Category Archives: mozy

Backups: Amazon S3 + Jungle Disk = Awesomeness

As a follow-up to my earlier post, Why You Should Avoid Mozy Backups, I wanted to blog about the backup solution that I am using now and absolutely love. I’ve had several people ask what I am currently using for a backup solution after the Mozy debacle, so I thought this would be the easiest way to share the information.

Amazon S3 + Jungle Disk = awesomeness.

After my drive reformat last month (thus the need for my Mozy backup), I had a complete hard drive failure (expected, since I knew a reformat wouldn’t “solve” the issue with the physical drive). I restored all of my data from Amazon S3 using Jungle Disk quickly and easily.

Amazon S3 is a really fast, stable, and inexpensive storage solution. I’ve been using it for more than a month and have spent less than $5 so far. The catch is that Amazon S3 can only be accessed via web services; there is no direct consumer interface. So for those of you with mad coding skills and some spare time, you could probably swing it without Jungle Disk.

Jungle Disk provides a simple interface to Amazon S3 along with the ability to do automatic backups at various time intervals. This is a really simple interface – it simply backs up your current data, but does not provide incremental backups, which means that you can only retrieve the most recent copy of a file and not previous versions. After a short free trial, you can buy the software for $20.

Most of my data (maybe 95%) is stored in Clearspace, Zimbra, svn, various online apps, etc., so the number of files backed up is pretty small. An online backup solution like Amazon S3 and Jungle Disk is perfect for me.

Related post:

Why You Should Avoid Mozy Backups

Note: Update from 9/20/07 with resolution to this issue can now be found at the end of this post.


Ugh. I rarely use my blog to rant, but here it goes.

I started using Mozy to backup my MacBook a couple of months ago. In keeping with my sys admin background, I dutifully made my first backup and then did a test restore of a few files – worked beautifully. Simple, online, and free backups for my Mac. I have been doing backups every couple of nights since then. About once a week, I even checked to make sure that the data was being backed up.

Last Thursday, my Mac crashed and refused to reboot. Chris (Jive IT guy extraordinaire) attempted to save the data, but eventually the hard drive had to be reformatted. Total data loss. Oh well, it is a pain to reinstall everything, but I take regular backups, so no problem.


On Monday, I kicked off a full restore on the Mozy web site. This is what I ended up with:

You have 1 restore currently building. In the restore requested about 2 hours ago, 0 out of 11025 files are finished building. You will receive an email when the restore is complete.

At this point, I contact Mozy support to get an idea of how long these typically take. This was prior to 1:00 pm Pacific Time. I received an auto response stating that they would get back to me sometime the following day. Hmmm, maybe a less ambitious approach would be warranted? Yesterday around this time, I decided to try for the 11 files that I wanted right away. Still not working.

I got this email at 9am this morning:

That’s weird your restore is taking so long. Obviously something is wrong and it isn’t restoring correctly. I would try again.

You also have the option to restore from your virtual drive. If you click on your Mozy icon on the menu bar (the four square icon) and choose restore files you’ll be able to view and restore your files from there. This is typically the best option for a smaller amount of files like you are trying to download.

Let us know how it goes.

Sigh, yeah I already tried all of this (and they should have been able to tell that I already tried again), so no help here.

As I was writing this blog entry, I got an email requesting a copy of mozy.log. Interesting, I was performing a web restore, so there won’t be anything in the logs.

My current Mozy status:

You have 1 restore currently building.

In the restore requested 1 day ago, 0 out of 11 files are finished building. You will receive an email when the restore is complete. Click here to view all your restores.

A quick Google of “mozy restore” will show that this is not an isolated issue.

You may be asking yourself, “what kind of moron uses beta backup software?” ahem. OK, I am a bit lucky. The vast majority of my data is stored in other online services (Gmail, Jive’s Zimbra server, Clearspace collaboration platform), so hard drive backups are less critical for me than for most people. However, I still do not like losing data, and other people who rely more heavily on hard drive files could get seriously burned using Mozy.

My advice to you? Run away from Mozy as fast as you can!

UPDATE 9/20/07: Woo hoo! I have my data back. Mozy’s COO contacted me yesterday in response to this blog post. After a short email exchange, my backup of 11 files completed fairly quickly. I submitted a restore of the rest of my data ~800MB, which completed and was ready to download in an afternoon. The download went well, and I have verified that the files look good. Despite the rocky start, they were able to get my data to me. I have learned my lesson about using beta software for backups, and I will most likely still switch to a more reliable service (E3 from Amazon most likely); however, I really appreciate the responsiveness that Mozy displayed.