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The Internet cries foul over Carbonite Amazon reviews

A story from a New York Times blog by David Pogue has ignited the tinderbox that is the Internet, and the flames are being directed at online backup service Carbonite. The conflagration is over glowing reviews of the service on Amazon by insiders at the company who did not divulge that they worked for Carbonite.

The reviews, written in December 2006, were first brought to the attention of the New York Times by a Carbonite customer identifying himself as Bruce Goldensteinberg, who has also posted screenshots of the original reviews on a Picasa blog.

Carbonite has posted an official response to the issue on its website, claiming policies were not in place at the time but have since been updated. Carbonite CEO David Friend has also responded directly to Pogue’s blog with a claim that Carbonite’s uppermost management was not aware of the bogus postings until they were brought to public attention.

This is where things really get interesting–Pogue also disputes that claim, referring to the comments section of another post about Carbonite where one of the first comments discusses the bogus reviews. David Friend posts comment #29 on that same thread, leading Pogue to argue that Carbonite was aware of the reviews at least since September and is only “cleaning up its act—now, after it’s been caught.”

I followed up with Carbonite myself about this, and received this response from a spokesperson:

In 2006 a few reviews were posted by employees who did not disclose their employment affiliation. That was a mistake and we apologize. This has long since ceased and will not happen again.

Pogue’s post also can be seen as responding to this pre-emptively:

It doesn’t matter to me that Carbonite’s fraudulent reviews are a couple of years old. These people are gaming the system, deceiving the public to enrich themselves.

In Carbonite’s defense, I do think the level of recrimination they’re getting is a bit disproportionate to the problem of the reviews. Mr. Goldensteinberg became disgruntled when he experienced a crash, difficult restore, and delayed customer support. That’s a more important core issue for an online backup company than marketing tricks that are not unique {Pogue’s blog points out a more recent similar incident involving Belkin).

Slow restores may also be the way of online backup, especially if users are looking to restore an entire system, at this stage of its development. EMC Corp.’s Mozy was hit with similar angst among its users last year over similar problems–it, too, was forced to revise its up-front disclosures to users about restore times.

Bottom line: the Internet is all about word of mouth, but doing business oftentimes can’t be. Forget about Amazon reviews, and make sure you get an SLA from your online backup service provider in writing before you deploy the service.

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Do you think Desktop as a Service will drive more people to adopt virtual desktops?
VDI rental could be as the mobile bundled program and IPTV bundled program operated by the data landline operators for SMB customers
LOL.....our data does not leave our care
Infrastructure is Scalable and needs replacing less frequently than Workstations
One of the biggest blockers for DaaS is Mircrosoft and their inflexible licensing. That aside just because you you offsite things doesn't mean you should. VDI onsite can benefit from multiple Gbps connections between the endpoints and the backend for the majority of the access with the minority connecting over WAN. Add to that the fact that onsite IT will still be required for applications such as high end processing or external hardware compatibility (think PC driving machines such as robots or science equipment) and now you start asking where shall I put the data? If it's offsite the onsite users get a poorer service if onsite the offsite desktops get a poorer service. I think it might work for small businesses with a mobile workforce but very difficult to imagine how it would work for above 100 users say. I have deployed a 100 user DaaS solution for a University and worked very well but it was difficult to make it commercially viable.
It's a good way to test this solution
More control over machines in the internet
We agree only partially that DaaS can act as a catalyst to boost VDI adoption rates. We don’t think DaaS is a holistic answer to resolve VDI woes. DaaS only creates virtual desktops but does not guarantee SLAs on application delivery to the end-user. So IT teams can get some benefits of virtualization but are their end-users better of? answer maybe yes or no.

This is where Application Delivery As-A-Service (ADaaS) comes in. ADaaS (link to - ) on puts application delivery at the centre of a VDI implementation and instead of merely focusing on device uptimes, focuses on application performance at end-point. By profiling the user base to ascertain their usage pattern and categorizing users by the kind of VM they need, ADaaS manages the entire application delivery chain from server to screen, providing a predictable and deterministic way of delivering applications thereby maximising end-user performance.

So, while opting a DaaS solution is great, knowing how to enhance the end-user experience is more important. ADaaS is a next generation solution that provides a keen alignment of IT with business so while it may seem much more premium to DaaS, it is, in our opinion, what enterprises should be concerned with.
-Vrinda Walavalkar
Anunta Tech
If you look at the long run Business dynamics. people require DAAS.

CAPEX is one of the major factor which will help DaaS to grow..
network,security etc.
DaaS is simply a new way of hosting. What IT teams need is a way of ensuring delivery as well. What will drive virtual desktop adoption is a model like ADaas.
read a comment that says LOL...our data does not leave our care. Has the user not heard of private cloud? He/she can still get all the advantages of DaaS with ADaaS.
Ultimately it will increase numbers, but of course whether the benefit is realized by the business depends on a lot of other factors - for certain scenarios Daas works very well, for others it will need more time to mature. For SMB's without large, well trained technical staff, it will make Virtual desktops a real possibility