Security Technology

Rackspace ate my homework pt. II

For those who followed my previous post, I thought I should post a quick update.

Something positive

I was naturally quite surprised to be contacted rather quickly by Rackspace shortly after posting. This was a nice surprise, and the contact afterwards were somehow more understanding. At least I could sense they are feeling sorry for my situation.

Lost homework

As expected, there was no way to recover the lost image. I received a follow-up message on the original ticket confirming this quite clearly. They then rather swiftly changed the tone into legal-speak and referred me to their terms of service, which I quote here for the benefit of the world at large.

The fine print?

We do not promise that the Services will be uninterrupted, error-free, or completely secure. You acknowledge that there are risks inherent in Internet connectivity that could result in the loss of your privacy, Confidential Information, and property. Rackspace has no obligation to provide security other than as stated in this Agreement. We disclaim any and all warranties not expressly stated in the Agreement, including the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and noninfringement. You are solely responsible for the suitability of the service chosen. If you have not made the minimum financial commitment for support and SLA coverage, the Services are provided AS IS. Any voluntary services we may perform for you at your request and without any additional charge are provided AS IS.

12.3 Although the Rackspace Cloud service may be used as a backup service, you agree that you will maintain at least one additional current copy of your programs and data stored on the Rackspace Cloud system somewhere other than on the Rackspace Cloud system.

Don’t forget to backup our backups!

So if I’m reading this correctly, you are very welcome to use Rackspace CloudFiles for storing backups, as long as you make sure you keep backups somewhere else too outside Rackspace. Now it makes perfect sense. Like when I order a takeaway meal, I agree that I will order another takeaway meal somewhere else, just in case the meal doesn’t turn out. Of course.


Rackspace were quite kind however. Without admitting that it was their fault or that they screwed-up in any way, shape or form, they offered to credit the account with the equivalent of two month’s worth of service. Since we don’t really use Rackspace so much, our monthly bill is quite small, and so is this token of good will. I understand it should be proportional to the value of our account, but to be honest, it still doesn’t really make me very happy. I think a sincere apology, admitting that it was their fault and that they are working to fix it will go a much longer way than offering this token reimbursement.

What next?

To be honest I don’t know. I don’t hate Rackspace. I genuinely want to use their service. I want them to get better so that there is real competition and the entire marketplace will benefit. I don’t want to end with only one provider, however good they might be. Choice is important. It still makes me wonder if we can ever rely on Rackspace for anything other than our very least critical servers (as the case is right now pretty much).

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