On December 7, about 4 AM, I recieved a scary email from my web host, OVH:
Following a hardware error, your cloud instance [they mean my website] has been stopped.
I, my mother and friends try to restart it but the servers are unresponsive. Everything seems to indicate a serious hardware crash on their end. I hope they have some safety system, a replication system so they don't lose their customers data, one should expect that from a company as popular as OVH.
I call the hotline from China. It is a special hotline where they are supposed to diagnose the problem in the next 15 minutes, or at least they say so on the website. The reality is different, it takes them 3 days.
The guy on the other end is totally useless.
"Can you tell me the nature of the problem? Can you check if it there has been hardware damage to that machine, loss of data?"
"We can assure you that the privacy of your data is respected."
I suffered more talking to this guy than to the Kyrgyz corrupt cop who wanted to throw me to jail and deport me.
When I recieved a reply from OVH, I couldn't believe it:
Our public cloud service is deprecated since June [doesn't work] (we provide no more support for that service). It will be replaced by a new version at the end of December.
I stay available for any additional information.
Besides the fact that they guarantee a service as a company, besides the fact that their server crashed by their own fault, this Nicolas shamelessly refuses to taky any responsability much less to be of any help. I can understand lazyness, I was a lazy computer engeneer in a french company myself but this defeats anything that I have ever seen.
I stare at this as if it was unreal, I think it is a joke but at the same time an incredible tragedy for me and my close ones. My girlfriend supports me as much as she can, while facing her own problems in Russia.
With this website I lose my GPS tracking and my hopes to be saved if I press the SOS button are diminished. There is of course, notification by email but many local people who worry about my well-being are following my position through that website which the company OVH crashed and refuses to repair.
This GPS tracking is important now more than ever that I will attempt a boat hitchhike from China to Korea in a few weeks.
OVH has no idea, nor do they care about the ravaging consequences of their recklessness.
However one person at the company decides to help. Bertrand, takes the matter into his hands and it is my opinion that he does everything he can to recover the data. However I feel that the people at OVH haven't touched the public cloud infrastructure for a long time and have lost the ability to operate it. In other words the good Bertrand has no idea what he is talking about. He thinks that there has been an intrusion to the website but no logs do support that. The fact remains that the data has been lost, either because of the hardware error at OVH side or because it was stored in a volatile memory which is erased when the website is stopped and OVH stopped my website.
There is no point of torturing Bertrand any more since there is nothing he can do. I thank him for his good will and go cry our eyes out.
I start recovering my blog. It is slow, difficult, and with little results. I just have some drafts on my tablet which are often incomplete. I don't have the dates, I try to deduce them from my GPS beacon. The blog will never be what it was.
And then a miracle happens. My blog has been giving out an RSS feed and Antoine, a friend of mine has been using this RSS feed to read the articles. Antoine is a funny guy who thinks that the program emacs is an operating system and does everything with it. He salvaged almost every article from my blog (a few articles from the preparations for the trip are still lost but that doesn't matter).
I could therefore recover the blog. I don't have the time and the means to reconstruct the initial website together with the GPS tracking, I just chose blogger as an easy blogging platform.
As I am writing this, the blog is recovered without the images. Those are backed up somewhere else and I intend to put them back online as soon as I have time.
I thank all for your support and if you are as angry with OVH as I was, feel free to write all your hatemail here. It will be ignored (so don't bother writing in english, you can use your mother language if english is too difficult for you) but it is my optinion that it is well-deserved.