Failed Carbonite upgrade lets customers down

Failed Carbonite upgrade lets customers down

Summary: I subscribe to Carbonite's backup service. Over the last couple of days, the teensy Carbonite icon in my system tray has been red, displaying a message that Carbonite's servers are unavailable. Today, I sent email to tech support, only to be informed that someone would get back to me "within 72 hours." That pretty much sucks when I'm paying for a high-availability service. If my hard drive crashes and I need assistance with restore, hopefully I won't need my data within 72 hours.Anyhow, I just received an email from Carbonite, describing a server upgrade problem:

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Failed Carbonite upgrade leaves customers down

I subscribe to Carbonite's backup service. Over the last couple of days, the teensy Carbonite icon in my system tray has been red, displaying a message that Carbonite's servers are unavailable. Today, I sent email to tech support, only to be informed that someone would get back to me "within 72 hours." That pretty much sucks when I'm paying for a high-availability service. If my hard drive crashes and I need assistance with restore, hopefully I won't need my data within 72 hours.

Anyhow, I just received an email from Carbonite, describing a server upgrade problem:

Dear Michael,

Carbonite began the first phase of a system upgrade early Monday morning. Due to a server glitch, a number of customers using Carbonite version 3.5.89 have been unable to reconnect since that time, even though Carbonite's servers were unavailable for only a few hours.

We've identified your computer [computer name] as one of those affected.

Don't worry, your backup is safe, but it will not be updated until you reinstall the latest version of Carbonite as follows:

1) Go to http://www.carbonite.com/manage to log in to your account 2) Click the 'My Protected Computers' tab 3) Click the 'Reinstall' button, and follow the instructions to reinstall Carbonite on your computer

As soon as you've reinstalled, your backup will resume immediately from where it left off.

We apologize for the inconvenience this causes.

Sincerely,

The Carbonite Team

Looks like someone had a little testing problem over there with the upgrade. The email says "a number of customers" were affected. I wonder if that means all their customers.

Seems there's never enough time to test before deployment but plenty of time to fix problems after they hit customers. <Blogger shakes head in wonderment and moves on.>

Topics: Collaboration, Data Management, Hardware, Servers, Storage

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20 comments
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  • Carbonite Online Backup - Outage

    I do not believe that Carnonite's response on this matter has been genuine.

    It was claimed that an upgrade was the reason for these difficulties and that the problem only affected customers who had installed version 3.5.89. This appears to be untrue.

    I had installed version 3.5.90 (the current version) which was newer than the one that apparently had the problems. Why is it that my Carbonite was also down for almost 48 hours? Why is it that my friend in Singapore on version 3.5.90 also had the same problem? Why is that other people have blogged about also having similar problems?

    I think that Carbonite needs to be honest with its customers when issues arise.

    What's even more worrying is that this outage lasted, to the best of my knowledge for almost 2 days (and it could have been longer), is that the Carbonite online backup status page was not updated until AFTER the event and even then it doesn't appear to accurately represent what happened.

    So, 2 days to realise that there's a problem?

    If this continues I will be seeking a refund from Carbonite. If Carbonite isn't forthcoming with a refund then I will lodge a complaint with my credit card issuer and dispute the charge on the grounds that it has not delivered the service I have paid for.

    I will be watching Carbonite like a hawk from now on.

    Our data is simply too important to be stuffed around like this. Mr David Friend, CEO of Carbonite, take note!
    spunkarooney@...
    • Is there any Carbonite left?

      Today the Carbonite server has been "temporarily down for maintenance" for a week and and the Carbonite website is unaccessible and it is impossible to send support requests.

      So, the question is : Is there any Carbonite left?
      ronald@...
  • Sounds fishy to me too

    That's one reason I wrote the post.
    mkrigsman@...
  • RE: Failed Carbonite upgrade lets customers down

    All I can say is one word: Mozy
    :-)
    Zoli Erdos
    • You like Mozy's restore method?

      Where it emails you links to zip files you download, instead of being able to select files in Explorer. At least Carbonite's restore process has always been reliable for me.
      mkrigsman@...
      • Lotsa Mozy restore options

        Actually, Mozy allows you to restore in several different ways. You can restore your files through Windows Explorer directly to your computer (via right-click or virtual drive), order your files on a DVD, or download them from the Mozy website. - Vance Checketts, Mozy COO
        vchecket
        • I tried to find that option

          I went through Mozy and couldn't find the option to restore through Explorer. To me. the zip file download method seems dated and unreliable.
          mkrigsman@...
  • RE: Failed Carbonite upgrade lets customers down

    Hi, David Friend here, Carbonite's CEO. The upgrade problem affected 1143 users out of several hundred thousand. Almost everyone is back up now. We're very sorry for the inconvenience. We understand exactly what happened and it will not happen again.

    Dave Friend, CEO
    Carbonite, Inc.
    dfriend
    • Still Out

      OK: I've had the "Carbonite Server Down for Maintenance" for 3 days now. I've had a standard acknowledgment from Customer Service, but no reply. Amazingly, there seems to be no infromation about the problem on the Carbonite website.

