Any business needs to sort out the problem of backing up all of its important data that is present on a server and also keeping it stored in a format that is easy to recover.
In this guide, we will take a look at some of the best server backup applications that one can buy on the market today.
Here is our list of the best server backup applications in no particular order.
The Altaro VM Backup specializes in performing backup duties on virtual servers.
More specifically, the majority of the capabilities that Altaro comes with a focus more on Hyper-V and VMWare virtualizations.
This Altaro backup service has a system which is primarily designed for businesses that need help replicating their own virtual servers on either one or more than one of their various other different sites via the Altaro software.
Another great thing about Altaro VM backup is that clients can easily store the offsite copy on an appropriate cloud serve.
Altar also offers another version which is more focused on SaaS resellers as well as MSPs.
Those who want to, can white-label the software so that it carries the brand name of the related intermediary.
As for the procedure for initial backup, the software is able to identify all the copies that belong to the same data.
Then it stores and transfers that data only once.
It then marks the original locations of the duplicate so that the client can restore to any of the duplicate locations.
One other feature that Altaro makes use of for optimization is the CDP or Continuous Data Protection feature.
What does it do?
Well, it basically performs checks for any and all changes that may take place in the data after every five minutes have passed.
After that, it only copies the changes instead of the whole data.
Clients have the ability to back up separate VMs simultaneously if they want more gains as far as speed is concerned.
Not only that but clients can also archive files instead of just backing them up.
In other words, this Altaro Backup software stores older versions of the client’s files and does not overwrite them.
There are many data transfer features that we haven’t talked about here.
For example, this software has the capability to make use of encryption and compression to further enhance its offering.
Now, if you are one of those users who want to make use of a cloud server in order to use it as backup storage then the good news is that Altaro does provide you with a free controller.
It goes by the name of Altaro Offsite Server.
Our research shows that it does a good job of providing connection and security services.
We have also come to know that the company actually takes great pride in offering users good customer support.
To put it another way, it has invested a lot in its customer support department.
The company has no problems in claiming that all customer support requests are handled by its staff within a period of 30 seconds.
That’s a tough claim to live up to if the company plans on staying in business for a long period of time.
Readers who are interested in purchasing this software should know that they can try out the software without paying any money for a period of 30 days.
As far as VM backup applications and software go, there are hardly any better than Altaro (except the ones that we have mentioned in this list).
Over the years, the people who own Veritas Backup Exec have changed a good number of times.
Initially, Maynard Electronics created Veritas Backup Exec in 1980.
Then the service saw a host of companies taking over it until Seagate Technology finally took over from everyone else.
Seagate Technology used the accompanying software as part of the company’s own storage solutions that it offered to different types of businesses.
As it turns out, Veritas bought that division close to 1999.
Then Symantec came around and bought the service back in 2005.
After the purchase, Symantec continued to market and develop Backup Exec till 2016.
For one reason or another, Veritas had to go through a process after which it came out as a separate company.
And when it did, it decided to not leave Backup Exec behind for others to mess around with.
You can tell that Backup Exec has been through a lot over the past couple of decades as you can still find Symantec Backup Exec version on the internet if you search hard enough.
Coming back to the service itself, our research shows that currently Backup Exec mainly operates as a complete storage area network or SAN controller.
What you do is that you try to install the Backup Exec service on the service’s own server which is running the compatible edition of Windows Server and then make sure that the storage devices that you want to protect are properly attached to that given server.
You should not need to do much else for the official Backup Exec server to communicate with all of your other endpoints and servers residing on the same network.
Backup Exec backup service calls the sources of the user data that the user wants to back up as clients.
Our research shows that the official Backup Exec server has the ability to pull user data even from different remote sites which may be present in different corners of the globe over the internet.
Not only that, but it also has features which allow it to work as a cloud server or substitute remote server for the present storage media.
Moreover, this backup service has no trouble in mirroring VMWare vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and virtualizations.
Users have the option of storing their data on various commercially available cloud storage services such as,
- Google Cloud Platform
- Microsoft Azure
- AWS S3
If you are interested in trying out this backup service provider then know that it often comes with a free trial that lasts around 60 days.
Our research shows that Acronis provides clients with a total of three different services.
They are as follows,
- Cloud storage
- Disaster recovery
Clients are free to use each of these services either as a full bundle or individually.
