Category Archives: Life in the Cloud

Singing praises for the cloud

More than 1 exabyte of files are stored in the cloud today, as reported by Neowin news.

So what’s an exabyte? First, consider that the prefix exa means 1 billion billion. A good way to think of an exabyte is to think of it in terms of bytes. An exabyte is equal to 1 quintillion bytes. That’s 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes! One exabyte is equal to more than 1 billion gigabytes. To be precise, 1,073,741,824 gigabytes.

What if you had an iPod that could store an exabyte? Yeah, we know, that’s some kind of super iPod. It’s like the power of every superhero transformed into the world’s largest iPod EVER! But just for fun, let’s say you had a iPod with that much storage. What could you store?

Are you a music lover? In terms of CD-quality tunes, a superhero iPod with an exabyte of storage could hold 214,748,364,800 of your favorite songs! Come to think of it, with that many songs, they wouldn’t all be your favorites. In fact, we’re pretty sure you would hate some of those songs. We’re also thinking that there aren’t that many songs written. But just think about the possibilities. For example, you would have plenty of storage for songs of the future.

And speaking of tunes, remember the slogan Apple used when it released its first iPod, “1,000 songs in your pocket” back in 2001? That device took advantage of a 5 GB hard drive. A lot has changed since then. For example, today’s smartphones typically come equipped with 32 gigabytes of storage. That’s a lot of songs to carry in your pocket! Enough storage for your favorite, almost favorite, and not-so-favorite songs, including songs you hate! And plenty of other files.

As we witness all of the changes that technology brings, we never cease to be amazed by the amount of data associated with those changes. To be sure, there isn’t any pocketable device on which you can store 214,748,364,800 tunes. But one thing we know for sure: Files (such as all of those songs!) and other data still need to be backed up and protected. And that’s one reason why the cloud will continue to grow by petabytes, exabytes and zettabytes, and why it is more relevant today than ever before. Consider that by 2018, more than three quarters of workloads will be processed by cloud data centers, according to the Cisco Global Cloud Index. The index predicts that annual global cloud IP traffic will reach 6.5 zettabytes by the end of 2018.

So, what’s a zettabyte? One zettabyte equals a lot of exabytes! To be precise, 1,024 exabytes. Now that’s a lot of songs—yesterday’s, today’s, and everything in our future. The cloud is ready to back them all up—and all of your other data. And that’s worth singing about.

The Mozy Cloud Is the Cat’s Meow

Domestic cats don’t depend on their owners to feel secure when they’re in unfamiliar environments. According to a recent University of Lincoln study, adult cats are more autonomous than dogs and not as dependent on humans to provide a sense of protection.

When it comes to cat owners, that’s probably not news. After all, you know how cats are. They like to put on that air of confidence: “Hey, I don’t need you. I’m independent.” And there’s nothing at all to be done about that!

But cats certainly have their appeal, as the study pointed out. For pet owners who work long hours, many see a cat as an ideal pet. Autonomous. Independent. Economical. And practically maintenance free. No wonder the domestic cat has recently passed the dog as the most popular companion animal in Europe.

And speaking of cats, the Mozy cloud is a lot like the domestic cat. Autonomous. Independent. Economical. And practically maintenance free. For a moment, let’s consider some of the benefits of backing up to the Mozy cloud.

Autonomous: When you back up your data to the Mozy cloud, it’s self-contained. You never have to worry about where your data is. You own it, and it’s always safe and accessible. Kind of like your pet cat: out of sight, but always still around.

Independent: People who back up to the Mozy cloud are the independent sort. We’re not saying you’re like cats, but like you, cats do cherish their independence. Backing up your data to our cloud puts you in charge of how often you back up, when you back up, and which files you back up.

Economical: Backing up your data to the Mozy cloud offers plenty of options. You purchase the storage space that works best for you. No expensive long-term contracts. Check up on your plan every now and then, increase storage space as necessary, and you’re always good to go. Just like feeding a kitten. As it grows, feed it more.

Maintenance free: IT is busier than ever. So much to do, but rarely enough time (or budget) to do everything. By backing up to the Mozy cloud, you free up valuable in-house IT resources. Automatic backups mean peace of mind and time to focus on more important things, like running your business.

