression that Plusnet dont care that the email is gone. In the status report is says:

"approximately 50% of these emails were identified as spam email, approximately 48% was email that had already been read, downloaded and a copy left on our servers with the remaining 1-2% of the email deleted being unread."

followed by:

"we cannot recover any meaningful data, due to complexity of associating the data with the relevant customer accounts. "

So how can plusnet know that only 1-2% of email is any good if they can not get any meaningful data. This does not make sence it has taken 20days+ to tell us data is gone for ever...

Does plusnet care about these emails? Will we get compensaiton for possiable loss off email, i think not!.
31 REPLIES
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700GB email lost, O Well

What really sucks is if you didn't "download" email, but used webmail access. That was neatly side-stepped. :x
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700GB email lost, O Well

I too think the lack of any mention of compensation sucks. What's wrong with offering everyone who was affected a months free subscription?

And, I'm sure it's been pointed out before, but 1-2% of unread email, is 7-14gb! That's a fair old chunk of email
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700GB email lost, O Well

Stop bleating. It's obvious neither of you have any idea what measures where taken to attempt to restore the data lost. Did you even read the synopsis? PlusNet or any other business can never avoid mistakes 100% due to human error and they've probably done all that is possible at considerable cost to fix the problem.

And as for using webmail it's not meant as a permanent mail solution. It's designed to give you access to your email if you are away from home. Get yourself a decent mail client and download your email locally. Alternatively setup your own mail server and domain & pay for the privilege.

HTH.
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700GB email lost, O Well

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I too think the lack of any mention of compensation sucks. What's wrong with offering everyone who was affected a months free subscription?

Do you think plusnet have enough profit margin to give away 8% of their turnover?

I don't want money back, I just want to know that this kind of thing won't happen again.
channel
Grafter
Posts: 697
Registered: 03-09-2007

700GB email lost, O Well

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Stop bleating.


Nice to meet you.

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PlusNet or any other business can never avoid mistakes 100% due to human error


Did you read the synopsis? It would have been perfectly possible for Plus Net to have had systems in place which would have mitigated the circumstances following the human error. The truth is there was no "back up" taken at all in the sense that we would normally think of a "back up" (ie: a non-live, not in use copy of the files.) This is pretty straightforwardly demonstrated by the fact that all mail has been destroyed!

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And as for using webmail it's not meant as a permanent mail solution. It's designed to give you access to your email if you are away from home.


Indeed. And some of the complaints here are from people that were away from home and couldn't download the mail before Plus Net obliterated it.

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Get yourself a decent mail client and download your email locally. Alternatively setup your own mail server and domain & pay for the privilege.

HTH.


Not really!
aussiegtc
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 08-08-2007

700GB email lost, O Well

I can understand both sides here, and I'm someone who lost pretty much all of my historical email as I predominantly use Webmail when mobile and keep my Outlook client for corporate use only.

However - I think there's little value in continuing to complain about the loss of data - it's happened now and it's not coming back.

What we need to do now is seek assurance from PN that future changes follow a more stringent approval process and that backout plans are in place.

I think the system of notification of outages needs improvement (not everyone checks the portal daily) and clearly the communications around this issue have been vague at best. At least we now know for sure what we pretty much expected - it's gone for good!

I'll also be making sure I backup my hosted data a little more regularly --- Sad

I very much doubt this issue will be forgotten within PN quickly... let's see what improvements are made (once the MaxDSL backlog of problems is cleared I'd imagine!)..
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700GB email lost, O Well

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Nice to meet you.


Pleasure is all yours.


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Did you read the synopsis? It would have been perfectly possible for Plus Net to have had systems in place which would have mitigated the circumstances following the human error. The truth is there was no "back up" taken at all in the sense that we would normally think of a "back up" (ie: a non-live, not in use copy of the files.) This is pretty straightforwardly demonstrated by the fact that all mail has been destroyed!


Do you have any idea how long it would take to back up 700Gb of data to tape? Email isn't static either it changes constantly, so any backup taken would be different to the information stored by the end of the backup. If you had bothered to find out what had actually happened you'd have known that they did in fact have a backup on another NAS. I'll quote something for you - An explanatory email from PlusNet told punters: "At the time of making this change the engineer had two management console sessions open – one to the backup storage system and one to live storage. These both have the same interface, and until Friday it was impossible to open more than one connection to any part of the storage system at once."

So that blows your argument out the water that they didn't have any backup stratergy.

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Indeed. And some of the complaints here are from people that were away from home and couldn't download the mail before Plus Net obliterated it.


