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Restore Options

There are a few ways to restore your files if you still have access to the computer on which Mozy is installed. The first is to browse through the virtual drive and click on the file you want to restore. Once you click on the file, you're presented with a list of the file's versions, although there's no way to tell when the version was created or modified. Once you pick a version, you can either have it overwrite the file on your computer or have it renamed for you and placed in the same directory as the original; alternatively, you can have it restored to another location and select a name for it. It's not the most flexible system, but it does work.

Another way to accomplish the same thing is to right-click inside a folder containing a file you want to restore and select "Restore Files in Folder" from the shortcut menu. This way is easier than browsing through the directory structure of the virtual drive if you already have the necessary folder open.

The final restoration method is through the Mozy agent (Figure 7). Restoring through the Mozy agent is similar to restoring via the Web Restore feature (covered below). You can browse the backup by file structure—fairly cumbersome—or by backup set—preferred if you know what type of files you want to restore.

Restore
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Figure 7: Starting a restore operation via the Mozy agent

If you are not at your computer, you can still restore files from it via two Mozy options available in your account on mozy.com. Here, you can pick the backup date (up to 30 days previously), then select the files you want to restore. You are then presented with two options for restoration (Figure 8).

Web restore
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Figure 8: Online restore options on mozy.com

The Web Restore option builds your restore request, places the files in a .zip file and emails a notification that your request has been processed. In a simple test for the one 230 K file in Figure 8, the file was ready within about four minutes in the Restores section of the mozy.com Account page. For some reason, however, the email notification took around 32 minutes to arrive. For larger restores, it can obviously take quite a long time to prepare the .zip.

The other online restore option is DVD Restore, which allows you to select files to be placed on a DVD or set of DVDs and shipped to you. This option is not smart or cost-effective for anything less than critical data, because as you can see from Figure 8, it costs a lot. Otherwise, you can just download or restore it using one of the other methods Note that if you chose to use your own encryption key, you'll need to download the decrypt tool on your Mozy account download page and enter your key to recover your files using either of the online methods.

Performance

Measuring the performance of an online backup tool is a bit problematic, especially in Mozy's case. For one thing, it depends partly on your geographical position in relation to their data center (in Salt Lake City, Utah). For another, since Mozy has customizable settings that allow you to control the amount of system resources and bandwidth it uses, performance changes with different settings.

That being said, however, even on an older system, performance was good. Mozy used around 17 MB of memory when actively running a backup, and CPU usage spiked to about 45% when set to the most aggressive setting; however, there was no noticeable slowdown. The most aggressive setting did, however, slow down a six-year-old laptop, which is expected. As for bandwidth, Mozy reports that most people average around 200–500 Kbps to their servers.

As you can see in Figure 9, backing up about 770 MB is expected to take over 12 hours. However, in actual practice, this backup only took around six-and-a-half hours. The DSL connection used has an upstream of 512 Kbps. Mozy states that the initial backup could take days or weeks, depending on the connection speed and amount of data.

Backup progress

Figure 9: A backup in progress

Restoring, on the other hand, took longer than expected. A restore of the entire backup (779 MB) took over two hours and 20 minutes on a 3 Mbps connection: about the amount of time it would take a normal file transfer on a 768 Kbps connection. Most users probably don't need to restore that much data at one time, but if they do, they should be prepared to wait.

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