back to article Mozy insists: It's not a bug...

Mozy says that the bugs reported by users concerning repeated full backups were not bugs at all, instead reflecting a feature of the product. An EMC spokesperson said: "Basically, we concluded that there was no bug. We just didn't explain clearly to our customers how Mozy works with external drives. We've reached out to everyone …

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Coat

Ahh,

So it was not a bug but a feature! Yeah right!

Mines the one with bugs falling to the floor

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I have to say that...

when companies state that "customers could have read about this in Knowledge base article 77000+" they are skating on thin ice. This knowledge base idea thingy just doesn't work! Who's gonna be aware of the content of over 70K documents featuring errata, bug fixes, workarounds and other associated bollocks?

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Silver badge

Not an archival service, really ?

Could someone please explain to me the difference between a backup and an archive ?

I've worked in environments where "backups" were done on tape every day, with the now traditional one tape per day, one per week, one per month scheme, with enough tapes to keep a full year of data.

How exactly is that not a 365-day rolling archive system ?

Nuts to that excuse. They just forgot about, or specifically decided to forbid, archiving to external discs and are now trying desperately to spin it in a semi-positive way.

Own up to your mistakes, people. You actually get respect for that these days because so few people/companies have the balls to do so.

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Anonymous Coward

Copy vs Copy and delete.

Backups creates a copy of the primary data, but leaves the primary data in place.

Archive moves the primary data somewhere else.

in the environment you were doing a backup... Very few people actually do archive..

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Re: Not an archival service, really ?

"Archiving" means to copy not only the current file contents, but to retain a copy of the older contents as well. Mozy does not do archiving. A single backup is merely a snapshot of the current dataset. Note that this excludes data which has been deleted at the source.

Normal backup:

rsync -avr --del /$src/* /mnt/backups/

Not that one could remove the --del, however the backup will only contain the very last copy of a file, which could be corrupt on the source, therefor the backup may overwrite a clean version with a corrupt version.

True archive (with hardlinks to eliminate dups):

rsync -avr --link-dest=`ls /mnt/bacups/backup_* -1d|tail -n 1` /$src/* /mnt/backups/tmp/

mv /mnt/backups/tmp /mnt/backups/backup_`date +%Y-%m-%d`

The above technique is both simple and allows the admin to lookup the contents of a file any day in the past. For example, I could go to /mnt/backups/backup_2009-10-20/ and find a specific version of a file. Consider the difference with the following backup, which can only go back as many days as there are backup media.

Either technique can be used with as many backup media disks as desired.

One thing to notice is that the backup is itself already a second copy of the data, where as the archive is the only copy of the data for historical files.

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External disks

As for the external drive backups.

I haven't read anything definitive from EMC or anyone else, but I speculate that the customers who are backing up external drives are doing so less than once a month, after Mozy has deleted their backup copy. Since mozy is not an archive, as explained previously, they delete any files not present at the source within a 30 day window. Therefor when the external drive is backed up again, the files need to be transfered again.

Their claim that the service is working as designed may be true, however if this is the case apparently many customers are unaware that Mozy deletes their data after the 30 day backup window.

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Stop

i left mozy because of this exact point

I re-backed up 80GB 3 times with them before I gave up. they claim this doesn't Re upload but it still takes just as long.

move to humyo, uk based, a Tad more expensive, but you can use their tool which does full syncing, and one way syncing (stops this issue) and allows direct access to the data with your own client as well

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FAIL

Mozy is rubbish

I had problems with Mozy with fixed drives.

I backed up 40Gb of data from my E drive. I installed a new DVD drive which windows allocated the drive letter E. Mozy saw drive E as now being empty and deleted my 40Gb of data accordingly.

When Mozy started uploading from scratch I plugged the plug and cancelled my subscription. You need to be able to rely on a backup solution. Mozy is just to flaky.

I'm computer literate and know how Mozy works. I even read the user manual ... and when it works it is great. I just couldn't trust it after it binned my data when I merely added a new device to my system.

If anyone is still crazy enough to pay for this service please pay monthly. At least that way you can walk away and cut your loses when it lets you down.

Carbonite isn't much better as that randomly ignores files with no explanation (yes I know Carbonite ignores some file types but their support was unable to explain why it randomly ignored chunks of my photo collection).

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Stop

What is...

...an "E drive?"

