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Online services bite the dust

Two online data sharing services failed this week — one from a computing giant, and the other a small social bookmarking website.

That’s the trouble in this wild and wooly world of the cloud–especially in its early days. Not every service is going to make it, and then you’re going to have to figure out what to do with your data if your service fails.

Hewlett-Packard pulled the plug on HP Upline, and according to our Australian affiliate, ma.gnolia went under. SearchStorage ANZ reports that “in late January, ma.gnolia experienced a catastrophic data loss event and turned to backups to restore its database of users’ bookmarks. Both the primary and secondary backups failed irrevocably.”

Said a friend of mine who’s a Digg addict (I’m more a woman myself), “Losing my bookmarks would *hurt*.”

In the case of HP’s Upline online backup service, users will at least be able to get their data back. HP confirmed this afternoon will be discontinued as of March 31. In a statement, an HP spokesperson said:

HP continually evaluates product lines and has decided to discontinue the HP Upline service on March 31, 2009.

HP will no longer be backing up customer files to the HP Upline servers as of Feb 26, 2009 at 8 am Pacific time. HP will keep the file restore feature of the Upline service operational through March 31, 2009 Pacific time in order for customers to download any files that have been backed up to Upline.

Blogger AppScout wrote disappointedly, “And so goes the story of one of the slickest online storage and backup services to launch in the past year.” Among Upline’s unique features was the ability for users to tag content for later search and share, and to publish files online using the service through a feature called the Upline Library. However, Upline crashed right out of the gate, drawing opportunistic marketing for competitors.

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Very True Marc. The interaction between SSD and HDD is a complex one to ensure you get the performance and efficiency you need and if systems were not designed for it they will generally be inefficient in their use of SSD to get the performance you want for your applications. It is all about overall systems architecture. - From Lee Johns (@storageologist) - VP Product Management @ Starboard Storage Systems