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Updated 14th May 2020, Rob Morrison

Top Backup Software: Definition and Types. Top Backup Solutions.

What is top backup software? The most popular meanings and definitions of the top backup solutions.

When a backup solution is implemented, it performs tasks that may seem simple in essence (such as copy and restore), but actually require a high level of sophistication, as well as taking care of many details which must be satisfied to achieve a fully functional solution that is efficient and effective.In this digital age, where data grows rapidly with the use of new technologies, importance is often placed on the availability of information analysis to offer benefits to users and organizations, allow them to satisfy their requirements and needs in an integrated and reliable way. It is fundamental that the data is readily available, both in quantity and quality.

data backup and recovery systems

For this reason, top backup software must satisfy the above requirements, as well as a variety of operational needs and functionalities, such as:

  • User data and documents.
  • Cloud storage.
  • Virtualization of servers, applications, databases, among others.
  • Artificial intelligence.
  • Customer Management (CRM).
  • Management of administrative and operational processes (ERP).
  • Transactional and informational operational processes.
  • Big data.
  • Machine Learning.
  • Internet of Things (IOT).
  • Use of new approaches and methodologies of operation, such as agile, SCRUM, DevOps, etc.

Top backup software vendors in 2020

When it comes to choosing the top backup software that fits your company the best way, it’s always good to know about some solutions that are considered one of the best in their class. We’ve taken a liberty of compiling a list of those highly regarded solutions, and that’s how this list looks like:

  • Veritas
  • Commvault
  • Vembu
  • NetApp
  • Rubrik
  • IBM
  • Veeam
  • DELL Backup
  • Cohesity
  • Bacula Enterprise

And now a few words about each of these solutions.

Veritas Backup Exec

Veritas is a relatively old company that’s been around for several decades. This gives it a lot of advantage when it comes to working with larger, older companies that appreciate legacy and traditionality. Veritas is working in a lot of fields, like backup and recovery, data management via cloud, information governance, and more. It can be deployed on a customer’s hardware, and it can be integrated in the form of an appliance that works with backup storage and other backup-related processes. Veritas is capable of scaling to a significant level, with the capability to support over a thousand clients at once. Unfortunately, the scaling efficiency is nonexistent when it comes to computing power capacity, meaning that every client would have to get more appliances to handle working with bigger data amounts.

Commvault

Commvault is a multifunctional backup and recovery solution that can offer a variety of specific features and tools, including VM, database and endpoint backups, the ability to recover VMs, and can backup structured and unstructured data from one cloud to another. It is also offering a good level of protection and a number of management tools, as well. Commvault is capable of working with a lot of different file types, storage types, backup and recovery types, etc. There’s also a built-in support for most of the popular cloud storage providers like Azure, AWS and others. But it’s not exactly perfect, either. A number of user reviews points out that the solution’s UI/UX could use a lot of improvement, for example.

Vembu BDR Suite

Vembu is a one of the top backup and recovery software solutions that showcases their data security as the prime feature. The solution is capable of working with all company sizes, from small to large, and there’s also a plethora of usual backup and recovery features, like VMware backups, application backups, data replication capabilities, and so on.

Easy setup process and user-friendly interface are their prime advantages, as well. At the same time, some customer reports point out that the system might get too complicated in some places, and that the reporting feature is somewhat lackluster.

NetApp SnapCenter

NetApp as a top backup and recovery software solution is boasting over 150 offices around the world – aside from all of the regular backup and recovery features. There’s also a centralized interface to have a convenient place to view all of your operations and act accordingly, and the ability to access your data from almost anywhere using nothing but your phone is there, too.

Support response time is also noted to be quite above the average, and the system centralization is highly regarded, as well. However, some users say that the centralized UI/UX still needs some work to be comfortable, and there’s too many issues that have to be resolved with the support’s help, since the official documentary isn’t descriptive enough.

Rubrik

There’s not a lot of solutions that specialize in working with hybrid IT environments, but Rubrik is one of them. Their prized feature called Rubrik Cloud Data Management (RCDM) is a highly-regarded data protection solution that specializes in integration with cloud. One other part of Rubrik’s solution is their data management platform called Polaris. It is a SaaS (software-as-a-service) and consists of Polaris GPS and Polaris Radar. The first one is all about policy management and reporting, and the second one is focused on rehabilitation, as well as ransomware detection. As a solution, Rubrik can be deployed both physically and virtually.

Unfortunately, there are some caveats that can be found in this system, as well. Users report that the price for app and VM protection is somewhat high, and that the granular control for Active Directory is not selective enough.

IBM Spectrum Protect

There’s quite a lot of solutions that tend to overcomplicate their systems and user interfaces – and there’s IBM Spectrum, that aims for simplicity first and foremost. No matter the storage type you’re using – physical, cloud, or virtual, and no matter the system you’re working with – VMs, servers, databases, desktops, and more. There’s also a plethora of other capabilities that are suitable for a good backup and recovery solution: backup, recovery, bare metal recovery, and so on. It’s an agentless user-friendly virtual environment that is capable of automation and the cost is counted via every spent TB of data, no matter the data/app type. The most popular use cases are Hyper-V, SQL Server, VMware, etc.

Veeam Backup & Replication

Veeam is another absolute top backup software that can protect your virtual environments of all sizes. It specializes mostly in VMware vSphere and Hyper-V environments, and is capable of scaling with the support of different features like deduplication, file-level recovery, and others.

There’s also a free edition of Veeam, alongside several different enterprise-grade editions with different feature sets. Veeam is considered to be one of the best there is on the market.

