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back to article Lenovo offers online backup deal

Lenovo is making EMC’s Mozy backup-to-the-cloud service available to ThinkPad SL buyers with a trial offer of unlimited online backup for $49. The deal is only available in a few countries: Ireland, UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, USA and Canada. But the service will soon be offered on a …

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let's talk about restoring your data

So you've availed yourself of this generous, but time-limited offer. You've already max'd out your ISP's fair-usage policy by uploading the entire contents of your hard disk to "the cloud".

Some time later, when you've changed ISP, lost your laptop and all the secret government data it contained - you say to your boss "no worries, mate. I uploaded all that sensitive data to a third party. All I have to do is pull it all back down again". In true cliche-ridden TV drama style, he/she says "OK, you've got 24 hours", so off you go.

Now, it turns out that the data you sent up incrementally over several weeks, all has to be restored in one long session. You start on the mammoth task - hoping that your new ISP won't notice and cut you off before you're done. The restore starts well: 1MByte/sec. Since you've lousy at maths, you don't realise that this alone will blow your 24 hour deadline. As time goes on, the speed drops - your ISP is shaping your download traffic. 1 MB/Sec becomes 500KB .. 400 .. 300. Once the kiddies get out of school and start goofing around on the internet the speed drops even more. At this point you get out your calculator and work out it'll take a week to get all your data back.

When you start your new job, you realise the folly of your ways. Pop out to the computer shop for a DVD writer and a 100 disks and use this for future backups. Of course, no-one told you that DVDs (esp. cheap ones) degrade over time.

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@Pete

<disclaimer>

I'm a very happy and satisfied Mozy user

</disclaimer>

Services like Mozy aren't intended to be a "whole machine" backup service, they are meant to be an automatic "saving your work as you go along" service. Or an "I'll set this up for my Mum and Dad so that their documents are automagically backed up" service, where they will call me if something needs restoring.

More than twenty years ago, a (then) colleague said to me "it is always worth making the regular backup process easier at the expense of making restoration harder", and I still maintain this is true. Restoration is a rare process where users are prepared to put in effort to get their data back. Mozy has a very simple way to get back a single fileafter an oops moment, and you can recover all or any selected part of your backup set.

Is Mozy easy enough for my mum and dad to configure? Absolutely not. Is it easy enough for me to configure for them, and leave it running until they need a restoration? Yes. If it stops working, will it give them a signal to call me? Yes.

Frankly, in a Windows system there's no point in taking backups of the complete machine, most people consider the machine an appliance running Windows and a small set of applications (Office, Outlook and a couple of other bits). They don't care about backing up their *machine*, they care about backing up their *documents*, and Mozy does this rather well *if* it's set up by someone who knows what they're doing.

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Alien

How about this for a proverbial spanner in the works...

I work for a SW company which provides a similar service. and as Dunstan says, it is only worthwhile backing up an amount which is quick enough to restore. the SW we provide on the servers we back p onto can be restored in the space of 2 hours at worst. so all Gravy there.

Owing to the fact that we provide this SW we are, in a way, in competition with mozy. and our SW/monthly charges are considerably more than mozy's so we get challenged on this regularly.

The Data we back up contains a SQL database which has personal information (addresses, medical info, etc) and our customers say well I am going to go to mozy for my backup.... Here comes the spanner...

In the UK we are bound by the data protection act to ensure that the data is up to date, accurate and kept out of the wrong hands. Our servers are stored in the UK. Mozy's servers are located in the US. Where the DPA does not apply. Therefore if you choose Mozy to store other peoples data, they must sign a waiver to say that it is OK to store their information in another country. If one person refuses, then you cannot store their info in the Database.

In your face mozy!!!!!!

anyway as previously said mozy is excellent for the home user, and in some respect for the business user too, but only for storing your own data only.

If anyone asks me what to do about their backup I say USB HDD FTW!

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Pirate

Pic tastic

@Pete

Yeah it takes a while, but so what. I have a 12Gb backup "space" with a cloud provider, my only criteria is that I dont want the data lost.

I also backup to 2 different USB drives locally but to have an offsite capability is worth its weight in gold.. ie fire.

I dont care whether they are DPA or anything else simply because its digital photographs. If you loose the pics they are gone forever, no going back to negatives I have a number of pics that are from deceased relatives so wouldnt want to explain that one if they happened to get wiped!

At £50 a year or there abouts highly recommended.

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Coat

Anyone with privacy concerns besides myself?

I've had outfits pitch online backups to everyone from Mom to multi-site Active Directory houses. Just what is so magical about this tech that has Joe User and PHBs so enthralled?

Mine's the one with the 72 GB tapes in the pockets. On the way to the deposit box at my bank.

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@Gordon

The magic is that it runs overnight without you having to do anything or be responsible for and solid media at the end of the day. a lot of our sites choose to backup tapes, they have to do so after office hours and it can take 2 hours to run. so they lave it to run overnight. Which is fine until some chavs break in and steal all your computers, then you have lost a days work, assuming you don't keep old tapes in the building as well and they stole them too.

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