Monday, June 15, 2009

Mozy Wants To Be Momma's Backup

Mozy, the company that is pushing remote backup storage for consumers and small businesses, has identified a special niche for their service. It's new mothers.

Why new moms? It's because new mom's have new babies. What is nearly as important as the baby? Why, pictures of the baby, of course. Momma's brag book, not to mention Grandma's, is likely to be chock full of pictures preparing for the new arrival and those one-in-a-lifetime snapshots as baby joins the family. There's a million "firsts" for each and every child. You've captured them all in your handy digital camera. Now, wouldn't it be a tragedy if they all suddenly went "poof" and were gone?

You may be thinking, "Oh, how can that happen? Those pictures are safely on my computer."

Yeah, right.

Actually, you won't hear a "poof" sound when they all vaporize. It will be more like a grinding sound. That's the hard disk drive self-destructing as the head crashes into the platter and gouges out all that precious data.

Computer drives are highly reliable, good for thousands or tens of thousands of hours spinning quietly out of sight and mind. But drives, like any mechanical device, can and do fail. I, personally, have had one fail just out of warranty a year after the iMac was purchased and another fail in my trusty Compaq five years down the road. It's not a matter of if a hard drive will go bad. It's strictly a matter of when. Sure, many computers go to the landfill or, hopefully, the recycler with perfectly good disk drives. But many others give up the ghost unexpectedly when you are in the middle of reading a Web page, writing that first novel, or downloading a set of new photos.

You've probably seen the Mozy ads on television. Things fall out of the sky, lawnmowers run over laptop computers left in the grass, and so on with the silly stuff. Yeah, I suppose some of that really happens. But it's far more likely that a computer failure will catch you in more mundane circumstances - when you least expect it.

You may still not think that the threat is any big deal. After all, the pictures are still in your camera and you back-up your hard drive constantly.

Is that really true? Check your camera. You offloaded those pictures to your computer last week and deleted them from the camera's memory so you could be ready to take more. Did you back-up the drive as soon as you downloaded those pictures? No. You were too busy then. Besides, you want to get some more stuff on the drive to make it "worthwhile" to run a backup.

The truth is that we're all a bit lax about protecting our digital data. Days can turn into weeks or months before we back anything up to CD-ROM or another drive. Chances are that there is a lot of irreplaceable data, in the form of words, pictures, videos, and perhaps even Web page designs that are spinning around, Russian roulette style, on your computer's one hard drive.

What Mozy offers is online backup to their own highly reliable server farm. They encrypt your data so that it stays private during transport and storage. Whatever disaster befalls your computer, from a tornado or flood to theft or a simple hard drive failure, is unlikely to hit the Mozy data center at the same time. You need to recover everything that you've saved on your machine? You just have Mozy send it back to you.

The best part is the automatic backup software they provide. The real problem with backing up data is not that it is so hard to do. It's that it is so hard to remember to do. Let Mozy run in the background to find your new data and send it to the storage facility without you having to remember to do anything.

Here's what to do. Visit Mozy's site to sign up for service. Then, take all the pictures you want without worrying. Mozy's got you covered.

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