Data Centers

Mozy online backup service for the SMB

Data protection is frequently neglected for small and medium businesses. Online services now are available to allow a managed backup to work for you. IT pro Rick Vanover hashes out some of the points related to these services.

By now, we have all seen the commercial for Mozy on television. I initially rolled my eyes at the concept, but then I came around to see a use case. I had initially grouped Mozy with some of the issues related to some of the other new Web services available. These new Web services pose many issues to larger organizations, which I highlighted for remote access software and SkyDrive storage. I am always looking to advocate for the small and medium business (SMB) and telecommuters in my posts on this blog, as I feel they can be neglected at times. With that, Mozy seemed to fit.

If you are not familiar with Mozy, it is an online backup service. Here are the basics:

  • Computers (Windows and Mac) are backed up over a broadband connection.
  • It is incredibly easy to use.
  • A free version is available for home users (limited to 2GB).
  • Active Directory, SQL, and Exchange support is available.
  • Open file and PST files are supported.
Affordable solution

For the SMB, the professional service is very affordable. Pricing for a server starts at $6.95 plus $.50/GB per month for the storage backed up. For the SMB with one or two servers, this nominal charge may be attractive for the convenience. Desktop backups are also available starting at $3.95 plus $.50/GB per month for the storage backed up.

What it can’t do

Mozy won’t perform a full bare metal restore like other data protection products offer. Mozy also has certain logic that applies to some of the products, namely around deletions. Michael Horowitz points out in this CNET news post that when you delete a file from your local system, the next backup deletes the file from the next current archive. It is available for a period of time in the prior backup sets, however. That functionality is close to the standard of enterprise backup software but is something that a good trial run including restore tasks would shake out for your use.

Speaking of restores, this service needs your Internet connection to be top-notch. So, if you do jump into an online backup service like this, take the money you were spending on tapes, backup software licenses, and backup servers to upgrade your Internet connection to the best you can afford. There is an option for restores to be sent via FedEx, however.

What is your take on these products? I’m curious to see the adoption rate of these services. Share your comments below.

About

Rick Vanover is a software strategy specialist for Veeam Software, based in Columbus, Ohio. Rick has years of IT experience and focuses on virtualization, Windows-based server administration, and system hardware.

40 comments
reisen55
reisen55

OnLine backup for small business has major issues. Capacity and cost. I have seen $1999.99 for 200gb. True, and a 1 terabyte hard drive costs $90. Speed - transfer up and down over the internet for 200gb will take forever. Do you or does your customer have that kind of time available? Nope. Transfer from hard drive = faster. FAR faster. Secure - do you TRUST the Internet? And more should be backed up like GHOST images of systems and servers. Most online services only store, golly gosh, MY DOCUMENTS, FAVORITES, etc. Junk which is the very very BASIC stuff. At 2 in the morning, a secure hard drive kept off-site with a usb cable taken onsite to restore is a FAR better usage of time. I can restore a failed server in 10 minutes fully and complete. Tested it too.

reisen55
reisen55

I have seen 200gb for online storage set at 1999.99 per year. A 1 terabyte drive, secure because you hold it in your hand - costs $90 at MicroCenter. It is FAR faster to restore data over a cable and, in a pinch, you can usb connect to a system for INSTANT restoration. Cabonite captures, oh, my documents, favorites, and other tripe. Hey, this is BASIC STUFF. Good for home users but professionals working with small business have FAR MORE PRESSING DATA REQUIREMENTS. TIME TO RESTORE? HIPAA CONSIDERATIONS? Theft of data. IS THE INTERNET AVAILABLE WHEN NEEDED????? All of this storage over the internet is a cheap trick and professionals who know how data protection and restoration really work do not use it at all. Oh, my files are always available over the web. I don't use on-line, my Windows 2003 server is coasting through DYNDNS.ORG and rdp control.

eHC1019
eHC1019

I have been using MozyPro for about 8 months now, and have never had an issue with it! I have used it twice to restore files that I "accidently" deleted and it worked! I use my laptop for my home business, and its great to be able to go anywhere and has soon has I have new business files on my laptop, I have them backed up! I would recommend it to any home/home-office/small business!

mipulte
mipulte

Why use Mozy when Fabrik does the same thing. It's only $5 per month and comes with unlimited storage. There's no PC or Server version. The same version works on your PCs and your Servers. It looks and feels just like Mozy.

