Mozy Ships Physical Hard Disk Drives to Help SMBs Back Up Faster

Paul Mah
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Online storage provider Mozy has unveiled a new service called the Mozy Data Shuttle in which the cloud storage company will ship physical hard disk drives (HDDs) to speed up the initial backup process. Once a request has been submitted, Mozy will overnight the requisite number of HDDs with preinstalled software to perform a secure backup of connected systems using a one-time encryption key. Once the backup process is completed, customers simply use the pre-printed shipping label to ship the disk drives back to Mozy.

 

And as with all data stored with Mozy, the data on the disk drives is also encrypted using a personal key unique to the organization; even Mozy is unable to see customers' data. Mozy has clearly given much thought to make the Data Shuttle service a seamless process.

 

As reported by Computerworld:

As soon as the Data Shuttle drive is unplugged from a customer's system, incremental backups of the system data are automatically sent to Mozy's data center. When the backup drive's data is downloaded, it is automatically joined with the incremental backups to create a full data copy.

The service is priced based on the number of drives shipped, which starts at $275 for a 2TB Iomega drive with USB 2.0 and eSATA connectivity. Each additional HDD costs an additional $100, and the service is capable of handling a maximum of four HDDs at a time. Due to the different ways disk manufacturers and operating systems calculate storage capacity, do note that Mozy actually markets each HDD as having 1.8GB capacity.


 

According to Mozy, the genesis behind this scheme is related to how network connectivity has in many cases not caught up with the increasing readiness of businesses to leverage cloud storage for data protection.

 

Gytis Barzdukas, director of product management at Mozy, elaborated in a prepared statement:

In the last 12 months, more and more people [have been] opening up to backing up data to the cloud. At the same time, the amount of data in organizations has grown. Those two things converging is what prompted us to bring out this service.

Cost of shipping the physical drives aside, speeding up the completion of an initial backup in this manner also helps to shrink the window of vulnerability.

 

It is no laughing method either, since my back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that an SMB with a "reasonable" symmetric 4Mbps Internet connection will take up to 23 days to upload just 1TB of data, or more than five months to transfer 7.2TB worth of data. Asymmetric Internet connections, which are typically more common for branch offices or smaller businesses, will slow down the process even further. With just two to three days required to ship the HDDs to and fro, this "sneakernet" strategy is hence a viable and practical method of moving the bulk of the data to be backed up to Mozy's storage servers.

 

Data Shuttle is currently available in the U.S., and works with version 2.8 of the Windows client. The Mac client with support for the shuttle drive process will be available later in October. You may also want to view the full press release from Mozy here.



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