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Old 3rd May 2008, 11:33 PM   #1
Beckett
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Default Online back-up storage: Mozy, anyone?

Hi,
Is anyone out there using Mozy for online back-up storage? I signed up for their service and then found out it would take 5 days(!!!) to back-up my computer. I don't know if this had to do with the speed of my internet connection or something else, but taking almost a week to backup my computer is too long.

Can anyone recommend another service?

Thanks!
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Old 4th May 2008, 12:23 AM   #2
deecree
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Originally Posted by Beckett View Post
Hi,
Is anyone out there using Mozy for online back-up storage? I signed up for their service and then found out it would take 5 days(!!!) to back-up my computer. I don't know if this had to do with the speed of my internet connection or something else, but taking almost a week to backup my computer is too long.

Can anyone recommend another service?

Thanks!
You are sending the entire contents of your computer over the slower upstream segment of your internet connection. No other backup service can speed up your connection.

For a time period as tiny as 5 days, I take it you have a small hard drive or a very good internet connection...
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Old 4th May 2008, 12:25 AM   #3
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Why don't you by a large hard drive, backup your stuff onto it and put it in another room?
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Old 4th May 2008, 01:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by deecree View Post
You are sending the entire contents of your computer over the slower upstream segment of your internet connection. No other backup service can speed up your connection.

For a time period as tiny as 5 days, I take it you have a small hard drive or a very good internet connection...
+1

Our PC has 90GB of files, I wouldn't want to think how long that will take to back up
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Old 4th May 2008, 02:48 AM   #5
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+1

Our PC has 90GB of files, I wouldn't want to think how long that will take to back up
I really don't know what market these businesses are targeting. Perhaps they only expect people to backup a few hundred MB of important files... but who is going to upload financial documents and private photos to these company's servers?

When even the most mundane computer user can have even more than 90GB, how is internet backup feasible? Even trying would probably make your ISP end your contract after the first day!
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Old 4th May 2008, 08:10 AM   #6
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There is something to be said for these services, if you can be sure that the are secure. In that I mean both the transport to/from the server and access to the server itself.

In my case, I am required to archive all of my company documents for 10 years. If I created them electronically - and most accounting systems are going to be computer-based - then this backup has to be held for 10 years electronically as well.

So you need a backup medium that is going to last that long and be readable, but also the safety of an off-site backup.

The off-site backup is usually the easy bit - burn a CD or DVD and ask someone you trust to look after it for the next 10 years. But what happens if they can't find it when the tax inspector calls? What happens if it isn't readable?

The on-line backup gets round this, but has other problems: will the company still be there when I need my data, or will they pack up one day and say "sorry, we're closing"? Can I be sure that no-one will be able to read my data during upload/download? Can I be sure that the company itself will not read my data? Can I be sure that they will not open up their server to government agencies?

I think it's best to use a company that you trust, either through experience of their other services or through a recommendation, and also to pay attention to where the servers are based. Mozy gives its location as Utah, so not only do European users send their data half way around the world, but we have no way of knowing who can access it because we don't know what the local data protection laws look like.

There are two Europe-based companies that offer backup-services. One is called Swissvault who apparently have their server farm buried deep inside a Swiss mountain. Another is web.de who offer web-based e-mail and for a small monthly fee an online-backup on servers in Germany.

In fact, web.de brings me back to the subject of "how much data?" They start you off with 4GB of space and allow you to expand this be 1GB per month.

I think that shows the sort of customer that these services are aimed at: you back up your most important and/or current data, and as your data grows you upload the new files to the server. What you don't do is upload your entire hard disc on the first day!

In fact, I find the best solution is to combine this sort of service with synchronisation software, so that you can automate everything and only the files that have changed or been added get sent over the net to the server.

If you want to make it a little me complicated, then you can of course encrypt the data first with something like PGP, but then you need to make sure that you can always access your PGP key in the future.

Of course, at the end of the day you have to ask yourself what would happen if someone got hold of the password to the on-line backup system? Would you notice and change it quick enough before they downloaded all your GBs of data?

On the other hand, the DVDs you left at your friend's house could get stolen and someone would then have all of your data in one go!
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Old 4th May 2008, 09:25 AM   #7
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I've been using Mozy for about a year, and yes, it took about 10 days of several hours a day uploading to get the initial back up done. But now I feel happy that I have an off-site as well as an on-site backup.

It's all very well to just back up to a home based second hard drive, but if you get robbed and loose both the computer and the external hard disk? That's when you need mozy or Amazon S3.