Danno3
Danno3

The upload speed is the biggest bottleneck here. Based on the typical small business or home user's broadband upload speed of 512kbps, the upload/backup speed is about 180mb/hour or 360mb/hour with a premium service of 1mbps. It's quite likely that for most users will be in perpetual upload mode since the backup will not likely complete, even if done overnight. That will slow the internet connection to a crawl during daytime hours. Another big consideration is that I'm not aware of any backup service that has the capability to do an incremental backup within each file - that is, the ability to backup only changes to a file. This is really useful with large container files, such as a SQL .dat file, Access .mdb, or Outlook .pst files. I've used PcAnywhere for online backups for many of my clients (using a designated secure box at my location). That enabled quick online backups of large container files, since only changes to those files would be uploaded. That, combined with incremental backups made it practical in most cases.

T Mike
T Mike

Mozy saved 1 small biz/online artists' 'world' that I know, when her laptop/office went kaPut. Well worth the investment.

wmpierro
wmpierro

My client was one of those Carbonite users that lost 5 years worth of data when Carbonite on-line backup crashed its system. We now use StorageCraft ShadowProtect to store backup images on external eSATA drives as a first line of disaster recovery.

maxfield.janer
maxfield.janer

Great timing for this article. Ive been researching online backups as a secondary tool (never use for your primary tool!) for backing up dental patient records. Has anyone had any feedback or experience with their competitors: http://www.ironmountain.com/digital/server/ https://www.backblaze.com/ http://www.carbonite.com/default.aspx https://www.sugarsync.com/products/sync_pricing.htm http://jungledisk.com/ http://www.oaktreestorage.com/ http://www.rhinoback.com/ http://www.offsitebackupsolutions.com/

cpoturalski
cpoturalski

I have worked with Mozy on several different occasions. As others have noted I would recommend this for a HOME user. Even than, I would judge backup size. Unlimited data for $50 p/yr might sound good, but if you have 350GB of data in pictures and music the connection errors can be tedious. As for the Mozy Pro product, I notified Mozy when it came out that this was not an Enterprise solution. It had system state but no Active Directory backup, and the Exchange backup was to just backup the .edb's as files. This was not a supported backup and restore enterprise configuration. This may have been corrected, but the company was very short when I tested and reported back these short comings.

18th Letter
18th Letter

Hi I just started using Mozy and im pretty happy with it. Personally, I just care about my data, years of photo's, music archive and documents, Mozy does a great job at backing up all and thats all I can ask for.

reisen55
reisen55

I have a small business account with over 140 gigabytes of retina images, and three other applications that demand storage as well. Clearly this is not a fit and I do not sponsor on-line storage at all. 1. Secure - we have seen enough horror tales about internet sites being breached time and time again and my customer's data is sacrosanct to me. 2. Restoration Speed - has to be slow and at 2 in the morning I am not in the mood for slow restoration speed over an internet connection. And what if the internet connection itself is at fault. I use secure USB Connect SATA drives. They are totally secure because I keep them ON MY SHELF most of the time and have customer's off-site data NEVER on an active computer EVER. They are fast on restoration (which I regularly TEST for my clients as well as server restoration which I am prepared for under all circumstances) AND can be connected to any computer, which is not a benefit of tape. Do not praise internet storage. It may be great for home users but even these folks are consuming vast amounts of storage. Anybody EVER work on a home user system with every single vacation photograph taken for the past 4 years???????????? Disagree totally with this concept.

rucb_alum
rucb_alum

Even with cable service, I had a Mozy recovery take over 10 days to complete. You need to look carefully at your Return to Service projections before you commit to Mozy as your main or only back-up option.

anne
anne

I have been using Mozy for almost a year now for my company. Things went well initially but for the last 3 months it has been an uphill battle. Backups would not complete and I am constantly getting error messages about the connection (my T1 connection is working fine) to their servers. I contacted customer support and it took them well over 6 weeks to get a proper response.

Kruppster
Kruppster

I just discovered Data Deposit Box and they charge $2/gig/month. However, I run an FTP server with 35 users and the data is under a gig. They provide individual links to each users folder with seperate passwords and good download speeds so I can shut down my server after all data is uploaded and be "GREEN" plus offer my users better download speed.

jeremy
jeremy

I've been using Mozy for over a year and can't say enough good things about it. While I wouldn't use it as my only backup (I use TimeMachine for a full backup) it is nice to know that even when I'm on the road I can keep my important files backed up without much hassle. I've had to restore two machines using Mozy. One I used the FedEX DVD option. The other I downloaded from the web. Both ways are straight forward and went smoothly. I highly recommend Mozy to anyone who wants an easy backup solution.

