Backup-SystemsThe basic functionality of server backup systems is straightforward.  Backup systems replicate critical business data and restore that data in the event of primary storage failure.  However, there are more than a dozen excellent implementations of backup software for servers, offered at a wide range of prices.  Here are some considerations for making the right choice for your company.

Reliability

Reliability is the key parameter for determining backup software quality.  The challenge with using a backup system is that it does not truly come into play until the advent of a data storage failure.  With today’s modern systems, that may not happen for months or years.  During that time, the software works away, backing up data in case of emergency.  The restore function is not used until after that time, when a storage failure occurs.  At that time, the company is counting on the backup software to restore the data faithfully.  If there is a problem, months of data may be lost.  Two things determine the reliability of backup functionality.

First, very reliable backup software like the one from NovaStor will have a regular self-test.  This self-test may work on a daily basis.  It will serve to validate the backup/restore functionality on a regular test period.  This not only serves to validate the software, but also ensures there are no problems with the more likely sources of backup problems: the backup media and the data transmission.

Second, companies should choose backup software that has good reviews with other companies.  Often review sites will focus on features.  They may rate usability at the same level as reliability.  Companies should review this comparison data carefully, and put reliability at a higher priority than usability.

Support

Server backup software publishers design their product for minimum support.  They do not want to inconvenience the customer with lengthy support issues, nor do they want to spend the money to staff a large support center.  Regardless, there will always be a few support issues with even the highest quality backup systems.  At those times, a company will want the support of the software publisher in a timely and effective manner.

Support issues usually occur during two key times.  The first is during setup.  Each company server setup is unique.  Some configurations differ significantly from the industry norm.  The software publisher must fill in the gaps of those systems that require a custom setup.  This must be done quickly, if the server setup is not to be delayed.

The second key time is during operation, often during the restore process.  If there is a failure at this time, critical business data is at risk.  Again, the company is depending on the software publisher for quick and reliable problem resolution.

Only longtime clients of the software publisher can give an accurate description of the level of support offered.  This is the second key parameter a company should use to rate backup software.  The software must have an excellent reputation by clients that have used the product for a year or more.

Usability

The third key parameter encompasses the features.  Usability determines how much time the IT personnel will spend installing and supporting the software.  Review sites will often offer side-by-side comparisons of features to allow usability comparisons.

With this information, most companies are prepared to make a good decision for their server backup software and system.