Thoughts on backups with MozyPro

At around 1:30am on August 6th, a hard drive in one of our database servers died. It took down our mail server and WordPress blogs, but everything else (such as Podcast Spot) was unaffected. It sucks, but it happens. We’ve had many drives die over the last few years, unfortunately. All you can do is learn from each experience.

In this case, we had a full image of the server backed up. All we had to do was stick in a new hard drive, and deploy the image. That worked fairly well, though it did take some time to complete. The only problem was that the image was about 24 hours old – fine for system files, but not good for the data files we needed. For the most up-to-date data files, we relied on MozyPro.

(I should point out that we generally configure things so that data files are on separate drives from the system. In this case, we had about 250 MB of data files on the system drive. I have since reconfigured that.)

For the most part, Mozy has worked well for us. We’ve had a few bumps along the way, but no major complaints or problems. Until I tried to restore the data files yesterday, that is. The first problem was that I couldn’t use the Windows interface. The Mozy client would not “see” the last backup, presumably because the image was older than the last backup. You’d think it could connect to Mozy and figure that out, but apparently not. So I tried to use the Web Restore. It eventually worked, but it took about four hours to get the files. I don’t mean to download them, but for Mozy to make them available for download. Thank goodness it was only about 1000 files and 250 MB or it could have taken days!

So I learned that Mozy is reliable, but certainly not quick. If you need to restore something quickly, make sure you have a local backup somewhere. If you’re just looking for reliable, inexpensive, offsite storage then Mozy will probably work fine for you.

My next task is to upgrade this server particular to a RAID configuration, something we had been planning to do anyway. Should have done it sooner!

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