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Enterprise / Corporate Backup Solutions
#1
What is your favourite solution?

What we look for in an ideal Backup / Recovery Solutions is:

1) Accurate Backups that can be restored with confidence.
2) Backup solution that can include the ability to perform Granular restores (IE: individual Exchange Mailbox, SharePoint or Virtual Machine items).
3) Quickly and easily recover an entire Server with minimal impact to downtime.
4) Be able to restore historic Data (IE: not just from last night's backup but from three months prior).
5) Full Disaster Recovery in the event of catastrophic Server failure (fire, flood, theft, lightning).
6) Off-site Backup storage (that may help in point 5 above).

In my opinion; you will always hear me say "You get what you pay for!"

FREE Backup Solutions
Love it or loath it, Windows Backup has come a very long way since the old NT days.
We used to backup with confidence to Tape Drives using this free "built-in" feature with NT, 2000 and 2003 (Tape Drives were the de-facto standard as removable Disk Drives were either unreliable or had insufficient capacity).
Then, with Windows 2008, Microsoft really cocked it up. They removed the ability to Backup to Tape Drive and made it possible to backup to only ONE Disk Drive or NAS/Network Share (one Backup instance and no incremental-ability) - pretty useless.
It has only been since Windows 2012 R2 that things really started looking up - full Bare Metal recoveries, ability to add additional Backup Media to the "pool" and allowing users to trot off home with a backup drive in their purse. As long as the Backup was successful the Restores are pretty easy and accurate. The problem is, the "Backup Operator" (probably the office lady) had absolutely no clue to whether the backup she was taking offsite actually went as planned (only the Administrator would know if he/she were pro-active and reading the logs).

Third-Party Backup Solutions
We have an overcrowded choice of these.
While some of these are "free", they really do come with their limitations are uncommonly found in Enterprise / Corporate systems.
No doubt we all have our favourite solution - just like we have our favoured brand of car. Maybe the Ford you had when you were young was so problematic that you, today, have a mental block toward that make and refuse to look at the brand ever again - it's human nature and unfortunately "human nature" really gets in the way most time.
I could write a book over what is available but, by the time it goes to print, it may be well outdated - good things come and go and sometimes what was good then is absolutely crap today. 
If you want an affordable and robust backup solution you will probably go for something like Acronis Backup - it's not intelligent, lacks many features like the ability to do "granular" Backups and conditional alerting. However, if you don't mind losing a little data, it's "one touch" and accurate Restores are an excellent solution for those who are less technically aligned.
On the other side of the scale is Symantec's Backup Exec (previously Veritas Backup Exec). Before you say "Oh no!" consider the following;
Backup Exec has always been able to perform Granular Backups - especially useful if you want to restore a single Email message that a user deleted or an alert sent to your staff that is responsible for off-site storage of your Backup Media to whether there was a problem with the last backup or not.
People who are "afraid" of Back Exec are those who don't understand its potential or willing to configure it "properly" and/or usually shoot themselves in the foot because of their own lack of knowledge.
Another alternative is the "Cloud". Personally, I am NOT a Cloud-anything fan and see absolutely no benefit (especially from a financial perspective). If you choose to backup to "the cloud" you need to be aware of one major issue: How fast can I recover my Server in the event of total Server failure? The answer is... not fast at all!
While a "native" Server recovery can take up to 2-hours using a "non-cloud" solution (size-dependant), to do a full Server recovery from the cloud can take in excess of 2-days (or longer) - go figure! Although your Data is stored "off-site" and protected in the event of a catastrophic failure, getting it back in a hurry is an oxymoron. Besides, nothing stored in "the cloud" is secure (no matter what your Cloud Salesman is telling you).

Hybrid Backup Solutions
This is your BEST bet.
Implement a robust solution that can restore your entire Server in the quickest possible time (Windows Backup or an Windows Recovery image taken once a week or once a month - the quickest) then restore recent data using your preferred daily mechanism... cloud or not.
Don't just rely on ONE Backup solution - it may just turn to custard.

TEST YOUR BACKUPS ON A REGULAR BASIS!


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