Long-term Mozy for Mac review

Summary:Mozy for Mac was the first low-cost online backup service for Macs. But after using it for over 2 years at my own expense I dumped it. Here's why.

I work online and live in a small town 30 miles of 2 lane road from Flagstaff, AZ. I don’t have a lot of options when my infrastructure FUBARs.

Redundancy keeps me up and running. A key piece is 3 backup systems:

  1. Hourly Time Machine backups of changed files.
  2. Nightly system disk backups to a bootable external drive.
  3. Online backup to cloud storage system.

Am I paranoid? When a recent OS upgrade failed due to driver conflicts, I needed 2 of the 3 systems to retrieve all my data. If a backup disk had failed I would have used all 3.

Mozy for Mac For over 2 years, at my own expense, I used Decho's Mozy for Mac client to back up critical data - some 40+ GB of it. About 3 months ago I switched to another provider.

Why?

It wasn't reliable. Worse, after 2+ years, it wasn't getting more reliable. I kept hoping, not wanting to go through another multi-week data backup, but I gave up after the latest version stopped working for several weeks and 2 reinstalls didn't fix the problem.

Mozy's tech support people are uniformly polite and responsive. But if the product doesn't want to work they can't do much about it.

A sample size of 1 I want to stress that this is only 1 machine's experience with Mozy - not a statistically valid study. I have almost 6 TB of disk on a 12 GB Intel quad-core Mac Pro. I capture hundreds of GB of video, surf a lot of websites, run several data collection utilities, support a GigE LAN and use data intensive peripherals such as a fast sheet-fed scanner and a firewire HD camcorder.

I started using Mozy for Mac when it was in beta. After a slow start I gave v1.0 an endorsement of sorts:

I started working with Mozy’s Mac client a year ago, blogged about it for a couple of months (see “Mozy Mac client beta watch” one and deux). But after many continuing bugs and failures I got depressed and stopped.

Progress was slow. Painfully slow.

New! Improved! Now It Works! Now I can to report that their client is out in v1.0 and it works.

At the time Mozy for Mac had no competition in the $50/yr backup space.

That was then. It did work, but as the OS upgrades continued, so did the Mozy client problems. The tech support response tended towards "uninstall and reinstall" although they would sometimes ask for logs. Mozy preserved the online data, so data didn't need a complete backup.

In the meantime some credible competition has arrived in the form of Backblaze and Crashplan. I've tried both and they both worked. Now I'm doing a long-term eval of one as a paying customer.

More on that in a future post.

The Storage Bits take Mozy's parent company, Decho, was created by EMC, a $15 billion company with 40,000 employees, that also owns Iomega, VMware and RSA. Plenty of software talent and plenty of money to hire anything they needed.

But they couldn't get the product to work to my satisfaction even though I installed the latest versions, trashed plist files and more. The same problems kept coming up.

It was the lack of progress to stability that finally made me dump Mozy for Mac. After more than 2 years it wasn't getting better.

Which meant it was getting worse. And that isn't acceptable in a back up product.

Comments welcome, of course.

Topics: Apple, Data Management, Hardware, Storage

About

Harris has been working with computers for over 35 years and selling and marketing data storage for over 30 in companies large and small. He introduced a couple of multi-billion dollar storage products (DLT, the first Fibre Channel array) to market, as well as a many smaller ones. Earlier he spent 10 years marketing servers and networks.... Full Bio

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