I will walk through the various backup solutions out there for businesses. Most of the big names in the backup world are very good at backups, however they must be used properly. If using Windows Server 2003, I’d recommend Acronis True Image for any file systems and NTbackup for the exchange backup or other servers. If using Windows Server 2008, I’d recommend Acronis True Image for any servers, and Acronis® Recovery™ for Microsoft Exchange.
In the times I’ve had to reference backups, tape drives are generally neglected and fail when the tapes aren’t properly cycled out. Many business keep using tapes past a year old and end up not having an up-to-date backup or any old backups. Also, I’ve seen tapes wear out over long periods of time in storage. I’d highly recommend a SAN or NAS Solution for Local backups. If its in your budget and you have the bandwidth, cloud is obviously the best solution.
You MUST purchase a Exchange Ready backup solution for Microsoft Exchange 2007 SP1 or earlier
Failure to do so will result in an excess of log files that will fill all free space on your server and crash it.
Acronis True Image
- Block by block image backup
- Easily browse old backups to grab a couple files, or restore then entire server to that state
- Do not use for Exchange Backup! (It will backup the database, but it will not clear and condense the log files generated by exchange. If left for a long period of time your logs will fill up all free space on your server and crash it.)
- Personal Favorite for any File Server
- Wonderful Tape backup solution (Supports various backup rotations)
- Does a proper Exchange backup with add-in purchase
- Personally, I’ve always thought the interface is bulky and difficult to use. Also, with all the add-ins you need to purchase this is one of the most expensive solutions on the market.
- Not Recommended unless you are using tapes.
- Built into Windows Server 2003
- Great for Exchange 2003 or earlier
- Restoration process is time consuming and not recommended for File Servers
Windows Server Backup
- Built into Windows Server 2008
- Backup system automatically adjusts and is space efficient when saving to external drives, SAN, and NAS solutions
- Does NOT support tape devices
- Restoration process is time consuming and not recommend for File Servers
- Has NO Exchange Support unless you upgrade past SP2 on the OS and SP2 on Exchange Server 2007.