We are aware that businesses would have more interest in the company’s server backup application.
That’s not a problem because Acronis already provides that service.
As for the platform, currently, clients should have no problems in running the Acronis backup service on Linux and Windows Server.
The official Acronis backup service essentially runs as virtualization instance over either Hyper-V or VMWare.
Users have the option of using the service to either backup to another local server or a tape or a cloud storage service or a storage area network or a network attached fast storage.
On that note, perhaps it is appropriate that we mention that Acronis also offers another service that goes by the name of Acronis Cloud Storage.
So use that if you want everything to run smoothly as far as your backup service operations are concerned.
The other thing we want readers to know is that users making use of the Acronis Backup service do have the option of backing up their virtualizations in a direct manner if they make sure they run it via,
- Linux KVM
- Oracle VM Server
- Red Hat Virtualization
- VMWare vSphere
- Citrix XenServer
A lot of the application servers that the user may be using can easily be directly mirrored by Acronis as well.
Such application servers include the likes of,
- Oracle databases
- Active Directory
- SQL Server
- Exchange Server
As for the console of this backup application, our research shows that it is pretty much browser based.
It goes without saying that as long as the user can ensure that the host server has a working internet connection, he/she can access the console regardless of the location.
We should also mention here that Acronis also produces a different edition of its backup application which is more tailored to Managed Service Providers and also for those people who want to use the backup software for their own use.
As the name suggests, our research shows that the new Cloudberry provides its backup services (which are cloud-based) to MSPs (Managed Service Providers), individuals and enterprises.
The Managed Service Provider package or MSP goes by the name of Managed Backup.
Not only that, this backup service enables Managed Service Providers to brand their consoles themselves if they want to.
After doing that, they can sell the console to any and all of their customers in whichever and whatever method they select.
The Cloudberry Backup service also includes features such as file-level backup, image-based backup and, of course, the traditional direct support for Microsoft product-generated data.
As far as the image-based backup system is concerned, it works fundamentally at the (what the industry calls) block level.
Once the system has taken the initial copy, it will only copy over the blocks that show the relevant changes.
Just like some of the other options on this list, Cloudberry Backup also makes use of compression in order to speed up its data transfer capability.
And even though Cloudberry Backup does not advertise to take any responsibility of the security at the level of the storage provider, it does try to protect user data transfers via the industry’s strongest AES 256-bit encryption.
There is a lot to admire here.
If we are talking about the actual software that one must use in order to take advantage of the things that this backup service offers, then the user has to run it on the device that he/she wants to protect.
The device can be a simple desktop computer machine or a server.
Our research shows that currently, the official Cloudberry Backup software application runs on operating systems such as,
- Mac OS
- Windows Server
Cloudberry Backup also has the ability to backup Hyper-V and VMWare-composed virtual servers.
Not only that, but it is also entirely possible for the user to not only backup but also restore all of a given server pretty much right down to the server’s current operating system.
This is what the industry calls BMR or Base Metal Restore.
Perhaps this is a good time to mention that Cloudberry makes no attempt to offer users any kind of storage along with the company’s backup application.
So instead of relying on Cloudberry, companies have no option but to choose from a full panel of supported (in other words, compatible) and reliable cloud storage providers such as,
- Google Cloud Platform
Now, we have already mentioned the fact that Cloudberry Backup application markets itself as a backup application or service for Managed Service Providers.
But we can’t think of a reason why it would not suite an IT support department which is centralized and belonging to a large business.
In other words, it should work for such a client.
Our suggestion is that businesses that consider themselves small are better off if they access the official software for Cloudberry Standalone Backup.
The standalone software application is fully supported on the Windows platform.
You can even run this software if your machine is running Windows Server.
Apart from that, the official Cloudberry Backup application can and does backup SQL servers as well as Exchange servers.
Users who are interested in the service do not have to work hard to get a 15-day trial for the whole service without paying anything.
As for the desktop version of this service, it is absolutely free if the user is downloading it for personal use.
As for the edition that works for Linux-based endpoints and servers, the user must make use they are running on Linux flavors such as,
- Suse Linux
As alluded to before as well, the company does produce a free version of the official Cloudberry Backup package for users who only want it for personal use.
Our research shows that there is a complete version for people working with Mac workstations as well.