Gh0stMaker
Gh0stMaker

For any customer wanted Disaster Recovery, imaging solutions like Acronis and Ghost are very good tools. From experience I like Acronis a little better than Ghost for Enterprise solutions. Be sure to purchase the 'universal restore' which allows image restore on any hardware if full disaster happens. Many SMB/Mid companies believe backup software and tape is D.R., but we professionals should let them know it is not.

Gh0stMaker
Gh0stMaker

Fabrik is owned by BerkelyData who was purchased by EMC and EMC purchase MozyPro Nov '08.

just_do_it
just_do_it

as a secondary backup for a business I personally would never use a product like Mozy or Carbonite. IMO they are geared toward, and are useful for average home computer users. There are enterprise class options out there such as http://www.i365.com/ from vendors like Seagate who are stricly geared towards enterprise class solutions. But bandwidth is bandwidth and that's always the bottleneck with online backup systems. External storage is so inexpensive these days. For a small business backup to an external HD then back up to tape from there if the media needs to be taken off site. Just my 2 cents.

reisen55
reisen55

I just picked up a 1 terabyte SATA for $94 and use it for massive client storage and 500gb SATA for onsite client storage so PLEASE TELL ME WHY INTERNET IS SOOOOO DAMN GOOD????? Speed, reliable and secure storage all go with a hard drive, not an internet connection, already fragile, slow and prone to theft. Hey, anybody know of any websites that have been cracked by hackers???? Anybody want HIPAA lawsuits????

rpilon
rpilon

What Carbonite crash? We have a number of users on Carbonite. Is it at risk?

taras01
taras01

I am an IT consultant and I have researched several online backup services. I completely disagree with the replies saying that online backup is not a good idea. There are a lot of situations where it would be smart to have both local and online backups for business data. Here is what I have found: Iron Mountain - Good service, long time provider of offsite records storage and offsite backup management. Their prices are generally much higher than other competitors. If you are looking for name-brand, and don't care about the cost, then this is a good option. www.rhinoback.com - Cost a little more than Mozy and Carbonite, but they are far less expensive than Iron Mountain. Good service and good for business data and systems. I think they may be a little bit of overkill for consumer and home PC's, but a good choice for small businesses. I have recommended them to clients and had a very good experience with them myself. In my opinion their software requires a little bit more computer savy than the pure consumer products because they provide a lot more options and control over your backup data. If you are a consumer looking for a cheap and easy online backup service, this might not be for you. Mozy - Simple and very inexpensive. Owned by EMC. Mostly consumer oriented. Mac version is not as stable as the windows version. I have actually used this one. The biggest problem is the restore process. When you request a restore, you have to wait many many hours for a restore file to be built which you can download later. Very slow and troublesome. Carbonite - fast growing, easy to use. Large customer base, almost all consumers. The recently exposed a problem with their storage when they lost data for thousands of customers. If you are looking for cheap backup for consumer pc's, then this is a good choice. I am not comfortable recommending them for critical business data.

taras01
taras01

I have to agree that online backup may not be a good solution for a lot of situations. If you have large databases or large amounts of critical data, then you should have onsite backup copies. But your onsite backup should not be your only copy! Offsite data storage is essential to any good disaster recovery policy. You can setup a manual procedure, or use a service, to transport your backup media to a secure offsite location. Or, you can use an online backup service. The advantage of the online backup service is that the backups and offsite storage is much more automated, which means there is much less chance of mistakes and lapses in the carrying out of the procedures. Some of the online backup services and software provide both onsite and offsite backup. I know that Rhinoback, www.rhinoback.com, allows you to keep a current copy of your backup data on your own in-house disk while also moving a copy offsite. I think some of the other business-class online backup companies offer similar services.

bobwyzguy
bobwyzguy

Keeping your backups in the same physical location as the originals is not considered good practice. I single event, like a break-in, fire, or storm could destroy both sets.

duncan.pope
duncan.pope

This is enterprise class backup! Meets HIPPA and Sarbanes/Oxley requirments. Take a look at the Enterprise class clients that already use MozyPro. I have been using Mozy for about a year for medical/dental client databases for over 14 clients and adding more nearly every month. Backups under 20 GB are easy and take only a few hours with a normal ADSL class download. I also use on site backups and this is a alternative method, but is easy, fast and reliable. Check it out on their MozyPro.com website!!

