Some Belgian customers of InfluxData have lost their data completely. According to the company, this should come as no surprise because customers were informed at different times about the cessation of services in Belgium. The data was deleted immediately after the Belgian regions were shut down, causing problems and panic.
InfluxData removed its InfluxDB Cloud service from Belgium and Australia. According to the company, economic reasons led to the decision to discontinue the service on June 30. The discontinuation did not come overnight. Paul Dix, CTO of InfluxData, writes in a blog that customers were notified of the decision on Feb. 23, April 6 and May 15.
For many customers, the news comes totally out of the blue. Several organizations released their cries of distress on the company’s forum and reported losing their data.
Data already deleted
According to the customers, there was solidly some miscommunication. Dix cites that contact was made through various avenues, but admits that the company did not go to the extreme: “In retrospect, it was too optimistic to assume that emails, a notification from sales and a Web notification would be sufficient to ensure that all users were aware of the notifications and would act accordingly.”
By this last sentence, he means the customers themselves should have taken action to move their data in a timely manner. After all, when the cloud service was shut down, all data went up in smoke simultaneously.
Now that customers missed the memo about the end of the service, organizations are at a loss. The blog can’t alleviate the concerns: “Our technical team is looking into restoring the last 100 days of data for GCP Belgium. It appears at this time that for AWS Sydney users, the data is no longer available.”
‘We are learning from this’
Dix says the organization has learned its lesson and will improve communication in the future. But that’s no consolation for affected customers.
At least the CTO can see what was missing in the communication. Customers who unsubscribed from the newsletter did not receive the notification in their inboxes. Customers who continued working diligently on the service during the last month did not receive an additional notification to verify that they had been notified. The company did not do a “scream test,” a test in which all users are locked out of the service but the data is retained when customers suddenly panic and ask why they no longer have access. Finally, the company did not post a banner about the upcoming changes on key company websites.