The online bookmarking service Ma.gnolia suffered a catastrophic data loss early today, leaving the service completely unavailable and with no clear timetable for recovery. Reports indicate both primary and backup data were somehow lost. Founder Larry Halff has posted the following notice:
Early on the West-coast morning of Friday, January 30th, Ma.gnolia experienced every web service’s worst nightmare: data corruption and loss. For Ma.gnolia, this means that the service is offline and members’ bookmarks are unavailable, both through the website itself and the API. As I evaluate recovery options, I can’t provide a certain timeline or prognosis as to to when or to what degree Ma.gnolia or your bookmarks will return; only that this process will take days, not hours.
Much of the commentary at Twitter and elsewhere is focused on the Ma.gnolia crash as a sign of reliability problems for cloud computing. Epicenter notes that the failure is bound to send many new users to Delicious, the competing bookmarking service owned by Yahoo. Ma.gnolia is advising users to follow the company’s Twitter account for updates on the fate of their data.