Don't make the mistake of thinking this is a basic bit of software, though. Once you've picked the type of backup you want, you can choose to protect files, system states, virtual environments, Exchange datastores and message-level backups MLBs , SQL databases and even data from Lotus Notes and Domino.
It's smart, too: You can choose specific mailboxes and individual items to protect. One neat option is the ability to create local backups of selected VMs without compression or encryption, so they can be very quickly restored and brought back online in case of disaster.
The final step is to set up backup schedules and destinations. Available destinations include cloud storage and all types of local drives and devices, and you can configure encryption options here, too. You can use your account password as the encryption key, provide a unique key yourself or let the client generate one for you. BEB keeps a copy of your key, so you can't accidentally lose access to your data - but keep your records up to date, as it will only be shared with the account administrator. And, if disaster ever does strike, restore operations are a cinch.
Simply choose the restoration option from the BEB interface, pick a backup set and decide what you want to recover. You can restore files and folders to their original location, or to another destination of your choosing, on any supported client. And, if you've backed up your VMs without encryption, you can mount them as local volumes on the Hyper-V host for drag-and-drop data recovery. In all, Backup Everything Business offers a superb range of hybrid backup features for all the major platforms.
It's highly flexible when it comes to restoring your data - and it's perfectly priced for smaller businesses. Barracuda's backup solutions were previously offered in the form of hardware appliances; now the company has branched out with this clever virtual appliance that runs within a Hyper-V environment. This makes it very quick to set up: The final step is to link the Vx appliance to your Cloud Control account by entering its details in the web portal.
Unfortunately, after we'd done this, the appliance continued to report that its cloud connection was down. A call to Barracuda's helpful support identified a problem with the appliance's certificate, and we were up and running within two hours. From here on it should have been plain sailing - but, embarrassingly, before we'd even had a chance to upload our first backup, Barracuda's cloud service abruptly went offline.
We could still back up and restore data from the local appliance, but we were without cloud services for a full day and a half - not an encouraging start. Still, when everything's working as it should, Barracuda's backup solution is easy to get along with. Barracuda provides a single agent for all Windows versions and applications, and we were able to set up individual systems as backup sources by simply providing a hostname or IP address.
By default, sources are fully backed up once a day, but it's easy to create custom schedules and select specific items to back up. Message-level backups require a dedicated Exchange service account and a management shell command to define impersonation rights, but this is clearly documented, and took only a few minutes to set up.
With this done, we were able to browse our Exchange datastore and select individual user accounts to be backed up. For everyday management, Barracuda's web portal offers a wealth of information about backup health, available storage and deduplication savings. It's recently been updated, but if you prefer the old interface you can still access it from the appliance's own web console which can also be used to initiate local operations.
Data recovery is quite effortless: Likewise, with our SQL Server host, we were easily able to select databases and chose where to restore them. Selecting our Exchange MLB allowed us to view all users and opt to recover anything from an entire mailbox to a single email.
And while VMs can of course be recovered to the host, we're also particular fans of the Cloud LiveBoot feature, which lets you launch backed-up virtual machine images in the cloud, and access them using VNC Viewer. This makes it fantastically easy to dig out lost data or test old application instances with zero upheaval. In short, Barracuda's Backup Vx appliance ticks all the important boxes. The initial outage shook our confidence, but we've no reason to believe it's likely to be a recurrent problem, making this a strong choice for any business that's invested in virtualised environments.
Some unfortunate blips during testing, but overall this backup solution is ideal for virtualised environments.
The best Windows backup software
Now the company's latest backup product offers an entirely cloud-based service, allowing mid-sized and larger businesses to protect their servers, desktops and apps - wherever they may be - from a single web portal. As is expected these days, the software takes a hybrid approach. The base subscription comes with a meaty terabyte of cloud storage, while the built-in LocalSpeedVault LSV feature adds onsite backup services for faster recovery. You can choose multiple local drives or LAN locations as destinations, and select which systems will make use of them.
The service isn't cheap. Still, SolarWinds isn't restrictive about what these are. From here you can add systems to your account, and generate unique password-protected installation packages that can be downloaded or sent to users via an email link. Three types of agent are available: For more centralised control, the "Automated" package - again, for Windows only - picks up its settings from the backup profiles you create in the portal.
You can configure options for specific drives and apps to back up, along with LSV locations and schedules. You can also remotely push profiles to selected systems, and lock them to stop them being changed. One caveat is that when users install the package, they're prompted to provide a data encryption key.
It's essential to keep a record of this; SolarWinds doesn't store a copy, and you won't be able to restore data without it. You should also note that SolarWinds' Hyper-V support is a bit more fiddly than other providers'. Many backup systems only require you to install an agent on the host, but here you have to deploy the Backup Manager software onto each VM you want to protect. SolarWinds doesn't support message-level backups for Exchange either, relying instead on Microsoft's built-in single item recovery service.
Finally, be aware that there's no direct vault seeding service. If you have a large dataset to back up, your best solution is to run a special backup job that copies everything onto removable media.
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It interfaces with nearly all the online storage services, while providing local file and image backup as well as first-class disaster recovery with boot media. It's the most comprehensive backup solution out there. Take a look. Despite the lack of plain file backup and sync functions, supporting Dropbox and other online locations is a plus. We recommend True Image for SMB and pro-sumers, and the anti-ransomware features will be of value to some, but the average user might be better off with something easier and more lightweight.
ShadowMaker Pro 2. A very nice program, but not quite mature enough to pay for. Stick with the free version until the performance issues are solved. With faster backups and a glitch-free interface, this free imaging and backup program would've garnered another half-star. Still, with real-time syncing and all the features most users need, it came darn close.
This program will handle all your basic disk and partition backup needs, and uses easy-to-handle and highly compatible virtual hard drives for its backup containers. But there's no FTP, file and folder, or online backup. This venerable freebie offers more than enough power for the average user. If all you want to do is create backup images of your system and disks, Macrium Reflect Free is a very reliable way to do it. Home Software Updated. The best programs for keeping your data and Windows safely backed up.
Maintaining business continuity doesn't need to be a headache
Cons Minor interface quirks Heavy disk usage without a throttling option. Aomei Backupper Standard 4. Pros Free Mature, capable, and reliable. Cons Small interface glitches Slow backups. Pros Backs up to highly compatible virtual hard drives Free for non-commercial users with registration Doesn't create any background processes. Macrium Reflect Free 6. Pros Free Solid and reliable image backups Clones disks. Cons No file backup or sync No incremental backup. Software Business.
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