back to article Punters lose backups in cloud storage biz spat

Users relying on an online backup service have lost all their uploaded data after a major falling out between a cloud provider and one of its resellers. UK-based Livedrive, which provides a cloud storage backend, ended its contract with US reseller Backify because, it claimed, the firm was "a fly-by-night operation" that didn' …


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  1. PassiveSmoking

    This is why I don't trust the cloud

    All it takes is one company to foul up or have a falling out with some other company, and poof. Your data's good as gone.

    My friends keep touting Spotify as the best thing ever, but I prefer the music stores (itunes, amazon MP3, etc) because once I've obtained the files from the vendor, they can't redact them. I just read that some dance music label has gotten arsey with Spotify and ganked all their music from the service. If your only access to the music in question was Spotify then you're now SOL.

    Cloud is a good name for this kind of service, because real life clouds tend to vanish in a hurry too.

  2. Tim Brown 1

    whatever the dubious nature of Backify...

    ...Livedrive are doing themselves no favours touting 'unlimited' services. I'd got the impression that this misleading and quite frankly dishonest term was at last dying out.

    Also if they wish to come out of this debacle with any credit at all they should at least offer to let the effected Backify customers retrieve their backups for a limited period even if they can't store further data.

    1. deargeek

      In what way is "unlimited" misleading?

      I have around 500 clients using Livedrive, some with backups as large as 1.5TB - unlimited *is* unlimited.

      1. Tim Brown 1


        but at some point THERE IS a limit or the business is just not economical. It might be a big limit and they may not tell you what it is but it's still there.

  3. Arrrggghh-otron

    This would never have happend if they were using the cloud!

    ...oh, what they were? Who would have thought it possible!

    1. Bakunin

      In the cloud no one can hear you scream ...

      .... when you discover your data has disappeared into the ether.

  4. Ed Uncle
    Thumb Down

    Frying pan and fire...

    Livedrive's email made me laugh ( ), they are at least as dodgy as Backify.

    Cheap use of a resellers client base to scare punters in to buying their own service instead, while actually punting their data out the window in the very same email.

    'Dear Customer,

    You backup provider was evil, but we are nice and we were the real provider all along.

    We just deleted all of your data, please check out our trial accounts!'


    1. DButch

      If backify was applying strong encryption to the data stored at Livedrive (I know, assumes competence not in evidence) it would be nearly impossible for Livedrive to make the data available without the keys. Of course, this also assumes Livedrive didn't do something totally cavalier - might mean I'm 0 for 2 here...

  5. half man half amazing

    Data loss can happen to anyone!

    And they proved it lol

  6. Andy Fox


    Should they not be called Back iffy?

  7. sabba
    Paris Hilton

    And the dangers of the cloud... many fold. Caveat emptor. You wouldn't hand over your backup tapes / disks to someone cold calling at your door and yet people are more than happy to copy their (possibly sensitive) data to some remote data-centre without necessarily checking out the implications.

    Fools and their money are easily parted.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      That is true, and probably more so than people who use tapes. However, have you ever followed the Iron Mountain van after it leaves your site?

      On an unrelated topic, are you interested in 2nd-hand backup carts? Only used once, very cheap. Got a lorryload to shift... :)

  8. Pinkster

    Isn't the cloud great?

    Good job it wasn't my PS3 game saves that went kaput!

  9. Mike 9

    Pyramid data storage scheme?

    I was looking for a cloud backup solution for my business. I discovered that Livedrive seemed to be part of some huge pyramid storage scheme. They are reselling unlimited storage to other vendors, some of which who are then reselling yet again it to other customers. I don't know if livedrive is at the top of the pyramid, or whether they are also purchasing unlimited storage from somewhere else, but 39.95 a month for unlimited storage to setup yourself as a cloud storage provider sounds to good to be true.

  10. Jason Bloomberg

    39 quid a month

    I think I'd go to Tesco / Maplin / eBuyer and buy a new USB disk every month.

    At least they would have resale value, I'd have multiple copies of my files, and far less chance of everything disappearing in an instant. For a year's cost you could have quite a nice little cloud of your own running in a cupboard.

    At the end of the year you can turf the server out a window to get the full experience of Backify. And with more chance of getting some data back.

    1. Jess--

      the whole point of cloud storage (at least in terms of backup) it that it is well and truly off-site (probably not even on the same continent)

      your pile of usb hard drives arent going to do you much good if the building housing them and your servers gets wiped off the map.

      for disaster recovery planning I always start off with "the datacentre & everything within 50 miles is a smoking crater" and work from there.

      1. Aaron Em

        Still stuck in the Cold War, then?

        Is it worth planning for a megaton-range city-buster fusing directly above your data center? Sure, if you intend to carry on business in the wake of nuclear armageddon.

        Is it worth planning for a megaton-range city-buster fusing directly above your data center *every day*? Sure, if you have absolutely no reasonable idea of your client's or employer's business continuity needs.

        Good luck finding yourself somebody rich and dumb to leech off of. In these times, you'll need it.

        1. Jess--

          yes its unlikely, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a plan in place for it.

          you thought of nuke first, now allow for earthquake, flood, major power failure (you may have long term backup power, but does every connection you need to use have similar backup power capabilities)

          1. Aaron Em

            So, Jess--

            Your credentials in the field, let you show me them.

            The times I've done continuity planning work, it's been for people sensible enough to realize that in the event of an earthquake, flood, week-long seaboard-wide power failure, &c. -- all of which have happened around here in fairly recent times -- they were going to be out of business anyway, just like everyone else, until the basic services of civilization were restored, not least because how the hell do you expect people to get in to work? If I'd come to them with a plan that started from the megaton range and worked its way down from there, they'd have laughed me out of town.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Dear Jess--

        It is easy to get that sorted... ever heard of a courier service? ;-)

        Ship the damn drive off to your sister 100 miles away. Or a safety deposit service. Or something that allows you to do this. It's a damn sight cheaper (and easier) than shoving 512GB onto a cloud service that might not be there tomorrow.

        I'll take my chances with the moving parts... And DHL.

  11. Frank Bitterlich

    Trust us!

    "we will refund all of them over the next few business days. You do not need to file any disputes or chargebacks with PayPal or your bank".

    No need to chargeback. Trust us. We will pay back all your money, in a few days. Four weeks max. Wait a second, I've got a call on the other line - it's my travel agent...

  12. oceanclub

    All very odd

    Here's part of the email I got from Backify on 15 Nov:

    "We regret to inform you that we can not provide free backup services anymore. All free Backify accounts will be closed on November 22, 2011.

    In order to prevent your account from deletion, please login into your account and update your Billing Details."

    Here's part of the email I got on the 18th:

    "Backify used to be a reseller for's services. Recently we were having some issues with their serive and they were literally unable to provide a solution to our problems. More information about these issues can be read on our homepage at Tired of the service provided by LiveDrive, we asked them to close our reseller account. "

    If they were having issues with the service and asked Livedrive to close their account, why did they _then_ seek payment from customers?


  13. ScaredyCat

    ...except when we have a reason...

    "Your customers are your customers

    As a Livedrive reseller, your customers remain your own. We will never contact your customers for any reason."

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