Mozy by EMC not only protects endpoints and remote offices, the solution helps increase workforce productivity with file sync and mobile access. And IT stays in control of corporate data. Mozy’s cloud backup solution for desktops, laptops, and small servers gives you more complete data protection for users on any network, and the administrative console lets you manage it all from anywhere. No wonder Mozy by EMC is the most trusted name in cloud data protection.

With all of those benefits, Mozy cloud backup is truly the cat’s meow.

Our cloud is being raised on fruits, veggies, and whole grains

There are a lot of very old people living in the United States. We’re not talking about men and women who live beyond the average life expectancy of 79.8 years (for males, 77.4 years; for females, 82.2 years), according to the World Health Organization. We’re talking about seemingly super humans who are well beyond a century old.

Just a few weeks ago the U.S. Social Security Administration’s inspector general identified 6.5 million Social Security numbers that are older than 112 years. According to Social Security records, the individuals who were issued these numbers were born before June 16, 1901.

One individual, according to her Social Security Number, opened her first bank account in 1869. (We’ll assume it’s a her because women in general live longer.)

The problem stems from no death date ever being entered for those Social Security numbers, and those same numbers still being used for a variety of purposes, all of them fraudulent (unless, of course, you really are 112 years old or older). So, at least on paper, the individuals associated with those Social Security numbers have exceeded the maximum reasonable life expectancy.

The truth is, people aren’t really living that long. According to the Gerontology Research Group, only 35 people made it to the ripe-old of age of 112 as of October 2013. And that’s worldwide.

Living an extra-long time got us thinking about data and how it’s stored and backed up. How long does data “live”? The better question is: How long does the device on which the data is stored or backed up to live?

  • Data stored on tape: Data stored on tape starts to disappear when the tape starts losing its magnetic charge. Not only is tape susceptible to wear and tear, high humidity and temperatures are problematic. Maybe 10 to 30 years, but we’re not talking centenary storage.
  • Data stored on CDs and DVDs: According to the Optical Storage Technology Association, the unrecorded shelf life of CDs and DVDs is between 5 to 10 years. For recorded CDs and DVDs, perhaps 25 years.
  • Data stored on drives: Hard to say. According to one study, three years is the point where hard drives start wearing out.
  • Data in the cloud: Forever (even centenarians with fake Social Security numbers can’t compete).

Although cloud computing is relatively new, Mozy by EMC has been around since 2005, which makes us one of the oldest cloud backup services. If the Social Security Administration were to issue the Mozy cloud a Social Security number, our number would be in perpetuum.

BTW, if you’ve got your sights set on living to be a century old—or coming as close as possible—here is some information that should prove useful:

  • Maintain some level of activity (like the doctor from Paris who even at the age of 99 walked up three sets of stairs every day on the way up to his study).
  • Move to a geographical area where people live longer than average (if you don’t speak Japanese, it’s time to learn! Okinawans live longer than anyone else in the world).
  • Eat, but not too much (and eating the right kinds of foods will help; foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains).

What do Furbies and cloud computing have in common?

The dawn of AI is here and it’s all possible because of cloud computing.

Let’s go back to the ’90s when Furbies became popular. The little toy fur ball had a small bit of Artificial Intelligence. It may be hard to believe, but that little guy had more computing power than the Apollo 11. Yes, the spacecraft that landed man on the moon. Fresh out of the box these AI fur balls would talk Furbish, the language of the Furby. After children had interacted with them for a while, their Furbies would learn certain English words. Furbies could even interact with each other if you had multiple units. Furbish was translated into 24 languages.

Furbies were not only cute (if a cross between a hamster and an owl is your idea of cute), the fact that they were able to “learn” a few words made them endearing. However, they obviously didn’t show the intelligence or the discernment of a human. But that would change a few years later when in 1997 a team of programmers and chess experts programed a machine called Deep Blue. The supercomputer had enough reason and logic to beat World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov at chess. The Russian had the upper hand the first few games, but Deep Blue progressed and eventually beat the chess Grandmaster, considered by many to be the greatest chess player of all time.

Watson is our next step in the progression of AI. Watson, an artificially intelligent computer system, was programed to be able to listen to a question (think Siri on your smartphone) and then answer that question. To prove how brilliant this AI was, in 2011 TV quiz game Jeopardy had Watson on a show and matched it up against two of Jeopardy’s greatest champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. At the conclusion of the competition, Ken and Brad lost to Watson.

