Monthly Archives: October 2010

Frightful Computer Haiku Contest Winners

Five hundred entries
Who would have imagined it?!
Difficult to choose

Some made us chuckle
Some cleverly created
Some were just out there

But we loved them all!
Thanks for the entertainment
And sharing your skills

Announcing the three
Winners of cash and great fame!
Congratulations!

  • System seems cozy
    Until malware is nosey
    Glad I have mozy
    -David von Arb
  • Found secret e-mails,
    So his lap top learned to fly.
    Hope he had mozy.
    -Holly Lemieux
  • Drive fried, files Inside
    with many thanks to mozy
    for saving my hide
    -A Segal

And other favorites
No cash, but a little fame
Were also favorites

  • Deleted work files
    Adventurous nine year old
    No match for Mozy
    -Karen Webb
  • Where for art thou files?
    Six feet under dead and cold
    Should have got MOZY
    -CherylDC
  • Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
    Once desktop but now doorstop.
    All memory gone.
    -Linda Johnson
  • The hot blond’s email
    is somewhere on my hard drive.
    Backup for true love.
    -David Fink
  • Photos fill our lives
    Shh, it happens to hard drives
    Mozy rescues all
    -Stew Stryker
  • What was lost is found
    Mozy down Memory Lane
    Order is restored
    -Kathy Nichols
  • Mozy lets me save
    my cat, Phil, from a house fire
    and leave my PC
    -Marci Nelson
  • Mozy: My hero
    Until this awful contest
    Made me like Haiku
    -Pat Finnegan
  • Is this email real?
    “Hello from your old Girlfreind.”
    Boot Sector is fried.
    -Ron Oliver
  • Not just kilobytes
    My life’s work and memories
    Locked in a dead box
    -Patrick
  • I smell the ozone,
    Smokey tendrils from the fan,
    Was that my last click?
    -Steve Goodger
  • Notebook slides from lap
    Does not land like falling leaf
    Autumn brings no joy
    -Wendy Magnall
  • Hard drive hacks hair-ball
    Bits vanish into ether
    “No backup”, I wail
    -rich coco
  • If my computer
    had a mouth, i would punch it
    Please help me Mozy
    -Kevin Elam

A Very Mozy Halloween

Here at Mozy we support scary, as long as it doesn’t involve data loss. So in honor of Halloween – the scariest of holidays – every year we have a company pumpkin-carving contest. This year’s entries were pretty awesome, so without further ado, here are this year’s scary Mozy pumpkins:

Open Source and Mozy: The Debut of Mozy Code

The popularity of Mozy online backup confronts our developers with intense engineering challenges. Consider the scale that Mozy handles:

  • More than 1 million total customers
  • 60,000+ business customers
  • 50+ petabytes (or 50+ million gigabytes, if you prefer) of data
  • Customer data stored in multiple data centers around the globe

These numbers increase every day, relentlessly pressing us to keep refining Mozy’s storage infrastructure for faster throughput and more efficient storage.

Five years ago, Mozy was an aspiring startup with a vision for an affordable way to make data loss a thing of the past. We could not have achieved this goal without the availability of high-quality, freely available, open source software. We have relied upon, and contributed to, numerous free software projects to build the Mozy business.

Today, we step beyond simply contributing to existing projects with the public debut of Mozy Code. Mozy Code’s roots began with an internal program for fostering innovation among Mozy engineers called Mozy Labs, started in 2009. It soon became apparent that some of these internal projects could be of value to developers outside of Mozy for use in their own endeavors. For that reason, we have begun to identify some of our most promising and useful innovations, to make them available as Mozy-lead free software projects.

With Mozy Labs’ debut, we introduce two projects focused on high-speed I/O operations:

  • Mordor
    Mordor is an I/O library based on fibers that allows you to focus on performing a logical task, instead of how to make that task conform to a specific threading/event model. It provides lightweight, easy-to-use abstractions for complex concepts, while still providing superior flexibility. It can be used to build high performance network servers or simple data processing applications.
  • Ruby Protocol Buffers
    Originally created by Google, Ruby Protocol Buffers provides a way to encode structured data in an efficient yet extensible format. This library is optimized for rapid encoding and decoding, enabling high-performance communication between Ruby and C++ systems.

You can find out more about these first two projects on the Mozy Code website. Keep an eye out for future projects as we grow our list of projects.

Frightful Computer Haiku Contest

What? You haven’t thought of haikus since the 5th grade?! Well, that changes now. We want to see your best Frightful Computer Haiku, and we’re giving 100 bucks to our three favorites. Need a refresher on how to create a haiku? It’s simple. Line one is five syllables, line two is seven syllables, and line three is five syllables. Here’s one of our own as an example:

My hard drive hiccups
Fear for our precious photos
Wife would have my head!

To submit your Frightful Computer Haiku, add it as a comment on this blog post. If you really want to get us to notice them, post them to Facebook or Twitter with a link back to our blog post (use the hashtag #mozyhaiku if you’re on Twitter)! Good luck and get original! We’ll post winners on Friday, October 29, 2010. One entry per person, please.

HDD vs SSD

Is the battle for data storage supremacy over? Have hard disk drives finally left solid state drives eating their dust or have SSDs finally overtaken HDDs and left the old-timers behind?

For those who aren’t familiar with the differences between the two, here they are in a nutshell: hard disk drives or HDDs rely on a moving actuator and a read/write head to read or write data on spinning disks. Solid state drives or SSDs, on the other hand, have no moving parts. In most cases, they rely on NAND-based flash memory.

So, as of today, which technology holds the upper hand for data storage? Have a steaming cup of coffee while I fill you in on the latest.

Which drive can store more for less?

Aside from being more affordable, hard disk drives are still preferred because of their larger storage capacities. But the disparity between their capacities is gradually shrinking.

Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said for their price tags. Today, you can find 1 TB hard disks below $100. As for 1 TB solid state drives, you’d be extremely lucky to find one that would cost below $1,000. As a matter of fact, $2,000 to $4,000 pricetags for 1 TB SSDs are quite common.

And by the looks of it, things aren’t going to change much in the near future if we talk about their differences in costs per GB. Some analysts even think they’re going to remain this way for 5-10 years.

Drive Performance

This is where SSDs reign supreme. Because HDDs have to move an actuator arm, read/write head, and disk platters to access data, there’s a substantial delay compared to SSDs. While this may be unnoticeable for regular users, power users – who typically open multiple applications at the same time – will easily see the difference.

Start up, random access, and reading activities are all faster for solid state drives compared to hard disks. Remember those times when you had to defragment your drive to improve performance? This isn’t necessary anymore with solid state drives.

To top it all, an SSD does all this at a lower power consumption rate. Hard disks drain energy faster because some energy has to be allocated for moving the heads and spinning the platters. That’s why computer manufacturers once successfully sold out large quantities of notebooks with SSDs. Some users were attracted to their long battery lives.

Storage reliability issues

Now, what about reliability? In this aspect, which one has a clear advantage over the other? Most businesses – and perhaps even regular users – will prefer a storage device that can offer a better guarantee for the safety of their data

Having a drive with a large capacity or faster performance is great, but if you haven’t backed it up and can’t retrieve any of your data from it again, that’s going to translate to huge financial losses, missed opportunities, and wasted time.

So which technology has the edge in this department? Let’s take a closer look.

HDD Storage Reliability

Theoretically speaking, HDDs are supposed to be more susceptible to failures because of their moving parts. They can also fail for a variety of reasons: head crashes, too high temperature, too low temperature, static electricity, power surges, vibrations, or pollution of the air inside the sealed unit.

Failure rates of different HDDs can be as low as 3% and as high as 13%. As HDDs get older, they suffer from wear-and-tear and hence become more prone to failures; they typically exhibit failure rates of at least 6% for those units that are more than 2 years old.

HDDs can maintain acceptable failure rates only up to 3 years. Beyond that, you’d be exposing your data to high risks. By comparison, SSDs are expected to stay reliable up to 10 years… but again, that’s theoretical.

SSD Storage Reliability

When the netbook craze first started, manufacturers opted to use SSDs was because of their low power consumption and low failure rates during lab tests.

Interestingly, however, their supposed reliability didn’t manifest in the outside world. Failure rates of 10% to 20% were being reported for some netbooks carrying SSDs (many times a SSD can fail due to the controller, not the drive itself). By contrast, netbooks carrying HDDs had failure rates of 2% or less.

Still, because of their relatively higher prices, SSDs haven’t been used as extensively in desktops and servers as HDDs have. Thus, the experience of netbook users can’t be the sole gauge in determining whether HDDs are more reliable.

Summary

What can learned from these figures is that over time, SSDs and HDDs can have failure rates greater than 10%. That’s not good by any standard and that doesn’t bode well for people who rely so much on their data to keep their business running (and in this age, who doesn’t?).

Therefore, regardless what type of drive you use, it is important that you perform regular backups to your data. Just because you have a solid state drive holding your data doesn’t mean it’s safe from failure.

About the Author

Eric Nagel manages OnlineBackupsReview.com where he reviews online backup services, including Mozy, and reports on the latest industry news. He also provides readers an exclusive 15% off Mozy promotional code so they can save on the only 5-star-rated online backup service, Mozy.

Innovation & Excitement at Mozy

Mozy has always been a pioneer in the online backup space. We’ve brought numerous innovations to market, ranging from our super-scalable multi-petabyte architecture to a simple user interface that keeps your data protected automatically and securely. We’ve been the first mover in many areas, including online backup for the Mac and local backup integrated with online backup. We’ve also innovated in terms of our business strategy by proving that a single product line can fulfill the needs of organizations ranging from my local bike shop to one of the world’s largest and most admired companies. We’ve also proven that small companies acquired by larger ones can continue to exist and even thrive post-acquisition. (Thanks EMC!) I am proud to be part of Mozy because of what we’ve done, and as we look forward, I’m very pleased to pre-announce some of the exciting innovations and improvements that are on the near-term horizon:

  • A totally revamped restore experience. After all, the most important part of what we do is returning your data to you when you need it. Did you know that we restored 96,941,938 files for our customers via the web and physical media (e.g., DVD) last month? If you include restores handled directly by our Mozy client software, the number becomes well over 100 million! (I was going to cite a number for the year, but there were too many ###’s and the spreadsheet blew up.)
  • The ability for our valued resellers to co-brand the Mozy service for their customers. Did you know that we have 4,500 resellers around the globe? (Thanks resellers!)
  • Expansion of our service to new geographies with full language translation, localization and support. Did you know that we have customers in over 100 countries? (Hier kommen wir!)
  • Features that go beyond online backup and allow you to leverage the data you’ve secured with Mozy for more than just recovering from a disaster. Did you know that a wildfire in grassy, flat terrain can scorch 3,000 acres in an hour? (Don’t worry, we’ll always keep our “backup & restore” value proposition even as we expand the business!)

We love to hear from our loyal fans and I’m sure there are a lot of questions about when all of this great stuff is going to happen. The short answer is that everyone is heads-down keeping everything running smoothly and working on all of the new stuff at the same time, but we can’t announce solid dates just yet. Just know that there will be detailed communication via our newsletters, press releases and website collateral at the appropriate times. Anyway, I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity our marketing team gave me to use our blog as a forum in order to share my personal excitement about where we’ve been and, more importantly, where we’re going.  Thanks and be safe!

- Vance

VP of Operations