PlusNet do not guarantee 100% uptime/service etc, no one can. Sometimes stuff happens, just learn to live with it & get some perspective. It's just email your house wasn't blown apart by Israeli bombs or Hezbollah rockets.
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700GB email lost, O Well

What struck me is the inevitability of this response...
The "data recovery specialists" have been working on this for 2 weeks, and we've been promised a full update on Thursday, Friday, er, first thing Monday morning, um, tomorrow definitely.
Somehow you just knew it was all a waste of time... Sad
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700GB email lost, O Well

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Do you have any idea how long it would take to back up 700Gb of data to tape? Email isn't static either it changes constantly, so any backup taken would be different to the information stored by the end of the backup.


It certainly isn't 700GB only that needs backing up!

Of course data changes but a tape backup overnight at least minimizes your exposure in the event of such disastrous human error.

I'm sure some other providers will be chuckling to themselves and amazed at such a basic error by PN.
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700GB email lost, O Well

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Stop bleating.

I'm not even going to dignify that with a response.

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I can understand both sides here, and I'm someone who lost pretty much all of my historical email as I predominantly use Webmail when mobile and keep my Outlook client for corporate use only.

Same here. I didn't notice anything on the webmail portal which said you shouldn't rely on this service (maybe that should be on the PN banner :-P). Creating backup copies should be a standard part of the design.

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However - I think there's little value in continuing to complain about the loss of data - it's happened now and it's not coming back.

Agreed. It doesn't mean we should also act as if nothing as happened though.

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What we need to do now is seek assurance from PN that future changes follow a more stringent approval process and that backout plans are in place.

I don't believe it would have helped. The approval and backout plans would have referred to the new system only. I guarantee no-one said "but what if the guy has TWO windows open, to both live and development systems?". Ok, maybe now it will Tongue

The loss wasn't just caused by an engineers mistake, it was allowed to happen through a number of design and process decisions leading up to it. Stringing us along for a month and ending with a rather poor apology I had to go searching for doesn't make me feel any better.

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I'll also be making sure I backup my hosted data a little more regularly --- Sad

Personally, I'm seriously looking elsewhere. In 10 years no other company has managed to loose my data permanently. I suspect the other systems are similarly vulnerable to user error.
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700GB email lost, O Well

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It certainly isn't 700GB only that needs backing up!

Of course data changes but a tape backup overnight at least minimizes your exposure in the event of such disastrous human error.

I'm sure some other providers will be chuckling to themselves and amazed at such a basic error by PN.


The whole point is that the backup was in place. Another quote as to how it got overwritten - "The patches we installed on Friday evening removed this limitation (being able to access more then one storage system at once), but unaware of this, the engineer made an incorrect presumption that the window he was working in was the back-up rather than the live server. Subsequently the command to reconfigure the disk pack and remove all data therein was made to the wrong server."

So who is to blame? The engineer? Is it StorageTek or Sun who released the patch? Was this problem documented? Hindsight for anyone is a great thing but believe me having spent over 10 years working in Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity I can assure you that these kind of things will continue to happen. Unfortunately for PlusNet & those affected it happened to the backup system.

As the earlier poster pointed out, the most important thing to come out of this, is that PlusNet learn from the mistakes & put new processes in place to avoid any further problems.
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700GB email lost, O Well

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What struck me is the inevitability of this response...
The "data recovery specialists" have been working on this for 2 weeks, and we've been promised a full update on Thursday, Friday, er, first thing Monday morning, um, tomorrow definitely.
Somehow you just knew it was all a waste of time... Sad


Not so. Data forensics isn't a straight forward process. The recovery specialists where most likely taking things to the next step when the current one didn't yield anything. PlusNet could have just said oh if you don't get it back on the first attempt don't bother we'll just tell everyone its gone. They actually where able to recover data btw but it wasn't in a useable format due to destruction of the master inode.
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700GB email lost, O Well

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Not so. Data forensics isn't a straight forward process. The recovery specialists where most likely taking things to the next step when the current one didn't yield anything. PlusNet could have just said oh if you don't get it back on the first attempt don't bother we'll just tell everyone its gone. They actually where able to recover data btw but it wasn't in a useable format due to destruction of the master inode.


Don't worry, I know how difficult it is - I've been there... Shocked
But 2 weeks to decide we can't do anything?? Cry
channel
Grafter
Posts: 697
Registered: 03-09-2007

700GB email lost, O Well

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So that blows your argument out the water that they didn't have any backup stratergy.


I rather think the fact that my emails have been destroyed would suggest that there was no effective back up strategy. An overnight tape back up would have restricted the loss of emails to a day's worth at most.

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Sometimes stuff happens, just learn to live with it & get some perspective. It's just email your house wasn't blown apart by Israeli bombs or Hezbollah rockets.


I think I have kept everything perfectly in perspective. It's your own posts that show a complete loss of self control. For example, I find your invoking of the imagery of death and suffering of the hundreds of innocents in the Middle East for the purposes of "winning" what you perceive to be an "argument" to be in extremely poor taste. Shame on you.