The plot thickens. There’s an extensive article over on AppleInsider that lays out more details regarding the possibles motivations responsible for the Danger Disaster at Microsoft. There are two theories: dogfooding and sabotage.
Dogfooding is a reference to the term “eating one’s own dogfood” or replacing competitor’s technology with your own for internal uses. AppleInsider’s insider source says
Danger’s Sidekick data center had “been running on autopilot for some time, so I don’t understand why they would be spending any time upgrading stuff unless there was a hardware failure of some kind,” wrote the insider. Given Microsoft’s penchant for “for running the latest and greatest,” however, “I wouldn’t be surprised if they found out that [storage vendor] EMC had some new SAN firmware and they just had to put it on the main production servers right away.”
But as the article points out, what could have been the motivation for Microsoft to change technologies when they were already scuttling the Danger product in the attempts to save the Pink Project? Microsoft was only running things as they were bound by contract with T-Mobile. The article goes on to say:
Instead, the fact that no data could be recovered after the problem erupted at the beginning of October suggests that the outage and the inability to recover any backups were the result of intentional sabotage by a disgruntled employee. In any other circumstance, Microsoft or T-Mobile would likely have come forward with an explanation of the mitigating circumstances, blaming bad hardware, a power failure, or some freak accident.
An act of sabotage “would explain why neither party is releasing any more details: for legal reasons dealing with the ongoing investigation to find the culprit(s),” one of the sources said. Due to the way Sidekick clients interact with the service, any normal failure should have resulted in only a brief outage until a replacement server could be brought up.
So, was it sabotage? I’ve been saying all along that the level of this screw up is so high you start to think that someone has to be intentionally screwing up this much. Whether that’s actually sabotage or just Microsoft’s apathy and ineptitude is unknown at this point.
On top of all this, AppleInsider points out the obvious: T-Mobile must be irate with Microsoft right about now. Surely in their contract there was a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that dictated a certain level of uptime. And with almost two weeks of outage plus an enormous loss of data this “is the worst possible violation of the SLA conceivable”. I’m just waiting for the lawsuits between T-Mobile and Microsoft/Danger to start.