Windows Server Backup Review

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Your new Windows server came with its own backup application, but is it enough? Just as the type of work you do dictates your small business network architecture, so should it help you realize that the one size fits all Microsoft Server Backup approach doesn’t exactly fit all situations. Your own network configuration could make backing up your server one that requires multiple applications with knowledge of several work-around techniques.

Attempting to keep so many moving parts working together can be disastrous for your recovery. What you need is a server backup that combines the capabilities of multiple applications in a single management console. Unfortunately, most server administrators don’t realize this fact until it’s too late and their data is lost forever.

Forever is a long time, and time is not something that you have to spare when the network is down. As part of your business recovery strategy, you need to know when your network will be back and how much of your data you can expect to recover. How long it will take to get your network back up and running – your Recovery Time Objective – and how far to go into your backups – your Recovery Point Objective – should be your main concerns. Knowing that you will have the tools, features and options available to reach your goals of making your network complete goes a long way towards providing you with that peace of mind.

Planning your backup strategy is no small task and you likely will want to eliminate some of the guesswork. We’ve gone through some of the best Windows server backup solutions available to make your job easier. See our articles about Windows server backup software to learn more, and read the reviews of the top selections – Backup & Recovery Server for Windows, BackupAssist and NovaBackup Server – to see which may be right for you.

Windows Server Backup: What to Look For

All of the backup applications we reviewed can outperform Windows Server Backup, both in terms of customized scheduling features as well as restoration methods. The best server backup software for you should be able to perform hands-free routine backups while ensuring your data is recoverable if there's a catastrophic failure.

Server backup software can be complex, more so than any other type of backup software you’ve used. Among the things we looked for was how easy the management tools are to use and the kinds of support you can count on if you got stuck. We also looked for software that performs well in the following categories:

Management Tools
Whether you have a little or a lot of experience with servers, server backup software shouldn’t be a challenge to use. The software should feature centralized management, which allows you to manage multiple servers without having to change applications.

All of the server backup solutions we reviewed let you schedule backups at customized intervals, some as often as every 15 minutes. They also let you configure backups to run automatically in certain circumstances, such as during low-usage times.

Where all of the backup software packages we reviewed provide event logs, not all provide emailed notifications and alerts. It's important to receive alerts because sometimes an event will occur during a backup that requires your intervention. Likewise, it is helpful to have remote access to your backup software. Other management tools to look for are password management and encryption abilities.

Backup Features
The most advanced Windows backup software handles the data needs of modern servers with continuous data protection, versioning control, data deduplication and error checking to name a few.

Recovery Options
Data recovery is the main concern for backup software. We reviewed each software for its ability to deliver on basic functions such as bare metal restore, physical to virtual recovery and recovery to dissimilar hardware. We also looked at the software's ability to create bootable CDs or DVDs and the ability to boot from an external USB device or recover to dissimilar hardware.

Supported Backup Media
The best Windows server backup software can back up to multiple media types. We looked for software that backs up to removable discs, network-attached storage, servers and cloud storage, among other media. Many of the best programs even support tape backup where Windows Server 2012 doesn’t.

Help & Support
Windows server backup software can be a bit challenging to configure, so excellent help and support, especially during the installation process, is critical. We looked at the type of support offered as well as whether the support is free or subscription-based. The best providers offer good support documentation as well as responsive technical support via telephone, email and chat. Some software companies also offer services to help you install and configure the software. This may require a setup fee, but it is a useful service for those who don't employ a full-time IT person.

Whether you’re a small business owner or an IT consultant, you know that keeping a regular backup regimen is vital. Successfully deploying Windows server backup software is an important first step.

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Software » Utilities » Windows Server Backup Review
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
BackupAssist Backup & Recovery Server NovaBACKUP Business Essentials Yosemite Server Backup System Recovery Continuous Data Protection EaseUs Todo Backup Server Total Backup Recovery GRBackPro Backup for Workgroups
BackupAssist Backup & Recovery Server NovaBACKUP Business Essentials Yosemite Server Backup System Recovery Continuous Data Protection EaseUs Todo Backup Server Total Backup Recovery GRBackPro Backup for Workgroups
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Lowest Price
Visit BackupAssist 7
$279.00
Visit Backup & Recovery Server 11.5
$1,159.00
Visit NovaBACKUP Business Essentials 16
$499.95
Visit Yosemite Server Backup 8
$699.00
Visit System Recovery 13
$928.96
Visit Continuous Data Protection 3.0 Standard
$299.00
Visit EaseUs Todo Backup Server 6
$199.00
Visit Total Backup Recovery 9
$699.00
Visit GRBackPro 8
$199.00
Visit Backup for Workgroups 7
$199.00
Ratings
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9.98
9.95
9.50
9.43
9.38
9.23
9.23
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8.20
10
9
8
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6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
9.88
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
9.63
10.00
8.68
9.10
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
10.00
7.15
9.00
10.00
8.68
10.00
10.00
8.00
10.00
9.32
10.00
10.00
6.00
10.00
8.68
10.00
10.00
7.00
7.15
9.32
7.28
9.00
10.00
8.58
6.00
10.00
10.00
7.00
 
Management Tools
Centralized Management Console
  
Customized Scheduling
Email Notices & Alerts
Remote Access
 
Throttling
 
Configurable Retention Policies
 
Encrypted Backup
Backup Features
Compressed Backup
Incremental and Differential Imaging
Incremental and Differential Backup
 
 
Virtual Machine Backup
Backup Verification (Error Checking)
 
Full System Backup
Continuous Data Protection
 
File Backup Exclusion
Multiple File Revision Support
Hot Backup
VSS Support
Dynamic Volume Support
Data Deduplication
   
 
Backup Roaming Profiles
 
   
Recovery Options
Individual File Recovery
Recovers Deleted Files
System State
Bare Metal Recovery
Restore Point Management
Preboot Execution Environment (PXE)
 
 
Bootable CD or DVD
Bootable by USB Device
Remote Restore
 
Physical to Virtual Recovery
Recovers to Dissimilar Hardware
 
Supported Backup Media
USB Connected External Drives
File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Site
Removable Discs
Hard Disk (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SDD)
Supports Dynamic Drives
Storage Area Network (SAN)
Virtual Machine
Network Attached Storage (NAS) includes Snap Servers
 
Cloud Storage Providers
 
Tape Drives
 
Help & Support
Setup Support
 
Restore Support
  
Remote Support
  
 
Telephone
 
Email
Chat
  
Forum
 
 
Knowledgebase
Online Training or Webinars
 
User Manual
 
 
Operating Systems
Microsoft Windows Server 2012
Windows SBS
 
Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
Microsoft Windows Server 2008
Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Microsoft Windows 2000 Server SP4
Supported Applications
Microsoft Hyper-V
Microsoft SharePoint Server (2010, 2013)
Microsoft Exchange Servers (2003, 2007)
Microsoft SQL Servers (2003, 2008, 2011)
Citrix XenServer
   
Vmware vSphere
   
 
Oracle