Online backup used to be the province for individuals and small businesses, but it has graded up to the stratosphere of enterprise backup, where it is more often graced with the term cloud backup. Whatever you call it, whether online, SaaS or cloud backup, here are six good ones. They range from small scale to enterprise class and everything in between.
I've used Mozy for years. It's inexpensive ($5.99 a month), effective and easy. I just restored a file from a few months ago -- it took me a minute to find it and a few seconds for it to appear on my laptop. There is just no complexity to it at all. I set it up to run each morning, and I don't have to pay any attention to it. It comes in a couple of flavors, Mozy Home and Mozy Pro. Those who are backing up more than a couple of desktops or laptops need the professional version.
Carbonite competes with Mozy and is similarly priced for home users. Its plans for businesses start at $229 per year and provide a way to back up all machines at one flat price via various plans based on overall storage needs, not per user or per device (e.g., 15 computers and 500 GB costs $599).
3. Jungle Disk
Jungle Disk is a step up from Mozy or Carbonite. It provides disaster recovery, data sharing, syncing of data across multiple devices and access via a web browser. The cost is $4 per month per user with the first 10 GB free per user. Jungle Disk Workgroup Edition is aimed at teams of two to 100 and provides the gateway into cloud storage from Rackspace or Amazon. Each of these providers has a slightly different fee structure, so the selection depends on the amount of storage, access frequency and amount of data transfer.
Storage analyst Greg Schulz uses Jungle Disk with both Rackspace and Amazon S3. The latter gets used for very static items, such as some archives, with the rest in Rackspace.
"I like Jungle Disk because of its flexibility and ease of integration for desktop and servers as well as being easily able to backup NAS file servers," said Schulz. "Also being able to access and manage both my Rackspace and Amazon S3 via one management interface tool is great."
4. Symantec Backup Exec 2012
Symantec has just done a makeover of its long-successful Backup Exec product. Mike Karp, a storage analyst at PtakNoel & Associates, has been using it for the past month.
"Backup exec has grown quite a bit since I first started using it in the 1980s," said Karp. "The cloud-based offering maintains Backup Exec's easily understood user interface, so that it's just a few clicks and you're off to the [races] gives you both point-in-time and the traditional mix of full and incremental backups."
He added that it comes with Endpoint Protection.cloud, a hosted security system that works in the background, automatically updating itself, quarantining viruses and spyware, and fending off uninvited visitors. It handles servers and endpoints, and allows both small business owners and midsize enterprises to manage a variety of backup and recovery and security services from a single console.
Zetta DataProtect 3.0 integrates cloud offsite backup, data archiving and disaster recovery in a single-managed service that can be deployed in a few minutes. The latest version expands data type support to include SQL, Windows system state, Microsoft Exchange, unstructured data and VM ware. It also now supports Mac in addition to Windows and Linux servers and laptops. The company claims system performance has been increased 10x via the addition of a metadata cache and network data compression.
This one fits nicely in the cloud backup category, as the service uses the cloud to store customer files. That makes it easy to scale
"Small and midsize enterprises need to have their IT resources dedicated to initiatives that support business success rather than on the tedious task of making sure their data is backed up and protected," said Gary Sevounts, Zetta's vice president of marketing. "Zetta DataProtect enables them to do just that, removing the management complexity, risk and expense of traditional backup and disaster recovery with the assurance that their data is protected -- always and immediately available when needed."
Asigra Cloud Backup can be used on-premise or as a service to provide replication or DR protection. It packs in features such as agentless backup, high-grade security, deduplication and continuous data protection (CDP). It can be deployed as a public, private or hybrid cloud solution with both local and remote recovery.
"Agentless, device agnostic solutions provide end-to-end (mobile devices, desktops, servers, data centers, etc.) data recovery for enterprises of all sizes, including SMEs," said Eran Farajun, executive vice president, Asigra. "This avoids issues with interoperability and cross-platform environments that would otherwise require multiple solutions to deploy and manage."
Drew Robb is a Los Angeles based freelancer specializing in all aspects of technology, engineering and renewable energy. Born and raised in Scotland, he received a degree in Geology/Geography from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.