I am an idiot

Harsh statement? Yes, but well-deserved. If you want to be kind, you can call this post "I am a hypocrite".

If you know me, I preach "backups", and try to live by my words. I have an external hard drive and back up everything from my tax records to my pictures to my music collection (using Cobian). I run these jobs weekly overnight. In addition, I pay for Mozy to run nightly backups so I can have the piece-of-mind of off-site backup.  I’ve been been playing around with Backupify.

Being the backup stickler that I am, you would think I would obviously backing up this blog… this is where “I am an idiot/hypocrite” comes in.

Last night I was playing around with my blog and somehow (unbeknownst to me) I managed to corrupt my WordPress Posts table, containing the 630+ blog entries I’ve made over the last 5 years. At first I thought it was no big deal, as I had the WP-DB-Backup plugin installed, but only to find that lazy me never configured it – a backup was never run! After realizing this, I did what anyone who just found out their 600+ posts are gone – curled up on the floor.

Luckily I was able to collect myself enough to submit a ticket to HostGator, and a nice DBA was able to repair the table for me, restoring all of my posts. I probably broke some kind of speed record in configuring the “Backup” plug-in.

Let this be a lesson: make sure that you’re backing up, and check your settings often!

It also looks like Backupify may also be able to now do WordPress Backups. I need to look into this.

Backup Gripes: Mozy (Re-)Backup

Given that the majority of my life is stored on a computer now (photos, tax returns, other important docs), it has become all the more critical for me to have safe, accessible backups of my machine. For the last year I have set up 2 tiers of backups.  The first is a weekly job that backs data up to an external hard drive connected to the machine – this is in the scenario of my machine going down or simply deleting a file I shouldn’t have.  As a second tier, I have been using Mozy’s MozyHome Unlimited for about the last year – this covers the need for off-site backup, should something happen to our home that would wipe out the computer & the drive.

Yesterday I was forced to rebuild my Vista desktop, reformatting the hard drive and doing a fresh install of the OS.  Everything came up without incident, and when it came time to restore the files I used my external drive (obviously the faster solution).  I’ve had pretty good luck in restoring my computer.

Then came time to install Mozy, revealing my gripe with them. I installed Mozy using the default settings on the same computer, that has the same machine name, on the same OS, with the files in the same location.  The files retained all of the same date-stamps as pre-backup.  I was hoping that Mozy would figure out “Oh, you’ve already got a similar backup already on our servers, would you like to scan that backup for changes?” Unfortunately not.

Mozy treated the backup as a brand new backup set, wiping out my current backed up files and attempting to upload all of my files again.  With all of the pictures and documents I have, we’re talking nearly 30 GB of bandwidth that’s going to flow through the pipes.  In the age of bandwidth-conscientious ISP’s, a 30 GB bandwidth increase isn’t exactly what I was hoping for.  At the same time, I’m wasting Mozy’s money in uploading 30GB of the same files that were already on there server.

This is obviously a lose/lose situation for the both of us.  For a backup company, I wish Mozy had a more graceful way of dealing with restored PC’s.  Now I’m going to be uploading data for the next 2 weeks.

Update: I have to give Mozy some credit. I started the large backup and it somehow failed, when I tried to re-start it, it somehow saw the rest of the files and took those into account.  Now I’m just uploading a few GB of data rather than the entire backup set.  I still wish that the Mozy interface would allow you to say “Hey, this is the same computer, use the previous backup set”.