Schrödinger Cloud Backup


    An interesting exhibit appeared in my collection of interesting cases related to online data storage - today's letter from Crashplan to users of “CrashPlan for Small Business” .

    This exhibit will delight boring skeptics by confirming their wildest expectations.

    Well, for optimists and those who have never thought about how online backups work, this may come as a surprise.

    On May 6, 2019, our technical services team rolled out a number of changes to the CrashPlan for Small Business data protection service. These changes were intended to make restoring files and machines more efficient by eliminating unnecessary files from your backup sets . Unfortunately, we made two mistakes during this change process.

    The online backup service strives to meet the highest expectations of users and, to increase productivity, now removes unnecessary files from backups .

    There is no doubt that such a solution will increase the speed of backup recovery - because if you do not have backup files, the recovery process will be very fast.

    But what are the two errors in question:

    The first mistake relates to our email notifications sent to you regarding the changes to CrashPlan. Our initial email sent in early April was classified incorrectly as a marketing communication and did not reach customers who opted out of marketing communications. We resent the notification to all customers on May 17, but this did not give enough advance notice to some of our customers. We apologize for this mistake and we can assure you that we have since changed our processes to ensure better communications in the future.

    The first mistake is that information about this convenience was sent to users not as an important notice, but as an information and advertising mailing list . But it turned out that not all CrashPlan users wanted to receive promotional materials and subscribed to such a newsletter.

    There is no doubt that people who refused to receive the newsletter deserved that their files were deemed "unnecessary" and deleted.

    The second mistake involves the actual file changes that we made. As part of this update, we stopped archiving 32 file types and directories. The email notification included a link to an updated list of files that are excluded from CrashPlan backups. One of the file types we began excluding from backups is the .sparseimage file format. We believed that this file format was obsolete because in 2007 Apple introduced a new format called .sparsebundle, which we thought replaced .sparseimage for the use case we track. After we implemented the changes in May, some of our customers made it clear they still have valid use cases for .sparseimage. We now believe we made an error in excluding .sparseimage, and we have since added it back to the list of files we support via backup.

    The second error is not even an error at all, but a very useful thing - deleting old data.

    In an effort to do as much benefit to its customers as possible, CrashPlan decided to stop backing up legacy virtual disk files . The explanation is simple: in 2007 Apple introduced a new format for virtual disk files, which means that in 2019 the old format is no longer relevant.

    There is no doubt about the reasonableness of this innovation, on the contrary - it would be crazy to litter online backups with files older than 12 years.

    Our priority is to provide a great product that protects your important small business data .

    There is no doubt that the online backup service decides to delete backup files to protect data important to your business .

    And, of course, CrashPlan employees know best what kind of data is important to you and what kind of your files are unnecessary.

    All for your convenience!

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    You are surprised at this turn of events.

    • 34.7% Yes 48
    • 47.1% No 65
    • 18.1% I do not understand what it is about 25

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