SpiderOak’s datacenter upgrade is still borking backups • The Register

Over a month after an April datacenter upgrade coincided with problems with some of its customers’ backups, secure storage biz SpiderOak still isn’t fully operational, and some angry users say they’re ready to cut ties.

The ongoing problems affect users of SpiderOak One, a software-based encrypted backup solution that’s marketed as a means to protect data from ransomware and whatever “else life brings your way.” SpiderOak also designs data protection and cybersecurity solutions for space-based operations.

Scores of users reported service issues following the upgrade, which began on April 24, venting their frustrations both to El Reg, and via social media. Several spoke of an intent to cancel their subscriptions, some of which have been ongoing for a decade. This follows a month where users say they have been unable to back up their data despite still paying their subscription fees.

The company is reportedly honoring these cancellation requests, refunding users, and reimbursing annual subscribers for the months left on contracts they don’t plan to use.

Despite receiving an email from SpiderOak the day before the upgrade was due to take place, apologizing for the expected service interruption, the warning wasn’t heeded by some users. The company was also criticized for not specifying the expected duration of the outage.

Customers wrote to Vulture Central saying they were unaware their data wasn’t being backed up, and in some cases, didn’t realize it until two weeks after the upgrade started.

A SpiderOak spokesperson said: “We won’t discuss specific numbers on claims of lost clients, or folks still offline, but they are very minimal, and our team will not rest until everyone is restored and happy.

“This migration may have caused some issues for certain clients, but as stated earlier we are excited about the benefits in data redundancy, management, scalability, disaster recovery, and potential savings this move will bring [and it] makes SpiderOak One an even better choice for users who require a high-quality backup solution with top-of-the-line security standards.”

Over a month later, SpiderOak One is still at 99 percent operability, according to the company’s support account on X. They didn’t respond to our questions regarding how many customers to which this 1 percent equates. 

SpiderOak’s X account was revived after five years of inactivity to provide these updates, presumably because its support system went down for a short time immediately after the upgrade started. Since then, the account has provided regular rebuild updates and bore the brunt of users’ dissatisfaction.

The vendor’s social media team remains responsive to queries even now its normal ticketing system is back up and running, although some users as recently as last week were complaining of missing email responses.

In response, SpiderOak said: “Our support team has been on this since the beginning but given the thousands of Spideroak One users, it’s possible some clients may have missed an email response to questions, if so, we ask them to write back so we can make sure we address their concerns.”

SpiderOak has been in the process of repairing one final cluster since May 13, per the Xeeted updates. The spokesperson said: “By cluster we mean a group of servers that function together as a group, and some of ours have unique architectures that require more time.”

One source told us that SpiderOak support mentioned “hardware failure” in response to a query about the cause of the issues, a claim the company’s officials denied when asked.

“The temporary outage claims from your sources had nothing to do with hardware failure,” the spokesperson said. “In fact, moving SpiderOak One to a new datacenter was a proactive measure to ensure that we wouldn’t have hardware failure in the future and to help us ensure the longevity of this product. 

“As of today, we are almost 100 percent operational and working hard to get everyone up ASAP. We do understand how our users could perceive the downtime as a silent failure, but that is not what occurred.”

Other users report billing issues after their software re-synchronized with SpiderOak’s servers. Some users report their accounts have been suspended citing overdue payments, despite saying the vendor collecting the subscription fee on the usual date.

SpiderOak says you’ll know it’s secure because a little bird told you

FROM THE ARCHIVES

One user wrote in to say they were one of the 99 percent that regained functionality, but the performance was so shaky that they couldn’t trust it going forward.

The vendor’s support site is currently adorned with a big red banner highlighting the outage and apologizing for the disruption.

Asked about an estimated time to full operability, SpiderOak wouldn’t commit to a firm date. Its X-based support account said on May 20 that it aimed to achieve a full restoration by the end of the week. ®

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