Enter cloud computing. For those who are familiar with the cloud, you know that it’s not just a buzz word. The platform is essentially thousands of remote servers working together in a centralized location. Users can then access the data either created or stored on those servers via a device such as a handheld device or laptop.

You probably see where I am going with this. The next logical step for AI is to let the cloud do the computing at lightning speeds, like Watson did on Jeopardy, and then send that information back to the device or AI being, such as the character Lieutenant Commander Data from Star Trek. We can see an early concept with CogniToy’s green dino. The green dino is a child’s toy about the size of a teddy bear that can carry on a conversation on different topics, tell a story, and even answer age-related questions. The intelligence grows or matures with the child. In fact, the green dino even has the ability to discern whether or not the answer is a little too mature for the age of the child, at which point the toy will tell the child to go ask his mom the question. All of this “smart” dino’s responses are computed in the cloud.

Currently, the only limitation of AI is being able to reach a Wi-Fi connection. However, as municipal wireless networks (where the entire city has access to a Wi-Fi signal) become more and more popular, this AI obstacle may not be around for much longer, allowing AI to continue to grow intellectually.

With giant tech companies such as Google buying up AI startups and cloud computing advancing so rapidly, it’s reasonable to expect ongoing funding for AI—and artificial intelligent beings in our lifetime. All thanks to cloud computing.

The cloud saves the day and other non-myths

It’s no surprise that we frequently write about the cloud on our blog. We think the cloud is bigger than sliced bread. And during the holiday season, it’s certainly much, much bigger than sliced fruit cake. But whatever you think of the cloud, it is a lot bigger than just one thing.

Sure, the cloud can save you lots of money. It can make data protection a lot more convenient. And it can save your bacon if your company’s computers are destroyed in a fire or flood. But again, the cloud is more than just one thing. Because of that, there are lots of myths surrounding it.

One of the key findings in Gartner’s recent The Top 10 Cloud Myths report is that “Cloud computing is uniquely susceptible to the perils of myths due to the nature, confusion and hype surrounding it.”

Consider the 10 myths highlighted in the Gartner report:

  • Myth 1: Cloud Is Always About Money
  • Myth 2: You Have to Be Cloud to Be Good
  • Myth 3: Cloud Should Be Used for Everything
  • Myth 4: “The CEO Said So” Is a Cloud Strategy
  • Myth 5: We Need One Cloud Strategy or Vendor
  • Myth 6: Cloud Is Less Secure Than On-Premises Capabilities
  • Myth 7: Cloud Is Not for Mission-Critical Use
  • Myth 8: Cloud = Data Center
  • Myth 9: Migrating to the Cloud Means You Automatically Get All Cloud Characteristics
  • Myth 10: Virtualization = Private Cloud

Like anything else of value, the cloud is what you make of it. For example, you’ve no doubt heard someone say that the cloud is great for backing up data.

Yes, the cloud is great for backing up. But backup is only part of the value. When you understand the many things the cloud can do for your organization, therein lies the greater value. In many respects, the overall value—the sum of the cloud parts—is much greater. For example, it’s tough to measure the value of the peace of mind that results from knowing that your data is backed up AND recoverable. All it takes is for one employee’s laptop with critical data on it to be lost or stolen to really appreciate the value of the cloud. Lost data that’s recoverable—that’s priceless.

Based on the amount of data that people lose, recovery is an ongoing necessity—and a crucial benefit of the cloud.

Consider that 70 percent of people who carry around a laptop, smartphone, or tablet have lost a storage device. In fact, the average person now loses 1.24 data-holding items each year and less than half of those items are ever recovered. The average cost of a lost item is about $200, but it’s not the cost of the item itself that has the greatest impact. It’s the data on the item. In a 2012 independent survey of 3,500 people in the U.S. and Europe, 57 percent of those who lost a device said that they were more upset about losing the data on the device than the device itself. After all, the device is usually replaceable; however, the data is not—unless it has been backed up and is recoverable.