Chris_Muncy
Chris_Muncy

This is a good fit for a *HOME* user. When you start pointing this in the direction of SMB's, you are asking for trouble. As stated before, if I need to do a restore, I want it NOW. I can't wait days. Now, with all of that said, if an SMB was looking for archival storage as a SECONDARY backup, then by all means they can try it. DAT 72 for smaller organisations is just too easy and inexpensive to use for local backup. I consider myself fortunate in that I, for a SMB, spent my money on an LTO-3 tape autoloader.

jaydavisconsulting
jaydavisconsulting

I've worked on quite a few home systems that have more than 4 years of photos.

jcombs
jcombs

As with other users, my intial backup took over 2 weeks over a 12/2mbps connection. Support is the worst ever. pay the extra money for proper de-dup backup solution

rkomar
rkomar

I have been using the services offer by Geeks-in-route.net.. It is HIPPA compliant, although I don't need it, but that means it is off site, encrypted and redundant.

remotebackup
remotebackup

A few things that set Remote Data Backups apart from the Mozy and Carbonite are: - over a decade of business-class online backup service - our two world-class, underground data centers for the ultimate in security and availability - redundant fiber-optic bandwidth for ultra-fast and reliable transfers - free 24/7 phone support from our friendly U.S. techs - free trial, no credit card required (http://www.RDBU.com) We also have a great turnkey Backup Partner Program, free to join at http://a.RDBU.com.

pcmactechnitian
pcmactechnitian

I tried pro $5/mth,but canceled, as upload speed is so slow it's totally useless.Plus re starts backup from very beginning whenever windows reboots.

bnasser
bnasser

I hardly find the trust in backing up my information online with a backup storage site.

reisen55
reisen55

I work with a certified consultant who knows the other half of the job. Having a verified backup on any media IS a good thing but FAR from enough. 2 in the morning, servers crashed. HOW DO YOU PUT IT BACK TOGETHER AGAIN????? Having a backup of JUST DATA is not enough. FAR from it. ANY TECHNICIAL PROFESSIONAL knows that reconstructing servers FIRST come before data restoration and the best time to do that is NOT at 2am. My consultant colleague conducted a full data farm restoration exercise for the Girl Scouts of America at the IBM Sterling Forest facility and for 10 hours they documented the whole process of rebuilding everything. Many lessons were learned and the pain is FAR easier to bear under controlled conditions than an actual crisis. Such as the World Trade Center which both of us were participants in. Good backups are about 1/3 of the tale. Good restoration testing of data is another 1/3 and total restoration simulation is the next part of the puzzle.

Gh0stMaker
Gh0stMaker

I agree with Taras, online backup can be a very good solution, and the cloud is where backups will be going in the future. Obviously speed and security will be ongoing challenges for we professionals.

reisen55
reisen55

Wow, only a few hours???????? And I carry around a 500gb SATA drive that can restore HIPAA sensitive data in 45 seconds. I only have about 145 gigabytes of retina images to cover too for 22,000 patients. And two other applications to support. And a ghost system image of every computer and server in their office. And a server replacement hard drive on my shelf so I can restore server in 5 minutes flat. So tell me why a few hours is great over an insecure network and cable? When I can do it all with total security (the SATA drive is not even ON LINE most of the time) and in seconds, not hours.

maxfield.janer
maxfield.janer

duncan, im starting a biz supporting some medical but mostly dental clients. can i talk to you offline from this conversation about how you are servicing your clients? would really appreciate it!

jhoward
jhoward

There will always be arguments against cloud storage with primary being security and then time to recover. Anytime anything is done "in the cloud" security is a concern. This concept will never go away. Time to recover may improve slightly over time as internet connections and throughput continue to improve however the amount of data that needs to be backed up is growing at a similar if not higher rate. As an off-site solution paired with local tape or external hard drive backups cloud storage is becoming more of a useful option. Data can be compressed and encrypted locally before being sent out and you don't have to worry about who's responsibility it was to swap out the tapes this week. I don't think anyone believes that cloud storage is a viable total backup solution even for home users but it sure is worthy of consideration as part of any disaster recovery plan. How far from the office do your "offsite" backups need to be from a natural disaster to be safe?

angella.smith
angella.smith

For online backup I would recommend backupandshare.com to all home users, it is a great service for personal use or people looking for inexpensive online backup. It is very simple to use with features like incremental automatic and scheduled backup. It is a secured, easy-to-use online backup service that automatically keeps files and digital assets safe and easily accessible. With backupandShare Windows mobile backup solution comes free. No wonder they are the current topper in this business, check them out http://top10onlinebackup.com/.