The withering of Ma.gnolia

23 Feb 2009
Ma.gnolia video
Ma.gnolia video

It is extremely easy to sit on the sidelines and say "hahahahaha" when someone else's system goes bang. Schadenfreud is a particularly self-indulgent emotion.

But I strongly advise you to go to http://ma.gnolia.com and watch the video. The background is that magnolia was a service which stored bookmarks. A lot of people relied upon it for their bookmark stores, and it was a "software as a service". A cloud computing thing, if you like.

Unfortunately, it has gone bang, with irretrievable data loss.

Without question, this has been a learning experience for those enthusiasts who put a lot of effort into building the service, irrespective of their understanding (or lack of it) of risk assessment.

When you watch the video, you too will wince as I did about the choices they made. "Did you do any backup testing?" "Nope" made me squirm.

But think of the wider SaaS perspective. When you put a SaaS into your business process, do you really know who you are dealing with? Have you really looked at the SLA, the recovery tools and so forth?

Of course, it would be wrong to scale up a disaster at a community enthusiast site into the wider space of Azure or Google or Amazon services. But vendors will be selling SaaS services hosted on those platforms, and on all sizes of platforms all the way down to one PC with no working backup.

At the end of the day, it's your business and you have to take responsibility for it. SaaS is not a major thing which cures all known ills.

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