Usually, end users are not aware of how important it is to do regular backups of their data until it’s too late. All of us at some point in our lives have lost important information. Nowadays it is crucial to have a backup solution, but how do we choose a backup solution? First, it would help if you understood what you need. Then you can find the solution to solve the problem. Consider the following aspects:

 

 

 

How many computers?

Personal or business use? If it for business use, how many workstations or servers do you need to backup? The volume of work you need to do defines the kind of tool you need.

 

Do you have multiple computers?

Are they all connected to the same server? Are they physically in the same location? If you need to control the backup of many workstations at the same time, you can use a console to manage all the license of the software in each machine and monitor the status of backups and the schedules, even if the computers are not in the same physical space. Also, do I need to set up all those computers with the same operative system and data, like with a master image? Because that is a redeploy feature and not all the tools will allow you to do that.

 

Do you need continuous backup?

Which kind of backup do you need? Do you need ad-hoc “snapshot” backups or you are planning to have scheduled backups?

Which type of backup suits your needs? Here you have some definitions:

 

  • Full System Backup:Restore any computer to one point in time, and that includes all the data, applications and even the operating system by creating an exact image of the machine.
  • Differential Backup:A differential image stores the changes that have been made to the imaged file system since the last full image. Subsequent differentials can be taken, but only one differential and the full are required to restore the system entirely.
  • Incremental Backup:The main difference between incremental images is that they only store file system changes since the last image, either full, differential or incremental. The resultant backup set, therefore, consists of a full image and some incremental images which must all be present to restore the system correctly.

 

Is the tool easy to use?

The software should be easy and quick. Is the learning curve steep? Is it intuitive? Does the software have a knowledge base or manual? Is there a forum for users? Is technical support included? Will the technical support offered to cover my needs? It depends on you or your client, but in some cases, it is convenient to cover the cost of an excellent technical service just in case.

 

How fast is it?

How fast can I create my backup? How efficient is it, especially with extensive files, such as virtual hard disk (VHD) files?

 

Thinking about extra protection

Is my backup solution up to date? Do I have the latest version? How reliable is the tool? Always check the reviews; you can use forums and comparative tables to choose the correct option.

 

Where will I store the data? 

Where do you want to store your data backup? In what formats? Which storage solutions I have available? How many copies it’s convenient to have?

Could be an External Hard Drive or a Solid State Drive (SSD). Then you have small drives like a USB Thumb Drive Or Flash Drive, or even an Optical Drive (like the CD/ DVD). Also, the Network Attached Storage (NAS) that is also a local solution, and then you have the Cloud Storage that allows you access remotely to the data. We always recommend the 3,2,1 rule, that means to store in different formats and different locations.

 

The tool has ransomware protection?

Does it prevent or mitigate the risk of a ransomware attack? How effective is?

There are tools for mitigating the ransomware once started to encrypt the data. Also, there exist different software antiviruses that detect the ransomware once you are infected. However, we recommend tools that prevent the ransomware; when it doesn’t matter how new and good the ransomware is; your data is safe by principle.

 

What about the remote file access?

Do I need remote access to the data? Do I need to restore an image of specific files in specific folders remotely? Do I need to download the data from the folder? Can I see and manage a repository of images of the disk (incremental or full)?

This defines the kind of storage that you will choose for the backups, and for managing them. You can use a console to manage all the backup images and see the repository and the folders. This will allow you to restore a specific document remotely.

 

What about virtualising machines and redeploy options?

Do I need to create a virtual machine? Do I need to create a Virtual Machine Clone of an existing Windows hard drive? Do I need to move a full Operating System from an old PC to a new one?

With a ReDeploy feature, you can restore an image to a replacement computer or even create various types of virtual hard drives to virtualise the machine; a technique sometimes called Physical to Virtual or P2V.

 

Is there a portable App option?

Does the software allow me to create a bootable USB stick from which I can backup or restore your target PCs both online and offline?

To have a portable application running on a bootable USB stick to create an image of any workstation or server they need to work on, and restore it quickly whenever necessary is very useful. That allows a single user to image multiple PCs, and regardless of the vendor, it is called Technicians License.

 

Am I prepared for disaster?

Does the tool allow me to prepare myself for disaster recovery? Can I schedule backups? Until you have not run your backup for a few days and need to restore a backup, you will not know just how useful your disaster recovery tool is. For that reason, it is better to start with the trials. Does the software have a trial edition? If it does, how long is the trial? That defines the tool you want to choose.

 

Know your solution options.

Understanding your customer’s data threats and their subsequent solutions is critical to properly caring for your customer. Since 2006 Macrium has been offering reliable, fast and competitive backup and imaging products. Data protection features include Image Guardian to protect your backups against ransomware, ViBoot to reduce downtime consequences, and Site Manager to monitor all of a network’s backups. ACRBO partners receive special pricing including generous discounts for internal use – reach out to Rain Networks, our ACRBO distributor for more information.

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Macrium Software

Macrium Software was founded in 2006 when CEO and Founder Nick Sills experienced a personal data disaster and in the process discovered existing backup tools were not as good as he expected. Wanting a software solution that was practical and easy to use, Nick and his team developed Macrium Reflect to create a safe and secure disk image with ultra-fast recovery times should disaster strike.
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