Ten Must Have Features for any Server Backup Program

There are many Online Backup services that specialize in home computers. People want to back up their pictures, music, and bookmarks. Businesses need online backup, too, and have very different needs. This article will discuss Server Backup Programs.

Many companies have central computers called Servers which are really just bigger, faster computers than Desktop computers, with more memory and more hard drive space. They are connected to Desktop computers through a network.

Desktop computers usually store their critical files on the Server so they can be shared by other employees, and so they can be backed up by server backup programs.

The server backup programs needed to back up Servers are very different from those needed to back up Desktops and laptop computers, and personal computers.

Servers often contain specialized databases designed to share data among many users. They can also include security software to help operate the network, and email software that distributes emails among the network users and Internet users.

These specialized databases are usually in use, and may be difficult to back up because they are so big, or because the program that runs them has them “locked,” a file state that allows exclusive access only to the Server itself and its own database server software.

A “locked” database is difficult to back up, requiring special server backup programs that can access locked databases and the many other special file types that live on Servers.

Here are ten features every Server Backup Program must have.

1.      Back up Open and Locked Files. Server backup programs must be able to back up files while they are locked and in use by employees. You can’t shut down the company to do a backup.

2.      Back up Active Directory and System State. A server backup program must back up the Windows Active Directory which contains the security credentials for users and workstations, and controls logins and file access (among other things.)

3.      Back up specialized databases like Exchange, SQL Server, and Lotus. These databases are often very big – too big to back up online using traditional backup software. The server backup program must be able to read the databases directly, while they are open and in use, and extract only the changes since the last backup.

4.      Comply with all applicable regulations. Server backup programs often back up extremely confidential data like medical records, accounting records, and banking data. Most countries have regulations in place that spell out very strictly how this data is to be protected. The server backup program must comply with these regulations.

5.      Server backup programs must support Onsite Loading. Because Servers often contain too much data to send over the Internet during the first full backup, the server backup program must be able to do the first full backup, fully secure and compliant, to a USB drive which can then be transported to the Online Backup Server facility and copied.

6.      Server backup programs must support very fast full restores. When a Server crashes, it can lose many terabytes of data. If we had to restore that much data over the Internet, it could take days or even weeks. Business cannot stand that much down-time. So, the server backup program must be able to restore the data using other secure transmission methods like portable hard drives.

7.      Flexible File Retention Policy. Servers contain different types of data that need to be retained for different periods of time. This policy is sometimes mandated by regulations. The server backup program must be able to maintain different file retention policies for different groups of files.

8.      Active management. Servers are important, often pivotal to the success of a company. If a Server is lost a company may not be able to do business. That’s why it is important that the server backup program supports active management and automated reporting so administrators can be kept informed that their backups are being done properly.

9.      Maintain Multiple Versions. Server backup programs must be able to maintain multiple versions of files and databases that can be restored at will. Administrators will often want a version of a file that is three weeks old (for example) after subsequent backups have already been done.

10.  Strong Encryption. The data on Servers is very important, and could damage a company if it became known to competitors. The server backup program must be able to encrypt data before it is transmitted offsite, and the data must stay in encrypted form while at rest on the Online Backup Server.




Online Backup CEO Rob Cosgrove

Rob Cosgrove is the President of Remote Backup Systems, founder of the Online Backup Industry, and a vocal advocate for maintaining the highest standards in Online Backup software. His latest book, the Online Backup Guide for Service Providers: How to Start and Operate an Online Backup Service, is available online now, on Amazon.com, and at bookstores.

Remote Backup Systems provides brandable, scalable software and solutions to MSPs and VARs enabling them to offer Online Backup Services.

Would you like a FREE download of the complete Online Backup Guide for Service Providers as an E-Book? Only 200 available through May 15. [PICK THIS LINK].

About The Author

Rob Cosgrove / http://remote-backup.com

Rob Cosgrove is President of Remote Backup Systems, developers of the fully brandable RBackup Online Backup software platform, powering more than 9,500 Service Providers, MSPs and VARs wordwide since 1987. He is the founder of the Online Backup industry and author of several books, the most recent, "The Online Backup Guide for Service Providers", available at Amazon.com and bookstores. http://remote-backup.com