It’s been a while since I mentioned Mozy, my chosen online backup service. The reason I haven’t mentioned it is that it’s been happily working away at protecting my stuff without any problems, so any report would have been a bit boring.
But all that changed recently. A month or so ago, I did some major manipulation of files – I converted all the RAW images in my photo library to the DNG format. That’s thousands of files, all around 8MB, all of which comes to a lot of data. I knew that Mozy would take a while to catch up with all that, so I didn’t worry when it didn’t seem to be making much progress.
Weeks passed, and I finally got round to looking at the logs. Mozy was failing to back up at all, which isn’t a good thing at all. Looking at the log file showed the interesting message:
Unhandled exception in backup: column filename is not unique
So, I emailed their support. On a Sunday. I wasn’t expecting to hear much, but I got a prompt reply telling me they were checking the “mainfest” – which is a list of files to back up which gets downloaded from their server. They told me to leave it a day or two then try again. Well, I did, but got the same error. So I emailed again. This time, they told me they’d found that the manifest had got out of step with the files on my Mac, and to try again after a day or two. I suspect the mass change of thousands of files in a short space of time must have got it a wee bit confused.
Anyway, I tried again tonight, and it’s working again. Woo hoo.
I mention this because Mozy just passed the most important test of a service. As anyone who works with any kind of complex system will know, things can and will go wrong. It doesn’t matter if it’s a free service, a cheap one, or a business-class service costing thousands of pounds a year. Things will go wrong. The important bit is getting quality support and a prompt resolution of any problem you might have. I was impressed with the speed of the response, the fact that they immediately understood my problem and took action to sort it out.
For the price I’m paying, I’d have accepted a much slower response, and a lot more hassle to get it fixed. Mozy’s support exceeded my expectations, and I’m now even happier to recommend their service to anyone who wants an off-site, automatic backup. And remember, you can have up to 2GB of data backed up for no money at all – and that’s quite enough for a lot of people.
 Waits for chorus of readers shouting “that doesn’t normally stop you”
 For me, the unlimited backup at $5 a month is insanely cheap for the peace of mind it gives me