So when the data from that laptop that was left behind in the taxi that was never seen again is quickly recovered just in time for the CEO’s presentation, which motivates the sales force to such an extent that they increase sales by 200 percent during the next quarter, which catches the interest of a VC firm, which eventually takes the company public, which makes a lot of employees really wealthy, which calls for a celebration in which very excited employees light off fireworks in the break room, which causes the fire sprinklers to go off in the building, which causes major damage to a whole bunch of computers, which causes everyone to give a sigh of relief because they know their data is backed up to the cloud, well, it’s easy to see how the cloud can continue to be the source of yet another myth.

MozyEnterprise Online Backup

How we love to squeeze the cloud for all it’s worth

The holiday season is yet another opportunity to consider how much influence cloud computing has in our lives. For example, have you:

•  Sent holiday greetings and family photos using your Facebook or Gmail account?

•  Purchased any gifts from or other online stores?

•  Downloaded and watched a favorite holiday movie or TV show from Netflix?

•  Downloaded a new or favorite holiday song from iTunes on your handheld device?

If you have, then you have benefited from the cloud.

Although all of us are taking advantage of the cloud, do we ever consider how different life would be without it? For example, what happens when the weather turns bad? Are we prepared for a bad day of cloud computing?

Will your holiday greetings and sharing of family photos be delayed? Will your online order arrive late? Will you be watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” after the holidays? Will you be tapping your fingers wondering when you’ll get to hear “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”?

Come again?

Believe it or not, lots of people (to be exact, 51 percent of 1,000 people surveyed) think that bad weather affects cloud computing. And of those 1,000 people surveyed, 95 percent don’t think that they use the cloud. These are the same people who:

•  Bank online

•  Shop online

•  Use social networking such as Facebook and Twitter

•  Store photos online

•  Store music online

•  Play online games

Granted, the Wakefield Research survey was conducted more than two years ago; however, even today many who regularly use the cloud aren’t always aware that they are in fact enjoying many everyday conveniences because of the cloud.

Surprisingly, some university students aren’t sure what the cloud is. Surprising because it is students who have embraced the benefits of the cloud perhaps more enthusiastically than any other single group. Yet when a senior executive veteran of the IT industry asked (via a Skype call!) a group of university students enrolled in a digital journalism class if they had ever used the public cloud, no hands went up. Eventually, one student tentatively offered up “Google Docs?”

Those of us who use the cloud and can also define what the cloud is and the countless benefits it provides—such as backing up our data and safeguarding it should  it ever need to be restored—need to do a better job of educating the masses that the cloud is an important part of life. All of us use the cloud and benefit from it greatly every day.

Some will continue to define the cloud as a “fluffy white thing.” Others will define it as a place to store, access, and share data using their Internet-connected device. But all will continue to enjoy life made easier and more enjoyable because of the cloud—even if Buffalo gets another five feet of snow.

So, if you haven’t already done so, now might be the perfect time to download “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole.

Happy holidays.


Droplets vs. files: Comparing what specific clouds can store

Just as various cloud formations are comprised of different densities of water, various cloud storage servers are filled with several types of files. Some are large and require lots of storage space, while others are small and can be packed in tightly. You can protect all of your company’s important data with Mozy’s enterprise cloud backup solution.  Sign up for our 30-day free trial.

MozyEnterprise Online Backup

Elvis would be all shook up with today’s smartphone

Remember those photos of a young (and now a very wealthy) Elvis Presley with a phone in hand sitting in his Cadillac? The phone was a standard-size home phone attached to what must have been a huge base. Everyone thought that was too cool to be real. A phone in a car? Get real!

The cost of a car phone was out of reach for nearly everyone in those days; nevertheless, we all dreamed of enjoying that same convenience—a phone outside the home.

Those Elvis images were shot 50 or so years ago. How life—and the phone—have changed! For most of us, everyday life and a “phone away from home” have become inseparable. Even so, it’s certainly not accurate to say that everyone in the world owns a cell phone today, though the number of cell phone subscriptions makes it seem so.

There are 7 billion people on earth and there are 6.8 billion cell phone subscriptions. But that does not mean that 6.8 people have a cell phone subscription; many people have multiple subscriptions. However, today there are far more subscription holders of cell phones than there ever were people with landlines. In fact, 40 percent of U.S. households rely solely on cell phones. In the UK, more than half of Britons rarely or never use their home phone; in fact, many don’t even remember their number.