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Anonymous Coward

Home online backup is universally rubbish

Having just navigated the waters of on-line backup solutions for all my precious data at home, I would caution the reg to start writing about errors and bugs on them - It could occupy all the articles from now on!

All the software I tried (Mozy included) felt like it have been churned out by a couple of coders with only a week to spare and with no time to test it. Mozy got repeatedly stuck when pausing a large backup set and only a machine restart would fix it - hardly something I liked doing with an always up server. The bandwidth limiter seemed to work on some kind of average, going full speed for a few minutes then waiting. Lastly all of them assumed the user had no knowledge of anything, culminating in Backblaze insisting that the whole of C: needed to be backed up regardless of what I wanted.

The only one I found with a redeeming feature was LiveDrive and that was FTP, which through SyncBack is happy backing up all my data as we speak. Why I should have to rely on FTP and external software is ridiculous with all the competing backup companies. (for anyone who's interested I recommend purchasing LiveDrive through GD9 Backup reseller - its much cheaper for the same service - p.s. no affiliation to me)

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Anonymous Coward

This whole "a backup isn't an archive" is a fallacy

The reason is simple - words in the English language mean what English people, collectively, intend them to mean. The fact that some technical society had some specialist definition that made sense in data processing departments in the 1970s or whenever is irrelevant to what the ordinary meaning of the word "backup" is right now.

The purpose of a backup is to ensure that if you lose your primary copy of your information, you can always recover it from the backup. That is what people understand by the term "backup". If that implies you need what someone happens to call an "archive", then anything else isn't a backup anyway.

What I honestly don't understand is why people selling backup-related products don't understand this common-sense principle. Maybe there's some marketing thing where they think they can sell two or three different useless products instead of one that just works. The reality is that if someone loses essential data that they thought was safe because of the behaviour of your backup product, all the excuses in the world won't change the fact that they will rightly never trust your products again.

One last thing, though. If you don't know precisely how your backups work and in precisely which circumstances your data is recoverable, or if you haven't actually tested that you can recover your data, you deserve to lose it anyway. If you were too lazy to take responsibility for your data, blaming someone else is never going to bring that data back.

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Humpty Dumpty

I could not agree more.

It is stupid to think you know how something works based on so informal a naming convention. What matters is defining your needs in advance, and examining how products can offer that. Work, not shopping

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FAIL

Automatic deletion after 30 days biggest downside to Mosley and McAfee B/U

In my experience, accidental deletions are the biggest cause of needing to do a restore.

Often the accidental deletions are not discovered for several months or even a year.

That Mosley and McAfee backups both replicate the accidental deletion, by automatically deleting the backup 30 days after the original file is deleted, is the biggest drawback of those products.

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Joke

So if a patch removes this feature.

Can we get a refund? I quite like this feature!

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Anonymous Coward

Humyo is not necessarily the answer

I've found Mozy fairly reliable although i agree it can take a long time to update where large chunks of files change between 'backups'. Actually in my experience I've recovered deleted files that were much older than 30 days so I'm not sure their system works exactly as they claim in that regard. It may be that space issues trigger deletion of files over that limit when necessary.

Humyo might look nice and work well, but I would not consider a service that does not encrypt the files stored on their servers, however secure they may be. I'd rather not run the risk of staff rooting through company files or security leaks exposing files to any passing hacker thanks.

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If I'm on a 5GB/month data plan...

...and Mozy's unpredictable ways bust the budget while I sleep, without prompting me to approve, will Mozy pay my overfee?

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20:20 Hindsight

"Future versions will more intelligently detect what files on external drives are new and what is already backed up. This will reduce the frequency of the checking process."

Ah the old "Future versions" line. If only my system needed to be restored in the future. Silly me for not having the foresight to need to install my OS at some unspecified date some time from now as opposed to last week.

I'm with L2 support now, who seem to be a vast improvement over the initial support person who seemed unable to read the content of my email regarding Mozy uploading all my files again.

Interesting to read about optimisation work on their servers as L2 support didn't mention anything about it, or answer any specific questions in my correspondence with them. Support got me to make some changes so the client would think it had been newly installed (which I had previously tried with no luck with re-associations) which makes me suspect their servers were the issue. This time I got around 78% of my files being recognised as on Mozy's servers. 78% is not a Backup Service. It still leaves me with around 10 days of upload time and an unanswered question as to why some are found but others are not. Add the fact that the Client doesn't report the files being transferred correctly and you're left with someone who has zero confidence in their service.

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