On the right track, but some much needed features and improvements.

Hi. I am a network technician and am evaluating your software as a possible backup solution for many clients.  I am largely concerned with server backups.  So right off in my evaluation, and as I poke thru the forums here, I notice several things that I feel are absolute 'musts' that should be addressed.  It looks like you are on the right track, so I hope ideas like these help get you to a more complete product.

* Easily mounted backup files to make easy recovery of files via drag-n-drop. This is a big point for the Acronis and Easeus products.  When installed they install a driver that will let you easily double-click a backup file and open it like a zipped folder so you can quickly and easily browse and drag the file(s)/folder(s) you need. SOOO much better than having to go thru a 'restore' process.  Additionally, without this feature I notice that if a backup is currently running, then I can't access anything (restore process) so I am stuck until the backup finishes.  

* Mountable files over network -- now this one I see mentioned in the forums, and I wanted to agree with it. One solution mentioned was to copy the file to a local drive.  But when you have server backups over 200GB, that is not an option and it is an unacceptable delay.  This also must be resolved.

* I agree with suggestions for a downloadable ISO for booting to various versions.  I also hate the time and trouble and complications of creating my own boot disc.  Or a disc creator that will simply create the iso for you with minimal required interaction.  Bundling ISOs or the support files to create one do significantly add to the size of the original download so maybe that was part of the reasoning (keep program download small), so separating them into something else that can be downloaded would be fine.

* Specify somehow when or how often to create a new Full backup in Inc/Diff backup schemes.  I am new to the product and maybe I will find some more control but I did not see it when I setup several test backups.

* I agree with the suggestion to add the ability to exclude files/folders from partition/drive backups.  One of my tests was to do a drive/partition backup of a drive that has a huge folder that does NOT need to be backed up.  I was frustrated that I had to set it up as a file backup to avoid it. Some servers are configured with all data on the single C: drive, but there are often large folders for convenience (storing ISOs, etc) that do NOT need to backed up.  But the SERVER needs a Disk backup to ensure a full restore in case of crash.  File backup will not do and we must be able to set exclusions.

* Restore to different hardware is a must. I guess you may have added that in the last release (I am running a previous release).  I will have to install the latest and see what is new.

* Can I update the release without removing/reinstalling?

* Maybe some way to export/backup your backup configurations.  Acronis Backup has this and it proved necessary when a large office with complicated backup schedule of multiple servers one day just 'lost' all our backup jobs!  Of course by running the program individually on each server rather than via a central management console makes this less of a problem or threat, I guess.


I do like where you are heading and your pricing is reasonable, which is a huge point to get in the game.  I have long felt the market of server backup software is too full of ridiculously overpriced products that can't reliably backup 'this' to 'there'.  I welcome you to the market with high hopes.  As anyone with much experience with Acronis server products can tell you, we are not interested in a NEW version every year... what we need is a version that WORKS RELIABLY.  They have a million features, some of them really nice (amazing scheduling options), but I can't count how much time is spent trying to just get jobs to run consistently and reliably.  We are done with that struggle and I hope you guys can rise up and scoop a huge chunk of the market.


Thanks for the hard work and...

Sorry for the wordy post!!


Comments

  • UPDATE: I have loaded 2.5 to check it out and played more with the program so I have a couple corrections or observations.  I still may be missing a thing or two as I am learning the program so feel free to direct me where applicable.

    First off, on my last point about backing up the config: a big hearty and much deserved DUH!! I now see that I simply had not scrolled down far enough in the utilities, but it IS there.  Kudos.

    As for mounting the image, I see that you can do that, but it is still a clunkier way than being able to access the file like you would a zip.  I would still like to see that.

    I saw in the change log that 'restore to different hardware' is now an option, but I am unclear how to get that option, unless it will appear on a boot disc, which makes total sense.

    On the subject of boot discs... I also see that the image maker DOES have a linux option, which I usually prefer to a PE disc anyway.  Although I have not booted one yet, that seems pretty nice and easy.  If a PE ISO is doable as a separate download that would still be nice, but this topic is another partial DUH.

    Most relevantly I wanted to clarify a bit on the need for better image management. My usual scenario is that a server (or wkstn) is backing either to a NAS or a USB drive, but we want to keep as many backup SETS as possible.  If the backups are small enough, I will do Full backups and keep 5-7 on the drive. In this case setting it to delete more than 5 is fine.  BUT if doing inc/diff backups, I want to be able to have a Full and 4 diff for a SET, assuming 5 day week. I want to config for a Full once a week, preferably a day I can specify so I can do the big Full on Fri night so if it takes a long time for a big backup it does not interfere with users who come in early in the morning (as can happen if the full is on Mon night).  BUT THEN I want to tell the backup mgmt to either keep 4 SETS or, if defined differently, 20 backup jobs (can get messier if a backup fails to run or is missed).  So the end desired result is that on my drive, I would have 4 sets, each being a Full and 4 inc/diff!  Rotating drives once a week allows us to go back 2 months this way!  But it appears that, as the program sits now, if I schedule to delete more than 20 jobs, I end up with one full and 19 inc, then when it cleans it deletes ALL and runs a full.  Correct me if I have missed something.

    So the top 3 issues remain at improved scheduling (something to specify Full), improved image management and auto-mount access to data within the backup file.

    Sorry to be so wordy but I wanted to clarify the need.  If you can get those features integrated you are well on your way to sitting on a first class backup system.

    Thanks for your efforts!!

  • Thank you for these valuable suggestions, which are clear and straightforward. There is indeed a problem with the disk space management. you didn't miss a thing. I have noted it all and send to our developers. These features shall be intergrated in the future release. Much gratitude

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