Tag Archives: mozy

No Longer A Mozy User

I’ve been a Mozy fan and user for a couple of years and had a paid subscription, at least until I recently cancelled it. At some point my backups stopped working. My tech support experience didn’t go well. While working on the issue I was backing things up to Amazon S3 (via Jungle Disk). After all the files were backed up to S3 and the Mozy issue remained unresolved so I cancelled the subscription.

I will admit I didn’t dedicate a great deal of time to the problem although I did run through all the steps requested by Mozy support. Backups need to be unobtrusive, simple and not time consuming. This had become neither.

I new things were bad when the tech support e-mail said the problem was my Mac was going to sleep during the backup and I should just keep restarting the backup. The logs I sent proved this wasn’t the case (my Mac is set to never sleep) and the error occurred as soon as Mozy attempted to send the first file to the server. I’d already done most of the steps in the e-mail (such as uninstalling/re-installing).

The final step was to change the backup to try backing up just one file. I saved this for last since if it worked it would remove all my other files (although the historical copies should remain for 30 days). This was a bit weird. It did delete about 80% of the files although 10GB or so remained up there. This indicated to me that something was out of sync. Also, the one file selected for backup wasn’t backed up and I received the error.

For laughs I installed Mozy one last time and used by free account. The backup worked fine.

I want a backup I can trust and I’d lost confidence in Mozy so the path of least resistance and greatest confidence was to move on. Amazon S3 is more expensive (the break even point with Mozy is around 30GB although since there are charges beyond space used the exact amount varies.)

So far no other backup has the features I want for the low cost of Mozy so for now I’ll be sticking with Amazon S3 and spending a bit more. In future posts I’ll write about Jungle Disk and the other backup solutions I looked at.  But since I’ve been so pro Mozy in the past I wanted to get on record that I now longer had a subscription.

MacMozy 1.0 Released

Mozy’s Mac client has left beta and is now an official 1.0 release. I’ve used the paid Mozy service since September and have been relatively happy with it. There were a few rough spots, like the last beta release (version 0.9.4) which failed to successfully complete a backup, forcing me to roll back to the previous release. But I’ve installed MacMozy 1.0 and it’s been running fine and completing backups.

I currently backup over 120,000 files totaling over 3GB. My only real complaint is that selecting files for restore is a bit slow although the 120K files probably has something to do with this. It’s not unbearably slow, but if your the impatient type or need that file in a hurry it’ll be like boiling that watched pot.

Another minor issue is that occasionally MacMozy will tell me it needs to back up several GB, even though I’ve had few changes. It processes all these files for backup but when It comes time to send them to the server it sees there already on the server so doesn’t send them again.

Like any online backup a lot of the performance depends upon your ISP. I don’t even attempt to backup my 150GB music and video library. With my upload bandwidth there’s not enough time in the week. So it’s not an all-encompassing solution but it does provide the offsite piece of my backup strategy.

I’ve been relatively quiet about Mozy lately but that’s because it’s been working (right up until the final beta which I already mentioned). Hit the tag links down the bottom or hit the search box for my previous articles about Mozy.

Mozy is currently running several promotions. No matter which plan you think is best for you, you should start with the free version and move up to a paid plan when you know it works for you.

The free plan offers 2GB of storage (no time limit) for personal, non-commercial use. Enter referral code E62DWM during registration to receive an extra 256MB of storage. I use a free account to backup my MacBook.

If you want to sign up for a paid plan you can use the promo code MAY for 10% off a annual sign-up or promo code MAY2 for 10% off a two-year sign-up. The annual/biennial sign-ups are paid in advance in return for free month(s). You can also sign-up for monthly billing.

MacMozy 0.8.0.0 Update Released

Mozy logo in black & whiteMozy has released an update to their MacMozy software, bringing it to version 0.8.0.0. The update was released Oct. 25th and I’ve been running it for a little over a week. I updated both the free account to back up my MacBook along with the unlimited account to backup my main iMac.

Screenshot of Firewall Preferences showing MozyWhile I hadn’t had any problems since updated to Leopard (MacMozy 0.7.0.0 or higher is needed for Leopard) I immediately started getting ConnectionError1 during my first backups after upgrading on my iMac. (My MacBook backups are small and I may just not have done enough to get it there). This is a known issue with a temporary work around of opening port 443 for outbound connections in the firewall. I hadn’t needed to do anything Mozy related with the Leopard firewall since upgrading to Leopard. Besides, the Leopard firewall doesn’t provide a way (through the preferences) to manage ports, rather it wants to manage apps. I added Mozy to the list of applications to allow incoming connections (click the thumbnail to the right). This seemed to resolve the problem as the error did not occur since the change. Still, I’m skeptical that it was a fix and not coincidence. The Mozy work around dealt with outbound connections being blocked and according to the setting I opened Mozy up for inbound connections. I’ll add it to my list of questions about the firewall.

I recently downloaded a iso image of the latest Fedora release which was 3.3 GB. Normally I wouldn’t bother backing this up since I could just download it again and it would take the better part of a day to back it up with my Internet connection. But I decided this would be a good test for Mozy and told Mozy to back it up. I typically throttle bandwidth to about 75% of the connection (Comcast seems to dislike full-out usage for extended lengths of time so I find I get better overall results by throttling) but I removed the throttle for this test. Mozy did consistently use over 90% of my upload speed, which may have been all Comcast was willing to give it.

Just like every other upgrade I restored a few files and made sure they’re still valid. I pull some down that were backed up with older versions (I just pick a file from the oldest backup set) and some that were just backed up with the new versions. I didn’t find any problems.