      Hmmmm....what's going on here?
      agbagb
    • RE: Failed Carbonite upgrade lets customers down

      @dfriend During the fourth of July weekend most people are thinking about spending time with their families and not thinking if they're data is getting backed up. As of right now on 7/5/2010 Carbonite is yet again at its wits end with server maintenance and without even the sheerest consideration of sending out their customers an email regarding the matter. Nooo you have to find out the hard way and actually call them. I call that poor customer service. What's more a gentleman by the name of Carl D. in technical support had the audacity to hang up on me and claim that his call got disconnected. I'm sorry Mr. David but Carbonite has a lot of work to do regarding customer support goes. <---Unsatisfied customer
      DannySalerno
  • RE: Failed Carbonite upgrade lets customers down

    David,

    Thank you for your clarification. It takes a lot of guts for a CEO to admit errors!

    You as a CEO of Carbonite, you should be commended for your efforts and diligence to let users know what happened. You are not afraid to say, "we screwed up!"

    A one time glitch should not be a big deal! Even the big guys like Yahoo, MSN and Google go down fromtime to time. The big lesson should be: Never this will happen again!


    Cheers,
    goorsha@...
  • RE: Failed Carbonite upgrade lets customers down

    My Carbonite service has also been down for several days. Is anyone else unable to connect to their website? http://www.carbonite.com/manage
    dawnjo
  • RE: Failed Carbonite upgrade lets customers down

    Carbonite customer support got back to me to tell me to re-install the Carbonite software:

    "Please follow the instructions below to reinstall Carbonite.

    1. Log on to www.carbonite.com/manage.
    2. Click the My Protected Computers tab.
    3. Click the Reinstall button. (If you have more than one subscribed computer, you'll need to select the appropriate PC and then click the Reinstall button.)

    Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process. "

    That took about 10 minutes, and everything now seems fine.

    AGB
    agbagb
  • RE: Failed Carbonite upgrade lets customers down

    Dawn,

    If you are presently still unable even to connect to the Carbonite website, you may have an unrelated issue. It is possible that your firewall is blocking the Carbonite site (although I think that's unlikely); more likely it is a DNS problem on your ISP. We've heard some reports lately that folks have had trouble connecting to our website even though it has been up and running. There's an easy way to test whether this is the problem:

    1. First, go to www.carbonite.com to see if you still are unable to connect.
    2. If you weren't able to connect, try again by going to http://38.97.103.136 (the direct IP address of the Carbonite website).

    If you were able to connect to the website in step two above, but not in step one, your ISP's DNS server may be blocking the Carbonite website. In that case, you should contact your ISP so that they can correct the problem.

    Please let us know your results.

    Sincerely,

    Len Pallazola
    Manager, Customer Service Systems
    Carbonite, Inc.
    www.carbonite.com
    lenpal
    • RE: Failed Carbonite upgrade lets customers down

      @lenpal During the fourth of July weekend most people are thinking about spending time with their families and not thinking if they're data is getting backed up. As of right now on 7/5/2010 Carbonite is yet again at its wits end with server maintenance and without even the sheerest consideration of sending out their customers an email regarding the matter. Nooo you have to find out the hard way and actually call them. I call that poor customer service. What's more a gentleman by the name of Carl D. in technical support had the audacity to hang up on me and claim that his call got disconnected. I'm sorry Mr. David but Carbonite has a lot of work to do regarding customer support goes. <---Unsatisfied customer
      DannySalerno
  • RE: Failed Carbonite upgrade lets customers down

    Actually it did only effect some systems. I have 5 systems at work running carbonite and it effected two of them.
    JimLouis
  • RE: Failed Carbonite upgrade lets customers down

    Since upgrade my status report shows "backup complete" but changed files are still yellow tagged. Customer service is jammed. Hope they sort this out soon. Insurance doesn't mean much if it's questionable.
    mbennett2
  • Business users should try VOSI.biz


    Offering unlimited storage for a fixed annual fee of only $50/year? unless storage, bandwidth, server power and IT operations are all free in this world! For a business customer, never trust there is free lunch, certainly don't expect free lunch will be there for long time. Our company, VOSI.biz (http://www.vosi.biz/) offers true high-end services that are designed to save your company money and solve your business problems. We offer advanced remote backup services, remote file server, FTP Server Hosting, web/email hosting services and email backup services, all for a low price. Better, you can use our services on any number of computers from anywhere for no extra charge.

    Jenny
    Customer Support Department
    http://www.vosi.biz/
    Jenny_1970
  • Guess what it's happening again

    During the fourth of July weekend most people are thinking about spending time with their families and not thinking if they're data is getting backed up. As of right now on 7/5/2010 Carbonite is yet again at its wits end with server maintenance and without even the sheerest consideration of sending out their customers an email regarding the matter. Nooo you have to find out the hard way and actually call them. I call that poor customer service. What's more a gentleman by the name of Carl D. in technical support had the audacity to hang up on me and claim that his call got disconnected. I'm sorry Mr. David but Carbonite has a lot of work to do regarding customer support goes. <---Unsatisfied customer
    DannySalerno
  • Guess what it happens again 7/5/2010

    During the fourth of July weekend most people are thinking about spending time with their families and not thinking if they're data is getting backed up. As of right now on 7/5/2010 Carbonite is yet again at its wits end with server maintenance and without even the sheerest consideration of sending out their customers an email regarding the matter. Nooo you have to find out the hard way and actually call them. I call that poor customer service. What's more a gentleman by the name of Carl D. in technical support had the audacity to hang up on me and claim that his call got disconnected. I'm sorry Mr. David but Carbonite has a lot of work to do regarding customer support goes. <---Unsatisfied customer
    DannySalerno