Husband, Father, Business Owner, Technology Geek. – My Experience
24 November 2008, greg @ 11:55 am

I have been using for online backup of two desktop machines in our office about 7 months now without any significant problems. I have been very satisfied with the price and performance of this solution until last weekend.

On Saturday morning I was trying to perform a small bit of maintenance on one of our websites from home.  After determining I needed a file from my office machine to complete the work, I tried to perform a “web restore” from my backup.  After logging into my Mozy account, I found and selected the file (a single 30k file) I needed to restore and submitted the job.  I figured it may take several minutes until the restore was ready, even 30 minutes wouldn’t be a big deal.  So I waited…and waited…and waited. After 45 minutes of waiting I ran out of things to do on the website and threw in the towel.

Several hours later I checked my account.  Still waiting…  A few hours later I checked again, no dice.  At this point I decided to send Mozy support an email.  And still I waited.

At 8:22am on Sunday, about 22 hours after I submitted my file restore, I received an email from Mozy indicating my restore request was complete.  Great!…but it was easier and much faster for me to go to the office, get the file and put in on the website.  For fun I retrieved the “restored” file and opened it successfully. Happily it was the right file.

At 9:26pm on Sunday I received a response from Mozy support explaining why my file restore did not happen quickly. I have reproduced it below.

“Web Restores are done on a first come, first serve basis. Restore build time depends on how many people have requested restores before you. Sometimes they will build quickly, but others it may take quite a bit of time. We ask that you please be patient while the restores build. I can see that the restore finished today. This delay happens when there is a large volume of restores pending.”

This may or may not be an truthful explanation of the situation regarding my restore request.  In a previous life, I was in enterprise storage administration and know this stuff should never take this long.

Possibly Mozy does not have sufficient infrastructure to deal with the number of restore requests they receive, I will never know. What I do know is that I will now be giving Carbonite online backup a try. Their price is very similar to and the performance of their restore service can hardly be worse.  I am certainly glad this wakeup call happened now rather than when I really needed them to perform.

If you have any experience, good or bad, with or any other online backup provider, I would love to hear about it.

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2 Comments a “ – My Experience”

  1. Jimmy — November 24, 2008 @ 1:38 pm

    You get what you pay for. You selected the cheapest on the market and wonder why it is slow and not up to scratch! Carbonite won’t be much better, looks to me like you are buying on price rather than on what your real requirements are. I recommend you take a quick step back and evaluate what you need out of a backup / recovery solution for your website. Remember you are buying an insurance service to recover your data, not a backup service.

  2. ERO — November 25, 2008 @ 11:56 pm

    ***I let this comment stand primarily because Ethan is not trying to obscure his identity, which I appreciate. Further, he gets a live link that says Online Backup. -gt**


    I would prefer to send this information in an email but unfortunately I cannot seem to find your address.

    If you will please pardon the ‘public pitch’ and as it pertains to your issue above, we have concentrated much of our efforts on solving this exact problem. After all, it is your data – why should you have to wait for it. As opposed to Mozy or Carbonite, we have created a cross platform central repository where you can access any data stored across your ‘network’ from any connected machine or remotely through the web. Then all you have to do is select the file you desire and hit ‘Download’ – that simple and immediate. As you will notice on our site, we don’t even use the word ‘restore’ as the data is constantly present. Our pricing model works on storage amount rather than number of machines so you can backup numerous machines under one account for no additional cost.

    If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly and thank you in advance for your time.

    Very best,

    SpiderOak, Inc