Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 01:37 PM
Up until today, I've been an extremely enthusiastic supporter of Mozy for the past several years. For $93.56 USD, I was signed up for a two year plan that worked wonderfully. That works out to only $3.90 per month, which is affordable for anyone who has a computer and an Internet connection. Even if you were paying the $4.95 monthly fee, it was still cheap. I was such a fan of Mozy I was constantly evangelising their service to friends and family; I've seen the effects of data loss first hand and wouldn't wish that anger and frustration on anyone. For the price of a Starbucks coffee per month, Mozy would protect all of your digital information...until now.
Today Mozy announced what I consider to be one of the most bone-headed business decisions in the history of cloud-based services. They discontinued their unlimited backup plans and have replaced them with a $5.99/month plan with 50 GB of storage, and a $9.99/month plan with 125 GB of storage. How much data do I have with Mozy? 634 GB. For $3.90 per month, I'm certain that Mozy was losing money on me because there's so much data used in my account. However, my family members who have 20 GB stored with Mozy? Mozy is making money off them. From a business model perspective, it should balance out that most users have smaller data sets and in the aggregate, Mozy is profitable. Kind of like the way health insurance is supposed to work.
However, just like corrupted health insurance business models that want to squeeze profit out of even their sickest members, Mozy has switched to a model that will doubtless eject their heaviest data users. If you have more than 125 GB of data, you need to pay for that excess data in 20 GB chunks at $2/chunk. How does the math work out for me? If I buy 645 GB of total storage, it will cost me $61.99/month or $54.24/month if I sign up for two years again. That's a 13.9x increase in fees in a best case scenario, which I'm obviously not going to pay. I have until July of this year to decide whom my next databack provider is going to be, but it sure as hell isn't going to be Mozy.
So why did Mozy do this? I'm not sure, but I'd guess they wanted to get rid of the top 5% who were using up lots of storage. By making the fees ridiculously expensive, I'd say anyone with more than 125 GB of data will leave Mozy and take their heavy usage patterns with them. Mozy will think, short term, that they've "won" - they'll reduce their costs on storage by forcing all the users with lots of data to leave. Long term though, Mozy's reputation has been trashed and, worse, they've shown themselves to be a company completely lacking in integrity by changing the fundamental reason customers signed up with them to begin with: unlimited data backups.
Right now I'm looking at LiveDrive, Backblaze, and CrashPlan. CrashPlan in particular has me interested because I'm already using it to act as a backup host for data from my in-law's computer and my sister's computer. They have a really innovative backup system that involves having encrypted blobs of your data on the hard drive of another computer. LiveDrive has a discount for people fleeing Mozy, and Backblaze developers their own storage servers which I've always found to be really cool.
One things for sure: I'm no longer a fan of Mozy and will be actively encouraging everyone within my sphere of influence to cancel their accounts when it's time for renewal.