Home -> Glossary -> Best Backup Software: Definition and Features
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Although it can be rare, situations or incidents usually arise at some point in an organization which can lead to information loss. This can directly jeopardize an organizations functions, and whether the data losses are small (archives, such as spreadsheets, documents, presentations, etc.) or very large (such as gigabytes or terabytes of data), for example entire databases, program repositories, computer images, multimedia files, etc.), the effects on a corporation can be disastrous.

For these reasons it is vital that companies have mechanisms or systems that allow them to protect from these events. One of the fundamentals is to correctly back up the data and information using applications that store them in secure sites for later retrieval, if necessary.

data backup and recovery systems

In addition to the generic protection of information, what should be the characteristics of the best backup software? If we take into account that the typical company organizes and processes an ongoing and increasing volume of information, this should be taken into account when defining action plans and management strategies.  Some characteristics of the best backup software are that it should:

  • Be reliable and guarantee the execution of backup and recovery operations in an integral and consistent manner, without loss or omission of data and information.
  • Allow your administration to be simple, but complete. To do this, it must have utilities or tools as part of the application that are easy to use, offer functionality to users with appropriate expertise, for data management as well as configuration, administration and monitoring.
  • It must have the capability to adapt to heterogeneous environments, since in many organizations it is common to use technology and hardware of different types, characteristics and manufacturers, including operating systems, applications, and databases.
  • The backup and recovery software should provide organizations with the ability to grow and adapt according to the information needs of its functional processes of operation, as well as those derived from the users’ requirements. Important note: growth should not be impeded by a solution which becomes too expensive as it scales up.
  • Facilitate the incorporation and implementation of specific tasks inherent to the processes necessary to perform effective data backup. These can include: stopping and starting services, creating and deleting files, sharing information, validating the execution of a program, generating alerts, among others.
  • Send execution notifications of backup operation processes. This can be obtained through emails, monitoring systems, web browsers, etc.
  • Allow the configuration of different levels of backup that conform to an organization’s policies and windows of operation in an efficient way, in terms of time, integrity and consistency of information. Although this is an inherent condition of any backup system, the better ones tend to facilitate the configuration and management of the required backup levels and related operations.
  • Backup and recovery software should provide the options and elements to execute several concurrent instances of backup and recovery, although this will depend directly on the resources and hardware available for this activity. These elements should have the ability to be automated and scheduled so that the process is carried out efficiently and with minimum execution time, without affecting the consistency or integrity of the protected data.
  • Allow the user to manage the storage resources where the backed up information is copied. This may include disks, tape drives, auto-changers, cloud storage devices, NAS or SAN devices or online storage applications.
  • Offer tools to manage the historical data of backup, necessary for diverse purposes, such as:
    • Information retrieval.
    • Legal regulations, either of the company or of authorized institutions.
    • Compliance with quality standards, such as ISO, or methodologies such as ITIL.
  • Allow the interrelation with utilities that can consult the information of the backups, and in this way generate summaries and reports that can be used in companies for diverse activities such as capacity planning, data management, functional indicators, and more. Correct estimation of resources, besides guaranteeing the protection of the information, makes it possible for the technology to grow and adapt to new functional and operative requirements.
  • Provide mechanisms and processes that optimize the execution of the backups, in terms of avoiding the duplication of the information in the data stored in the backup devices. This is done using hardware and software resources, or a combination of both.
  • The best backup software should allow integration with mobile devices, phones or tablets, including not only notifications but also administration and monitoring utilities. With this, the processes are streamlined, ensuring that the management is carried out in a productive way with quantifiable results.
  • The use of technology resources in the cloud has increased significantly, both in hardware services, applications, operating systems, databases and storage, with benefits and advantages that provide organizations with potential management of IT infrastructure. Therefore, a company may evaluate the cloud as a valid and safe option for the protection of data, since it allows the implementation of a high availability environment with adequate levels of redundancy.
  • The best data backup software should allow the user to encrypt the backup data, in order to guarantee its privacy. If we take into account that various global and local access storage devices can be used, built-in protection that guards against attempts to attack or violate is essential.
  • Just as the use of cloud services is now common in an enterprise, the use of virtualization has also increased significantly, since it allows for faster administration and optimization of resources as well as reduce hardware costs and implementation. Therefore, the best data backup software should support servers in virtualized environments, whether they are an image on the platform, or a computer on which the virtualization environment is configured and running.

All these characteristics contribute to protecting the infrastructure and computer platforms of a company, including operating systems, databases, user data and applications, to avoid potentially catastrophic data losses that may affect a company’s operation.

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  1. Adam

    Thank you for a great definition of best backup software and its characteristics. I’m agree that this kind of software should be reliable and guarantee, provide mechanisms and processes that optimize the execution of the backups, and also I believe that the best backup software should have positive price / value ratio.

  2. Allison

    There is a lot of great solutions, but every company should choose the best backup software depending on the business needs, type of a company, and more.

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