DELL EMC Data Protection Suite

Dell EMC is a part of the larger Dell company that specializes in data protection, as well as backup and recovery and some other services for enterprise customers. There’s a number of different security levels available, a comprehensive UI helps with setting up and controlling your data security efforts, and built-in CDP (Continuous data protection) technology allows for quick VM restoration in case of a disaster.

Generally speaking, there’s a lot of features that Dell EMC can provide, like the support of a number of different storage types, from NAS and tape to cloud and more. There’s also additional resilience via automatic analytics, isolation and recovery systems.

Cohesity

There’s one big structural difference that separates Cohesity from most of the competitors – it’s their cluster-like structure that makes scalability much easier. The main use cases for Cohesity are backups of infrastructures, be it VMs or standard applications for enterprises.

Another key feature of this cluster-like design is the restoration speed, allowing for the restoration of several VMs in minimal time, making your RTOs way slower. On the other hand, more specific features, like granular recovery for MS Exchange or SharePoint, are treated like paid add-ons and are not included in the base price.

Bacula Enterprise

Bacula Enterprise is a one of the most flexible top backup software solutions that can offer an easy way to back up and recover your data and protect it. It is focused mainly on medium and large enterprises, and boasts a variety of features, like different backup storage types, low deployment costs, easy setup process, etc. It’s also capable of working with the majority of bigger Linux distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, etc.), aside from the regular Microsoft, MacOS X, Android and Solaris support. There’s also a large number of Hypervisors supported, like VMware, RedHat, Xen, Hyper-V, and more. Other Bacula Enterprise advantages also include a lot of security features and the ability to escape price traps (meaning that a customer doesn’t have to pay per data volume).

Typically, most sources of information generation are of diverse nature and highly varied types. The flexibility and adaptability of top backup software makes it possible not only to address data in an integrated way, but to grow to an organization’s requirements, derived from both processes and user increase.

However, it is important to note that secondary storage may not be 100% reliable because many situations can arise, such as natural disasters, hardware failures, viruses and even user error (accidental or not) that can cause losses of months or years of data. This may include vital information for the operability of organizations.

Top backup software should enable enterprises to manage local backup scenarios (on hardware such as disks, tape drives, storage networks, and so on) and remote sites using WAN networks (which may well be at another locality or in the cloud), which is an option widely used today).

Taking into account these variables and conditions, in choosing a top backup software one should consider:

  • The data to be supported, which in turn can help to define the mechanisms of data transfer. This should be done according to its size and the levels of security for the backup and protection of the backup volumes, taking into account the importance and criticality of the information for organizations.
  • Execution of data backups in local and/or remote destinations. Besides allowing to configure an environment of greater protection, this offers alternatives and resources for the recovery of the information in case of disaster. An important point to consider is the administration of the bandwidth for the transfer of the backups, and for this several techniques are used. For example; deduplication, compression, encryption and decryption of the data.
  • For the above, top backup software must also guarantee security levels for access to records and backup volumes, especially at remote sites and/or remote destinations of the organization, both in the process of transferring the data and for retention time. This includes accessing disks, tape drives, autochangers, cloud storage devices (eg Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure), NAS or SAN devices and online storage applications.
  • Provision of utilities to encrypt and decrypt the information backed up in order to guarantee data integrity. This is regardless of where the backup volumes are stored. Encryption and decryption are elements that can increase the use of bandwidth. However, when backing up to remote sites and other destinations, the importance they have is greater due to the security conditions that must be met, and to avoid unauthorized data access.
  • Use of data deduplication and compression technologies that help increase performance in the execution of backup and recovery activities, as well as saving resources both in bandwidth and storage space, whether disk, tape drives or any other media or device. To achieve the effective implementation of these techniques, it is important to distribute the process load between several elements of the backup platform so that all the load is not in one place, which could cause a system slowdown.
  • Tools and/or utilities for the execution of backup and recovery activities, which provide functionalities to the administrators and users that facilitate the configuration, use, implementation and monitoring of backup solution. These may need to work from different platforms (browser web, application client, etc.), operating systems (Windows, Linux, Unix, etc.) and devices (computers, tablets, phones, etc.).

Originally, backup solutions were typically very expensive and therefore were often not implemented or successful in organizations. They were often considered a high expense. For that reason there was a need to lower costs, including that of hardware resources. The emergence of open source applications and especially Linux made it possible to use backup and restore solutions more widely in companies. Similarly, a reduction in some hardware and software costs now make it easier for organizations to utilize more resources for their business support platform.

It is important to have a top backup solution that provides an easy to configure and define tools as part of a Disaster Recovery plan, which allows companies to have a mechanism to protect and safeguard data to safe places and/or places in case of a natural disaster or similar. It is worth mentioning that this not only involves the restoration of information, but also all the procedures to be followed for the recovery, validation and normalization of the processes and operation’s activities.

Top backup software allows companies to be faster, safer, more efficient and more reliable. Bacula Enterprise Edition makes this possible and realistic. Above all, its most important characteristics are adaptability and ease of use in diverse and heterogeneous environments, both for equipment and operating systems.


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About the author

Rob Morrison

Rob Morrison is the marketing director at Bacula Systems. He started his IT marketing career with Silicon Graphics in Switzerland, performing strongly in various marketing management roles for almost 10 years. In the next 10 years Rob also held various marketing management positions in JBoss, Red Hat and Pentaho ensuring market share growth for these well-known companies. He is a graduate of Plymouth University and holds an Honours Digital Media and Communications degree, and completed an Overseas Studies Program.