Ability to optionally back up the Mozy conf.dat file (containing our backup sets)
I would like to have the (optional) ability for Mozy to back up its own conf.dat file, which contains all of my options and backup sets.
Although some Mozy users have very small and standard backup sets (nothing much modified from the defaults), there are nevertheless many "advanced" Mozy users who have quite large and highly-customised backup sets. I imagine this would be the case for many of us who are using the 125 GB plan - we are the "power users".
The problem is that if we lose our computer (laptop gets stolen for example), or our hard drive crashes, then although all of our backed up data is safe on Mozy's server, we nevertheless have lost all of our backup sets, and we then have the painful and tedious task of trying to recreate those sets from scratch on a new computer or hard drive. That could take hours, assuming we can even remember what backup sets we had in the first place. I shudder to even think about having to do something like that. And I have read comments from other Mozy users on the forums here, who have had exactly this happen to them, and they've lost all of their backup sets as a result. Not good!
When this has been suggested to Mozy in the past, via ticket submission, the "solution" given back to us is to manually copy the conf.dat file to another location on the hard drive, then let Mozy back it up from there. However this is hardly a sufficient or appealing solution. Especially if we are modifying our backup sets often, as some of us do - we can't be expected to remember to manually copy the .dat file after each time. Would Mozy also suggest that we tie a piece of string around our fingers to remind ourselves?! Obviously the point of having a tool like Mozy is the idea of "set it and forget it" - that's one of the things Mozy excels in.
In any case, why should we have to do this manually when Mozy should do it itself? Mozy is, after all, a backup tool, so it makes perfect sense that Mozy be able to back up its own configuration file. It seems very ironic that Mozy is unable to protect its own configuration file from a disaster - what does that say about Mozy as a service?
I also can see no danger in Mozy backing up that file itself. If it's safe enough for me to copy it to another location manually (as recommended by Mozy support staff), then it should be quite safe for Mozy to back it up itself. Mozy isn't going to self-destruct if it does this. Furthermore, Mozy does support backing up locked or open files, using the VSS service, so there's no issue with that.
The best suggestion, in my opinion, is this: the conf.dat file should be hidden from Mozy unless the user checks the option "Show all protected operating system files". Only then can the user see and select the conf.dat file for backing up. That way it will primarily be only the power users who are doing this. So it won't be backed up by default, but only by those of us who manually find and select the file for backup. That way, any concerns you may have about the "safety" of backing up this file are removed, as it becomes an opt-in thing.
An even better scenario would be to have a check-box somewhere on the Advanced tab on the Options page, which says "Back up the Mozy configuration file", so that Mozy backs up that file automatically for you - then you don't have to select it within a backup set. That would be awesome. But if you're not willing to do that, then at the very least allow us power users to manually select the file within a backup set, please!