The list of fixes from the release notes includes:

* improved update check logic
* fixed web links for some server errors
* added os version, architecture and memory size to log output
* automatic backup idle time setting can now be set to zero
* added change log notes to readme file
* only wait 10 minutes for response before retrying
* throttling measurements now match activity monitor
* added definition of “back up” to readme file
* added uninstall option in status drop-down menu
* changed default backup schedule to once daily
* backup set editor UI improvements
* status app can now be run by multiple users at the same time
* added readme file to disk image
* fixed waiting forever to write data
* updated quick start guide
* added known issues to readme file
* fixed ical backup set for leopard

The last item is related to iCal backup sets in Leopard. I’ve noticed that with this version both the “iCal” and “Keychains” backup sets search forever (at least as long as I’m willing to wait) on the configuration screen and don’t find any files. I also backup these items by selecting them in the “Files and Folders” configurations which may be why I haven’t had a problem. I’m not sure this is really fixed. I hadn’t noticed this problem under 0.7.

I hadn’t seen the “waiting forever to write data” in the 0.7 release but had encountered it earlier. The throttling change confused me at first as I thought they had limited choices. It had been Kbps which matched how my ISP rated the connection. This time I went in and saw 96KBps as the choice just below no throttling. They switched from bits to Bytes so it now matches activity monitor, and iStats Menu for that matter.

The new feature to “set the automatic backup idle time” to zero means a backup will be done every two hours, even if you’re using the Mac. Mozy will only do an automatic backup every two hours, so setting the idle to zero means it will kick off when that timer expires. This is good for my laptop which is rarely idle. This way it will get at least one backup per session.

The known issues that have been identified by Mozy are:

* Mozy does not fully support bundles.
* Mozy does not back up resource forks or symbolic links.
* Occasionally, Mozy has trouble communicating with our servers (ConnectionError1). If you have a firewall, please allow Mozy to make outbound connections on port 443. If not, please wait a few minutes and then restart the backup process.

Even though Mozy is still in beta for the Mac it’s been awhile since I’ve had any serious problems with it. I’m obviously a big fan of Mozy and have trusted by own backups to it (although not my only backup). One reason I’m a fan is they offer a free account with 2GB of storage so there’s no risk. I used this for months before deciding to commit to the unlimited account. You can go to Mozy’s website to get a free 2GB account (aff) and use referral code E62DWM to get both of us an extra 256MB of storage. They’ve redesigned their site and made the free account a bit harder to find. Select MozyHome from the main page the look for “MozyHome Free”

Leopard & MacMozy Backup

Mozy Logo in Black and WhiteAfter getting Leopard set up and most software installed it was time to set up Mozy again. I’m backing up about 30GB to Mozy and if all the files had to be sent again it would take days at my upload speed. Even though I was doing a complete re-install of everything I’d be restoring the bulk of my data to the same locations and they should appear unchanged to Mozy. Some data would be unchanged but be in new locations. Since I was re-installing all software the settings would in fact be new and would be backed up again but this should be a relatively small amount.

I did the MacMozy install last thing Friday night so it would have the whole night and some of the next morning to back up before I was back at my Mac.

I ran the installer for the latest MacMozy software which was version 0.7.0.0 (640). I entered my account information and when Mozy verified my account it saw that I had files already backed up using a private encryption key. It prompted me to enter the encryption key which I did. Then it ran the setup wizard and prompted me to chose the items to back up. I picked the same directories I had chosen previously.

I noticed that the “Backup Set” queries ran much quicker than before. So I picked several of them to make sure I was covered in case I missed the directories.

Once the backup started it told me it had a little over 3GB to backup. That wasn’t too bad, although it could take up to a day. One thing I noticed is it appeared very slow or even hung up. Scanning for files took much longer than usual. Then it stayed in a “communicating with server” status for what seemed forever (I eventually gave up and went to bed while it ran). But in checking the Mozy log through the console I could see it was in fact going back and forth with the server sending information about 500 files at a time. I imagine that since the local history was gone it was rebuilding it or validating the information it received from the server about the files it wasn’t backing up

The backup was still running in the morning. When I checked the logs later I saw that it had run about 10 hours. Of the 3GB it thought it had to send, only about 1GB was for files that weren’t already on the server. The files that had been moved but otherwise unchanged were logged as already on the server.

I then did a test restore for a couple of th newly backed up files along with a couple that were backed up before Leopard. The restores went just fine.

I later installed MacMozy to my laptop and reconfigured the free Mozy account with similar results. That last link is an affilliate link that will get you an extra 256MB of storage. Or you can use referral code E62DWM.

MacMozy Beta Updated to v0.7.0.0

Mozy LogoThe MacMozy Beta software was recently updated to v0.7.0.0. Mozy is the online backup service and MacMozy is the Mac client that I use.

The Mozy website doesn’t list what changes are included in this version and there aren’t any obvious changes. So, I’m assuming it was bug fixes and/or performance enhancements.

After updating the Mozy client the backup software would report connection errors (Connectionerror2) each time it tried to do a backup. Once I rebooted my Mac the errors went away and the backups resumed working.

I didn’t have any problems restoring files backed up with older versions. Files backed up with the latest version also restored just fine.

I currently have 105,405 files totaling 29.4GB. It took about a week to get the initial backup due to the relatively slow upload speed but since then the backup times have been reasonable.

Mozy does offer a free 2GB account so you can try it and I ran that for several months before finally taking the plunge. You can use code E62DWM when you sign up for a free Mozy account(aff) and get an extra 256MB of space.