IASO Online Backup
IASO Online Backup aims to solve the inevitable problem of slow recovery via the cloud by augmenting this backup with on-site cover. This is where its Local Speed Vault (LSV) feature comes into play, allowing you to define local or network locations as extra backup vaults for selected systems.
Unlike the other offerings here, you don’t deal directly with IASO. Instead, a managed service provider (MSP) guides you through the process: once you’ve discussed the requirements, the MSP creates a personal account from the IASO Cloud Management Console (CMC) and adds you as a customer. You won’t see this part, since the full CMC is used by MSPs to manage their customer accounts. See also: how to choose the right cloud backup for your business.
Systems are added to your account as devices, with a unique Backup Manager package created for each one; a download link, password and PIN are then emailed to you. The install took us 15 minutes per system, during which we could choose either AES-128, AES-256 or Blowfish 448 encryption, add an email for reporting, set a default daily schedule, and get a personal key (so don’t lose it).
There’s no live detailed reporting; the emphasis here is on simplicity. There’s some basic device monitoring, and the MSP can remotely load the Backup Manager for specific systems. But for greater insight, you must turn to Backup Manager’s emailed reports.
The upside is ease of use. You can select local drives, folders, files and “system state”, and we had our first backups running within minutes. We could also add network shares, our Exchange Server 2013 information store and SQL Server 2014 databases.
You can optionally put an initial backup on encrypted, removable media and send it to the MSP for vault seeding. Subsequent incrementals proved to be slow: on our SQL Server 2014 host, it took more than 30 minutes to scan and back up.
You configure LSV within the Backup Manager, and we chose a network share on the lab’s NAS appliance for local backup. This runs in tandem with the cloud backup job, though, so don’t expect fast LAN speeds. We boosted the process by disabling internet access to force the Backup Manager to send data to our on-site vault only, but the best we saw over Gigabit was a painfully slow 5MB/sec.
Even so, we do very much recommend using LSV as a fail-safe: despite its seven global data centres, IASO doesn’t replicate between them. This means that if access to your chosen data centre is interrupted, restore services will also be unavailable.
For data restoration, Backup Manager provides a tidy tree structure of all backed-up data and apps. Virtual Drive is handy: you can restore files directly via drag and drop from a mapped drive in Windows Explorer.
We also appreciate the excellent Virtual Disaster Recovery (VDR) tool, which we used to create a new Hyper-V VM from our SQL Server2014 backup. After we’d provided the device name, password and encryption key, it created a new VM from the local NAS vault over Gigabit in a cracking 32 minutes. Restoring from the cloud would have taken more than a day.
Restore operations at the Exchange-item level are a little more tedious: we had to create a recovery data store, mount the database using Virtual Drive, then select a mailbox to restore. Bare-metal restore using USB boot media is also available, but it doesn’t currently support recovery to dissimilar hardware.
Installation for many systems will be lengthy, but IASO’s Online Backup provides a fine range of cloud backup and recovery tools – and at a good price. Performance isn’t its strength, but businesses that want their data protection looked after by an MSP should take a closer look.
|IASO Online Backup specifications|
|Operating system support||Windows XP+, Linux, OS X|
|Number of computers||Unlimited|
|Free version||30-day trial|
|Price per year||Depends on data stored|