And if you think small salaries and third-world economies are barriers to having a mobile phone, you’d be wrong. Even in developing countries there is an average of 90.2 subscriptions per 100 inhabitants (compared to 10.6 fixed telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants), according to the International Telecommunication Union.

What all of this means is that cell phone subscriptions will continue to increase, in large part because a cell phone can be used for more than just talking and doesn’t require the costly copper wiring network of a fixed phone. In the United States, 86 percent of cell phone owners use their phone for texting, 82 percent to access the Internet, 75 percent for email, and 63 percent for social networking, according to The Nielsen Company.

What’s clear is that today’s phone is a tool for doing things that Elvis with his car phone would never have thought possible. Consider the following:

•  Alarm system without monthly fees: Increase the safety of your home with security, video monitoring, and automation technology accessed by your smartphone, all with no monthly fees.

•  Keyless locking system: Did the plumber arrive after you had to leave for work? Unlock your home door’s deadbolt without a key or code. Guests can have access for a few hours to days at a time.

•  Programmable air vent:  Save money by programming your home’s heating and air condition vents to open and close at optimum times.

•  More than a thermostat: Why get out of bed on a cold winter night? This thermostat can be controlled from anywhere, and it can “sense” when you’ve gone and then automatically adjust the settings.

•  Efficient lawn sprinklers: When a rainstorm hits but you’re at work or on vacation, put your lawn sprinkler system on a 24 hour snooze. And you can quickly adjust the watering times for each zone.

•  Send videos (and music) to your TV: Plug this device into an HDTV and then send your favorite show to your TV. Out on a date and the babysitter needs a new show for your kids? Find it and send it from the restaurant.

We love our smartphones because they let us do things much more conveniently. If Elvis were with us today he might be crooning, “Take my hand, take my whole life too, but I can’t help using my cell phone to call you…and adjust the thermostat!”

Are you making the most of your smartphone?

Are you using the Mozy mobile app? If not, you’re missing out on an easy way to securely view and download files directly to your smartphone or other mobile device. It’s fingertip access to a more convenient way of doing things. We call it mobile app-titude. Elvis would call it a phone with a V8.

Up In Cloud Cuckoo Land

Recently, I was listening to a story on the radio about the London real estate market and how prices are now 40 to 50 percent above the city’s 2007 highs. The real estate agency executive being interviewed was asked about efforts by some to put restrictions in place that are designed to prevent wealthy foreigners from buying too much of the prime central London real estate. Apparently, some 45 percent of the pricey London homes are being purchased by non-Brits. The realtor’s response was that people who think that restrictions are good are “up in cloud cuckoo land” because the foreign buyers are living in London and contributing to the local economy.

Double decker bus in fron of Big Ben

I just love that expression, “up in cloud cuckoo land.” I’d never heard it before, but after talking with a co-worker who lives in London, he assured me that it’s a legit quip by the Brits. “Up in cloud cuckoo land” got me thinking about other “cloud” expressions.

The following are some of my favorites.

“The clouds ye so much dread.” Hmm, I think I’ll talk to Mozy Marketing about this one. This could be the beginning of a clever ad campaign about why you want to stay away from our competitors.

How about these: “Dropping from the clouds,” “Thy cloud drops fatness,” and “O, clouds, unfold!” I’m pretty sure that some of the competition is guilty of those cloud faux pas. As for Mozy, our data centers have never been breached. No dropping data—or fatness—from our cloud. And rest assured that our cloud never unfolds.

“Cloud of unknowing.” You know Mozy; we’re the most trusted name in cloud data protection. That’s definitely worth knowing when looking for a cloud service provider.

“Get off of my cloud!” I remember watching Jagger strut around the Englewood Forum back in ’74 shouting, “Hey! You! Get off of my cloud!” So many years later, I can picture him encouraging everyone to join him on the Mozy cloud. Even rock stars know where their data is safe. Hey, Mick; I, too, am sick and tired, fed up with all of those other clouds. “Hey! You! Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you! Get on the Mozy cloud!”

