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Friday, December 16, 2011

MozyHome Backup Service

What do you do to backup your audio/video data? This is a solution I tried and am not happy with. You don't have to read the article to comment about how you handle backing up your data. Please comment with solutions you've found.

Now for the article which is about my experience with MozyHome Backup Service.

If you're like me, you've got reams of data that needs to be backed up regularly.

Back in July 2010, I signed up for Mozy UNLIMITED online backup service (two years). It was a great deal which they no longer offer -- about $44 a year (it's WELL above that price now for very limited storage).

I have about 900 gig backed up on Mozy. I have a lot of HD video and high resolution audio which is storage space hungry.

My computer (4 core, 8 gig) often slows to a crawl and I'm always on the hunt for what's doing it. Recently, the CPU usage gadget showed 6 gig of memory usage with nothing but my browser running. So I open the Windows Task Manager and click on the Processes tab. Then View/Select columns, adding Memory - Private Working Set. It still didn't show a program using anywhere near that kind of memory.Then I clicked the "Show processes from all users" checkbox at the bottom left. What an eye opener! Even though I'm the only user on this computer, evidently the Windows system is a user, too, because the list of processes expanded to well over twice the size.

And guess what was using 6 gigs of memory? mozybackup.exe

According to the Mozy Knowledge base article "Why is Mozy using up so much RAM and CPU? [83279]," mozybackup uses CPU time and memory when it scans for new files to backup. RAM usage is in direct correlation with the number of files selected for backup and the number of files that have changed or been added since the last backup. The article also says that after a backup is complete, increased RAM usage may continue to be reported until another application or process requires the additional RAM already assigned to Mozy. It further says this is not cause for concern unless Mozy’s RAM usage does not decrease when another process or application could use the RAM and it causes your system to do more paging and use more swap space on your drive.

This was the cause of my concern, and Mozy was not releasing the RAM for other programs to use, slowing the system down to unusable.

Here's the solutions Mozy suggests in their Knowledge base article:
  1. If your scan takes a rather long time to complete, you may consider reducing the number of files selected for backup.
  2. You may also consider reducing or eliminating unnecessary reboots and avoid quitting the backup process as a complete scan will begin again after each of these actions.
  3. If you find that Mozy uses more CPU than desired during normal computer usage, reducing your backup selection should also help remedy this.
  4. If you feel Mozy is using more RAM than should be necessary, you may consider reducing the number of files selected for backup.
This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever read! Because Mozy cannot write software that behaves, Mozy users are supposed to cut back on the files they back up. "Uh oh, Mozy is taking up too much CPU/RAM -- I'd better stop backing up so many files. Hey, Grandma's gonna be dead soon -- I'll just delete all the photos of her to save space."

And who EVER does an "unnecessary reboot?"

And I can't quit the program because it has to start all over if I do?

If Photoshop or Word or any of the video/audio programs I use can "remember" where I was even when the program crashes, why can't Mozy remember where it was in cataloging the status of files?

And what's with needing 6 gig of RAM to get files ready to upload?