There is a piece of software we have implemented at a number of our clients’ sites that makes data protection really simple by performing automatic, scheduled backups of Windows Servers.
Wait; Microsoft’s Server Operating Systems have inbuilt backup software, don’t they??
Indeed! Introduced in 1997, NT Backup was built-in to the operating system and used to back up files. However, it has been discontinued and is no longer part of Windows Server (2008 onwards). Instead it’s been replaced with a block-level backup system. Without getting too technical, let’s just say this new type of backup system is aimed at making server backup and recovery really fast.
So why wouldn’t you just use built-in systems to do backups?
There are limitations with the in-built backup (both NT Backup and the new block-level backup system) and we have found these are important to acknowledge. BackupAssist addresses all these limitations and the recent upgrade to Version 5 brings even further enhancements.
Firstly, with the discontinuation of NTBackup goes the support for tape drives. BackupAssist enables tape drive support for Server 2008, a very compelling fact for millions of tape drive users!
BackupAssist version 5 supports Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008. It also provides an image-based backup solution for these operating systems.
BackupAssist now gives the option for backing up via the Internet. It uses an efficient software application called Rsync that transmits files from one location to another while minimising data transfer. Rsync is clever in the way that it copies backup files – it only copies the data that has changed. Normally Rsync is configured via something called a command line, which even for techies can be a bit of a nightmare! BackupAssist allows us to set your backups via a user interface; no more command line!
Um, What exactly does that mean?
BackupAssist gives us a lot of flexibility to easily host your data, should you wish to have offsite backups:
- internally – at a different branch office, or to the boss’ home for example
- externally – a third party data centre or a hosting partner
- on Windows or Linux machines
- to selected NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices
One of our favourite features in BackupAssist is the email notification of the backup’s success/failure. In addition to this, version 5 now has an exciting new feature; Centralized Monitoring. This allows us to monitor your backup results from a central location (along with the results of our clients), or via an email report. It also allows us to look at data growth on your server. BackupAssist Centralized Monitoring can also produce easy to decipher PDF reports.
All of this enables us to:
- give you more options for how you want to backup your data
- be more proactive about backup failures and
- make sure you don’t run out of space on your backup drives and tapes.
For more information about BackupAssist or to discuss your backup procedures in greater detail, please contact our office.