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Monday, March 19, 2007

Forget about Backups

When I had my thoughts and data spread across several systems, paper and electronic, backups were less important to me. I often had redundant sources from which I could rebuild at least the some of what was at risk. If you've read what I've posted earlier, you know that almost all of my records are now electronic and consolidated into a non-overlapping trusted system. Lack of backup would leave me quite vulnerable, and with my memory no longer playing a large role as a system of record, it cannot work as a reliable backup either.

Some protection is afforded by my use of FolderShare (described earlier). Using that, I've distributed those files I need on multiple machines for quick access. This replication provides a form of backup, but there are some files I don't distribute because they're sensitive (like financial data). Of course, these are perhaps even more important to protect from catastrophic loss.

I've considered a wide range of alternatives, including setting up complicated rsync-ing services to a relative's computer on the other side of the continent, to insure against local catastrophies (I live in earthquake-country). At one point I was fairly good about burning CDs and taking them off site. But in the end, all of my prior clever ideas were too complicated to make backup truly reliable (insofar as it involves my own effort - I'm not looking to add new habits).

About 16 months ago, I discovered what has served since then as the perfect solution.

Mozy is brain-dead simple. Sign up (see below), download and install the client, choose files or folders to backup, and that's it. The service does the rest automatically, collecting files as they change on your machine, compressing and encrypting them, and uploading them to a secure site. You have a reasonable amount of flexibility in choice of files, frequency of backup, and means of encryption. Restoration of lost items is equally simple: Mozy presents a file-system-like view of the files and folders backed up to their servers, which you can restore to your computer with a single click.

The service is available in three forms: one for personal use, limited to 2GB; an offering for $4.95/month that allows unlimited storage; and an enterprise version for more richer business use.

If you're interested in the personal edition (which I use), you might sign up using my referral code: Doing so will give you (and me) an additional 256MB over the 2GB limit.

Mozy operates transparently and without any intervention from me at all. It's allowed me to completely forget about backups - until I need them, and then they're there.


Blogger Doc said...

Hi -- looks like your URL to the mozy site is formatted incorrectly. If I can get it working manually I'll use your referral code ;)

6:34 PM


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