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August 28, 2007

Recovery Log – Still Not Done

Plan had been to do a retrospective on our hard drive failure and recovery experience in this post. Problem is recovery is not yet done so too soon for a complete retrospective. Mr. Murphy’s been around enforcing his law.

We’ve been trying to download the two 3.6 Gigabyte files created by Mozy restore (1.3 Gig file was downloaded by the time of yesterday’s post). At the sustained effective download rate of about 1.0 Megabits per second (which is about what we’re getting over our nominal 3.0 megabit connection), we’re downloading about 100-125 Kilobytes of data per second (eight bits per byte for non-nerds plus some extra bits per packet for technical reasons). That’s eight hours of downloading if all goes well.

But all doesn’t always go well for eight hours.

Last night Windows downloaded a patch for itself and decided it needed to restart. Apparently this machine is set up to let Windows reboot whenever it wants to so it did. Didn’t care that we were well along in the overnight download. Need to fix that setting, especially on patch Tuesdays.

Restarted this morning. About .5 Gig in our Internet connection went down. Rebooting the router seemed to fix it. Some hours later, the connection is down again. Apparently something going on at our usually reliable ISP.

It’s my birthday so we went boating.

Connection apparently stable now. Have restarted the download.

Will get to more of it in the retrospective but this is poor design on Mozy’s part. The download should preserve however much of the file has been successfully downloaded and let us restart from there. This is very common technology. In fact. Mozy upload which does the daily backup does work this way. Microsoft downloads can recover from failure and go on.

If I have to I’ll work around this by only requesting some of Mary’s “lost” folders at a time to create smaller downloads but that’ll be a pain. Will give 3.6 Gig download one more chance.

Oh yeah, got an email from Mozy tech support today (Tuesday) morning answering my weekend question “isn’t there an easier way to do recovery?”. Short answer: no. In fact, they don’t even suggest breaking it up into smaller chunks which would have been a better way to start.

But I’ll get to the retrospective when this is behind us. Conclusion and conclusions are here.

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