Mozy encrypts everything on it's hard drives, and I trust them to keep my data secure. Despite a screw up when their mac software was still in beta and I had to almost start from scratch a few weeks back, I'm pretty happy with them. If I loose everything here, I can either download it all straight from them onto my new computer, or I can get them to send me a set of DVDs with the data on immediately.
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Old 4th May 2008, 04:22 PM   #8
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The on-line backup gets round this, but has other problems:
I think you said it all when your "other problems" were much longer than your first set.
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Old 4th May 2008, 04:27 PM   #9
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I've been using Mozy for about a year, and yes, it took about 10 days of several hours a day uploading to get the initial back up done. But now I feel happy that I have an off-site as well as an on-site backup.

It's all very well to just back up to a home based second hard drive, but if you get robbed and loose both the computer and the external hard disk? That's when you need mozy or Amazon S3.

Mozy encrypts everything on it's hard drives, and I trust them to keep my data secure. Despite a screw up when their mac software was still in beta and I had to almost start from scratch a few weeks back, I'm pretty happy with them. If I loose everything here, I can either download it all straight from them onto my new computer, or I can get them to send me a set of DVDs with the data on immediately.
I don' think it would be wise to store your external disk next to your computer if you live in a part of the city where you fear being burgled. That would also be the locate a fire would most likely start.

Probably not a good idea to ask for your data to be sent on DVD either.
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Old 4th May 2008, 04:33 PM   #10
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So..

If I had 50-60GB of files, and I had some kind of magical insight into the future that told me Mozy will be here in 10 years, and I do doubt it, and if I had a 100mbps connection, then maybe it would be for me.

(My data totals 1.5TB and is backed up both on-site in a home that could not be burgled, and the most important stuff is backed up off-site in another country.)
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Old 4th May 2008, 07:44 PM   #11
Beckett
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Thanks to all who responded, and special thanks to Graham for posting such a comprehensive reply.

@Deecree, I have a 250GB external hard drive but since I go back and forth between Spain and the U.S. (a few months in each place), I wanted to have online storage so that I don't have to worry about always having to carry the external hard drive with me when I travel.

@Ben, How do you deal with the issue that Mozy only backups what is currently on your computer? If you want to delete files from your computer to free up space for more stuff, my understanding is that Mozy deletes those corresponding files from your Mozy account within 30 days because their belief is that if it is no longer on your hard drive, that must mean that you no longer need it.
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Old 4th May 2008, 09:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by deecree View Post
If I had 50-60GB of files, and I had some kind of magical insight into the future that told me Mozy will be here in 10 years, and I do doubt it, and if I had a 100mbps connection, then maybe it would be for me.
For me it's not about whether Mozy will still be around in 10 years, it's about finding the best solution for the problem right now, and that seems to be Mozy. When something better comes along I'll change again, but I need an off-site storage solution, and this does the job.

Taking another hard drive back and forth to a different location would work, but would be more hard work and time consuming. Re sending it all on DVD, I would opt for the web download option instead if I needed to restore files in the event of a disaster, but I believe they send the dvd's by secure courier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckett View Post
@Ben, How do you deal with the issue that Mozy only backups what is currently on your computer? If you want to delete files from your computer to free up space for more stuff, my understanding is that Mozy deletes those corresponding files from your Mozy account within 30 days because their belief is that if it is no longer on your hard drive, that must mean that you no longer need it.
As you say, Mozy makes an exact copy of what is on your computer at any given time. I am still within the limits of my laptop hard drive (just...) so for now that works. But you may be able to get mozy to back up the contents of your external hard drive as well if it is always connected when you back up to Mozy - not sure though, best to check with them.

Alternatively, you can just put the crucial offsite back up stuff on your computer hard drive and slightly less important stuff on the external. For example, someone might move all their music onto the external and decide not to worry about having an offsite backup for that. Depends how much your music collection matters to you I suppose!

Finally, I think the future will look like Drobo. It is a system whereby you can swap in and out drives as your storage needs increase, and I believe you can leave it at another location (e.g. your mum's house) and back up to it over the net. Takes Mozy out of the equation but still gives off-site backup... but anyway, that's another story...
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Old 16th May 2008, 10:52 AM   #13
GhostCrew
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I have researched various providers and now I am even reselling Online backup service. A good online backup provider should have the following.
#448 Blowfish Encryption
#128 Data Transfer encryption
#Mirrored Data centre
#Secured Entry to data Centre
#Ability to send your data to the data centre via a usb drive for faster upload, rather than waiting days to upload your data using internet upload speed.
#Data Centre in bunkers etc.
#Reputable Hardware platform e.g IBM, HP etc
#SLA and money guaranteed for failed backup
#Multiple Data pipeline via different providers

BTW our service and data centre have all of the above.

Hope this helpful
thks
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