“Every cloud has a silver lining.” Well not ours. The Mozy cloud is lined with the triple-protection of Tritanium. Yeah, that’s just our Marketing team having fun. Tritanium is a fictional compound, but it’s non-fictional strength. The Mozy Tritanium® Cloud is military-grade security, world-class data centers, and has the backing of storage leader EMC.

“His clouds removed.” I don’t even want to go there. You competition, keep your dang clouds on! Now that’s embarrassing.

After this light conversation about clouds, let’s drift back down to earth, shall we? Mozy by EMC (NYSE: EMC) is your cloud provider. There are a number of reasons why you’ve chosen Mozy to back up and protect your data. Maybe it’s because Mozy seamlessly protects your endpoints and remote offices. Maybe it’s because Mozy helps boost workforce productivity with real-time file sync and mobile access. Or maybe it’s our award-winning customer support. And unlike London real estate costs, Mozy offers data protection at seriously low prices. Whatever the reason you use Mozy, the cost of backing up with Mozy makes good sense and provides peace of mind. There is nothing more important to us than ensuring that your data is protected and accessible. Any other approach is just, well, up in cloud cuckoo land.

In the immortal words of writer A.A. Milne, “How sweet to be a cloud.” Yeah, the Mozy backup cloud.

Eight days a week—or whatever it takes

All cloud backup providers are not equal. Of course, you already know that; that’s why you depend on Mozy seven days a week. And if there were eight days a week, then we would back up and protect your data on the eighth day as well. And speaking of eight, in a recent BusinessNewsDaily article, Mozy’s Gytis Barzdukas, senior director of Product Management, identifies eight key elements a business should expect from a cloud storage provider:
• Financial stability
• Proven infrastructure
• Established customer base
• Geographically distributed data centers
• Security
• Robust encryption
• Third-party validation and accreditation
• Longevity and experience

Each element is important and should be expected by the customer. Of course, a few of these elements lose their attraction if the other elements aren’t part of the picture, so it’s important to understand what you need and why you need it. “Online data storage is a broad term that can mean lots of different things to lots of different people, so it’s really important for businesses to properly understand what’s right for their needs and what’s being offered by different providers,” Barzdukas says in the article.

Let’s take a few minutes to discuss why Mozy cloud backup protection is complete. You might already be familiar with this, but it’s still a nice refresher course and a reminder that Mozy has your back when it comes to protecting your data.

Financial stability: Mozy is profitable and is backed by EMC (EMC), the leader in storage. We’re not going anywhere, except to the future. Enough said.

Proven infrastructure: Mozy easily scales complete data protection from a single person to tens of thousands of devices in the enterprise with easy deployment options from Mozy’s feature-rich Admin Console, which lets admins perform their duties in ways that work best for them.

Established customer base:
Sure, we can say that we protect a large customer base (6 million individuals), but we also protect 100,000 businesses and store more than 90 petabytes of information. (When you have a few minutes, read what our customers say about us on our Testimonials page.)

Geographically distributed data centers: Mozy servers are located in world-class data centers across the globe. And because there are regional jurisdictional requirements for data location, our data centers are situated where they need to be.

Security: We don’t take chances with the data that’s entrusted to us. The security of your data is our highest priority. Mozy security policies protect your information from unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction. Our data centers have never been breached.

Robust encryption: All data handled by Mozy is encrypted with military-grade encryption prior to transfer, during transit via an SSL connection, and it remains encrypted while at rest in our data centers. Users can choose a managed encryption key, or personal or corporate encryption keys for added security.

Third-party validation: Mozy is SOC 1 SSAE 16 Type 2 audited and ISO 27001 certified. These independent verifications certify that Mozy’s processes and procedures meet or exceed the strictest control objectives in the industry.

Longevity and experience: Mozy is an established cloud provider; we’ve been around since 2005. During that time we have gone through successful certification and auditing processes and have gained loads of experience in deploying and managing cloud infrastructure and providing award-winning customer support.

Maybe it goes without saying (but we like to say it anyway) that Mozy online backup is comprised of all of those elements. They’re eight more reasons why Mozy is the most trusted name in cloud data protection and why Mozy cloud backup means complete data protection. And when we say complete, we mean that your information is private, secure, and accessible. It’s there when you need it, whenever you need it, whether for the home, SMB, or enterprise. Seven days a week, eight days a week—whatever it takes—we’re here for you, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.