And that version also comes with a free trial that lasts for 15 days if it is for business.
As for personal use, users have the option of using it for free forever.
We are confident that the Cloudberry Backup backup application has everything that a small business could need to cover Hyper-V and VMWare virtualizations.
Not only that, users can also set it to backup G Suite and Office 365 activities.
The SolarWinds Backup application is actually a part of an entire suite of different useful utilities that are produced for MSPs or Managed Service Providers.
With that said, there is nothing stopping a user from purchasing and then operating this useful tool separately.
Our research shows that SolarWinds Backup utility is not only a backup utility which is suitable for in-house usage but is also good enough for companies that have a need for using such a facility.
Companies that run related services for their clients (which are other companies) can also give SolarWinds Backup a try.
The other thing readers need to keep in mind here is that the SolarWinds backup system offers more than just a single piece of software.
We say that because the SolarWinds Backup system also offers a provision for clients of fast storage space on its remote servers.
For the end-user, that means the user has no need of installing any kind of software on his/her own servers.
In short, SolarWinds Backup application is a SaaS or Software as a Service product.
Because of that, SolarWinds Backup application has no problems in allowing users to access the product’s control console through nothing but a simple web browser.
Users have the option of managing a multiple number of their resources via a single account.
Moreover, they can access all of their resources via the official dashboard’s homepage.
Apart from that, we have also found that the SolarWinds Backup service has the capability of managing the individual content of not only virtual servers but also physical ones.
More specifically, SolarWinds Backup application can back up servers right down to the given server’s operating system.
If users want to, then there is also the possibility of backing up the entire contents of their workstations.
Additionally, users also have the option of creating a backup of their central document store.
This tool can indeed perform that operation as well.
What’s more? The official SolarWinds Backup tool can also backup all of your mail servers which are running on technologies such as Microsoft Exchange.
This system also allows users to replicate MySQL databases and Sharepoint files.
Now, if you make use of Microsoft OneDrive as your premium cloud-based folder and file server, then SolarWinds Backup can ‘back’ it up as well.
Our research shows that in this system’s environment, data transfers are able to deploy compression in order to increase the speed of the backup process.
That in turn also improves recovery times.
To further improve its service, SolarWinds Backup runs strategically placed service points all over the globe instead of a single central data center.
Both the storage and the transfers have the protection of AES 256-bit key encryption.
As most of our readers already know that the AES 256-bit encryption is pretty much the best commercially used encryption in the cybersecurity market today.
We have come to know that SolarWinds Backup applies the encryption technology end-to-end.
What does that mean for the end user?
Well, it means that there is not a single intermediate point in the user’s connection where any type of snooper or cybercriminal or even the staff working at the data center can have access to the user’s data.
Users also have the option of archiving the updates to their current files.
As a result of that, the application allows users to restore earlier versions of their files.
If we are talking about data restoration options, the SolarWinds Backup application can perform those virtual-to-virtual, physical-to-virtual and bare metal.
The console that users can access after purchasing the SolarWinds Backup product allows them to take good care of all of their tasks no matter how detailed they are when it comes to recovering their data.
SolarWinds Backup application also comes with a mammoth 30-day trial for free.
Why do you need a server backup application?
We get it.
Computing hardware has become really strong and really reliable.
But despite that, if you value your data a lot then you should spare some time and think about the risks that are involved with a failure.
Machine failure can happen for a ton of reasons and some of the reasons are never under your control.
For example, you could lose your machine to malicious activity or to some environmental damage.
If you want to back up your data then there are two ways you can go about it
Once is to have an initial copy and then have incremental updates on that copy.
The other approach is to produce a series of regular and scheduled snapshots.
So which strategy should you go with?
Well, it really depends on how stable your environment is.
To take an example, in development environments it is much more common for people to take comprehensive period copies of all of their data.
They do it so that if a programmer has a bad day and makes a cost erroneous modification to the existing software and that error causes most of the data to have incorrect adjustments, then at least they have a way back.
On the other hand, the main advantage of having incremental backups is that they do not take a lot of time to perform.
Basically, you have a copy of the initial contents of the server.
After producing such a copy, only alterations or additions are recorded on top of the initial backup almost immediately.
In a sense, this strategy makes use of a copy as a mirror server.
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