2009-05-31

MOZY backup - update

Someone higher up in MOZY support contacted me and put me in touch with a different support person. Here is a summary of how things went

01: He agreed that 50GB was a lot to download.
Not only did he agree to allow me to receive a DVD restore but also sent it free of charge to help compensate for the trouble I had experienced with their first line support.  Very kind I thought!

02: My DVDs turned up.
Being the sceptic I am I decided I would restore them to an alternate path on my hard disc.  I decided I would allow the download restore to complete and then do a directory comparison to see if both directories matched.

03: My restore failed.
I went to bed one night with an estimated time to completion of something like 2 weeks.  The next morning I awoke to the following status
"Complete.  Restored 3.3GB"

3.3GB?

I reported this, but had decided not to persue it because I was now more interested in getting updates to my data backed up instead.

04: My next backup was big.
I started a backup only to be told that the estimated time until completion was about a month.  It appeared that MOZY wanted to backup all the files it should already have.

05: Backup only took a couple of days.
MOZY for some reason did upload some files that haven't changed (a video from 2005 for example).  In the end it took a few days to back everything up.  It was acceptible, but still wrong in my opinion as I had only altered a few text files so the backup at most should have only taken a few minutes.

What have I learned?
I have learned not to depend on a single backup strategy!


LogMeInBackup
I decided to give LogMeInBackup a try.  LogMeInBackup copies my files to another computer of my choice, either on the LAN or the Internet, but a second computer I own or have control of.  I was very disapointed with this app.

I chose to backup to a laptop on my wireless LAN, the backup estimated 1 day (which is about right) but failed multiple times (probably about 8-10).  Once it finally completed I tested the restore only to be told it failed, testing it a second time told me it succeeded.  I'd expect a client/server app to work much better than this on a wireless LAN where both computers are in the same room and the router is only in the next room.  I am guessing that it failed each time my ISP went down (which has been quite a lot recently), although why I need access to the Internet to backup between two machines on a LAN I don't know.

External drive
I decided to buy a 500GB external drive for £50.  It took 11 minutes to copy my 50GB of data across.  I can do this any time I add a significant amount of data (new family videos).  The plan is that if I have a complete system failure again I can copy the files back from the external hard disc and then use MOZY to restore the minor changes.

In closing
Once I got through to someone with knowledge of their product my problem was solved very quickly (although not totally painlessly).  These are the steps I think MOZY need to take.

01: Train your support staff!
Better still, stop using Indian labour just because it is cheap.  I'd rather pay double and get better support.  Double $4.95 isn't much to pay!

02: Test your software properly!
I don't think MOZY has been tested in a "total failure" scenario for some time, or at least not properly.  You only need to install MOZY on a new Windows installation and try to restore to immediately find prominent problems

  A: No restore button unless you first do a backup, even though you have nothing to backup.
  B: Even after executing a redundant backup there is no backup history in the tab, which is very unnerving.

I have no idea why restoring my data when from 50GB at 1 month down to a few days at 3.3GB, and I expect it would be a much more difficult bug to reproduce, but this needs looking into.

03: Support the DVD option to non US addresses *on your website*!
I would only need this option now if my whole computer system was stolen and I had no external HD to restore from.  I do think though that the MOZY website should allow non US residents to order DVD restores. 

I was told that this is an option available to non US residents if you talk to support, but that was not my experience.  I was told quite categorically that it is available only to US residents.  Also, if it isn't on the website then it isn't "officially" supported, so just because you were able to get DVDs last week doesn't mean you can still get them this week.

"Oh no, person X shouldn't have done that.  We only ship DVDs to the US due to ........"

I will continue to use MOZY, but only rely on them for minor restores or in a disaster (computer + external HD both dead, or stolen).  Mostly I will depend on my external HD.

I would like to thank MOZY for making the extra effort to put things right.  My data is understandably very important to me!





2 comments:

Server Backup Software said...

Yikes! That Mozy doesn't sound like a good program at all. Good to know...

Der grosse humboldt Fotolehrgang said...

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you get 2.5 GB free (checked, it works!)