HP Upline Service Wears the Egg

HP is the latest, and most embarrassed, storage services provider

April 24, 2008

2 Min Read
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HP is the latest vendor to hit a snag in the services market -- and it's a doozy. Just a couple of weeks after unveiling its Upline online backup service for SMBs, HP suspended the service. According to InformationWeek reporterMary Hayes Weier, security issues and faulty filtering have forced the vendor to rework its offering.

Weier says one software programmer in Singapore signed up for Upline, only to find himself logged into someone else's empty account when he went to fetch something he'd uploaded. HP also issued statements of apology to international customers like him who apparently weren't entitled to subscribe to the service: "Unfortunately, our filtering tools did not adequately screen for subscribers residing outside of the United States," HP reportedly stated in a letter to non-U.S. customers. The would-be subscribers were dropped from service.

The incident is just the latest of several snafus involving online services to hit the headlines. These include a relatively minor failure of Amazon S3 online backup in February, which the provider attributed to a service-request-processing fluke.

Problems with online storage services support are typical misgivings from users who aren't sold on the concept of storage SaaS, mainly for security reasons. But in general, those are the users HP and others can afford to ignore -- for now.

SMBs, nonprofit groups, schools, and masses of home users are the prospective buyers HP stands to lose. These would-be customers are not only ready for online storage backup, they're clamoring for it.Meanwhile, HP has blown its first crack at this market. That said, if this vendor starts acting like the big company it is, there is every reason to hope Upline will be back online in short order. If it's not, another supplier will step in to take its place.

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