Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Mozy has Nailed Remote Backups

Mozy has nailed it. I have been very interested in remote backup solutions for a long time for two reasons:

1. Everyone should do backups
2. Automated remote backups is the only way to go

My interest goes so far that I created a peer to peer distributed backup system in University (if you want to read my papers on it, check here).

Today, most people are getting sold on the ol' external hard drive unit with one click backup, backup to CD, or some other lame manual process. Manual being the keyword here. Nobody is going to remember to backup their stuff every time they change it. Lets say you edit a word document, are you going to be sure to back it up right after you're done? CD or DVD backups are the worst of the options because are you going to burn a new CD for a 1KB file? And what if you're house burns down? Then you've lost all your CD's and your external hard drive anyways.

Those types of systems are not for regular backups. A backup system must have the following properties:

  1. Automated - setup once, and don't think about it again
  2. Incremental - will only backup modified files
  3. Encrypted - it should be encrypted on the client before being sent for the best security
  4. Remote - this one may be questionable to some, but I think it's essential

The location one is important due to fire, robbery, etc, but is also important for laptop users since they may not be at home.

I'm trying not to stray too far off topic here, but I wanted to provide background as to why I think I have found the new winner for backups. And the winner is: Mozy . It has all of the required properties in a nice easy to use package, but the best part is you get up to 2 GB free! There are other solutions out there, but free is not in their vocabulary.