The following message was sent to Mediamax and posted as a comment on an earlier blog entry by Martin Hood. I thought it would be useful to have here. I'll add a permanent link at the side so we can update progress on this entry and start tagging entries by theme:
An Open Letter to MediaMax
(accompanying the graph for MediaMax Files Audit #4 2007.09.23)
MediaMax File recovery progress graph http://tinyurl.com/2tuyxx
I first posted this graph 5 weeks ago to show that you WERE recovering he missing files. It was my intention that it would provide encouragement to those who doubted that the recovery was happening and would support your assertions that things were getting better. Regrettably the end result seems far removed from my hopeful optimism of 5 weeks ago.
Even the most casual look at the graph will show that it contains very disappointing news. By your own predictions, your file restoration process should be pretty much complete by now. Certainly no spectacular changes to the number of restored files would be expected at this late stage.
There was a temporary reversal in the week leading up to 16 September, when the number of missing files from those uploaded between April and July 2007 jumped from close to zero up to 30% - 40% missing. John Hood indirectly explained this in one of his blog postings by mentioning that some servers had been taken off line as part of the recovery process during this week. That also probably explained why about one third of recent uploads became inaccessible during that week. Most (but not all) of these files are now accessible again.
In the past 7 days a few minor gains have been made. The slivers of orange on the graph are the only improvements apart from the large area of orange between May and July 2007 which is just clawing back gains that were undone by the offline servers during the previous week.
Regrettably the broad summary result is very gloomy indeed.
Upload time period lost /total = %lost
2007 Jan - June 418 /3503 = 12%
2006 Jul - Dec 1009/4856 = 23%
2006 Jan - Jun 1592/4195 = 38%
2005 Jan - Dec 2242/7753 = 29%
Pre 2005 5012/7872 = 64%
Fortunately the restoration process has done a better job for more recently uploaded files with some months almost completely restored, although 12% average loss rate can hardly be called 'a complete recovery' by even the most liberal interpretation of the term.
Unfortunately the loss rate gets progressively worse the further back we go with some spectacular peaks. What did happen at Streamload in November 2005 that has caused the loss rate to remain at a whopping 91%?
Anyone who has files uploaded prior to 2005 is looking at a devastating 40% - 75% (average 64%) loss rate for these files. This is completely unforgivable for a file storage 'service' that still claims 'Store your files SECURELY on the web'. Anything above a 0% loss rate is NOT secure. 75% loss rate is patently INSECURE.
I CAN get over losing 9656 out of 27472 files (35%) that were stored on MediaMax given that local copies still exist, but I certainly cannot even consider uploading them all again. Some people who trusted you when you said their uploaded files were 'secure' have learnt a very hard lesson when they did not keep local copies.
Time and time again during the botched migration from Streamload to MediaMax in August 2006 your spin was 'Your files are safe and secure'. I know this because I kept a copy of the free-for-all Streamload blog from 22 August to 2 October 2006 and indeed the old blog pages are still on-line at http://blog.mediamax.com (archives). I cannot confirm that the files were in fact 'safe and secure' 12 months ago immediately after the migration from Streamload to MediaMax, but they certainly are not 'safe and secure' now.
You have been much less forthcoming with comments during this latest debacle and unsurprisingly, neither of the words 'safe' or 'secure' has been used anywhere in the recent MediaMax blog.
On behalf of all MediaMax users I ask the following questions:
1. Will you yet recover a substantial portion of the files that still show as missing (or indeed any of them) or are they lost irrecoverably?
2. Will you work with your user community to develop an efficient mechanism to identify lost files and provide a way of rehabilitating these files without having to upload modified copies?
3. What assurance can you give that files uploaded in the future will in fact be 'safe and secure' given that your track record to date has been woeful?