KeepItSafe Online Backup review

Price when reviewed

KeepItSafe Online Backup stands out for two reasons: one, it uses the popular Asigra Agentless Cloud Backup software; and two, it charges only for the amount of compressed storage used. Monthly costs pan out at a reasonable £1 per gigabit, with a minimum monthly fee of £50. See also: how to choose the right cloud backup for your business.

KeepItSafe Online Backup review

KeepItSafe Online Backup  review - DS-User management interface

This simplified pricing structure makes KeepItSafe one of the most versatile backup systems we’ve seen – you can secure as many systems as you like, and keep limitless file versions too. There isn’t a limit on platforms and apps either, since the price includes support for all versions of Windows, Linux and OS X along with Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint, Hyper-V and even VMware.

Installing the software on a Windows 7 host was an easy ten-minute process, where the DS-Client service interfaces with the cloud data centre. All the action takes place in the DS-User console, which provides total control over backup and restore jobs, as well as scheduling and reporting.

KeepItSafe only supports cloud backup, so it’s important to know how much data you’ll be generating. We ran statistical backups on each source system first, which reported back on the amount we’d need.

Vault seeding can be speeded up with an Initial Backup job, which copies and encrypts data to a removable device that’s then couriered to KeepItSafe for import into your vault.

It’s also worth setting up email notifications, vault data-retention rules and schedules from DS-User, since these are referenced in all backup sets. The Backup Set Creation wizard let us browse the network, choose systems and select drives, folders, files, the Registry and system states.

For SQL Server 2014, we opted for Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) backup, which secured all our databases in one swoop. We secured our Hyper-V VMs using the same method, but VMware VMs can be backed up only via the Linux DS-Client.

For Exchange 2013, we could use message-level backups after deploying the DS-Recovery service. Previous experience shows this works fine with Exchange 2007, but for Exchange 2013, there’s some fiddling to be done thanks to its move to MAPI/HTTP. We had to apply the MAPI CDO update, run two Exchange Management Shell commands to set access rights for the backup account, and then add a Registry entry pointing to the Exchange server’s URL. Fear not, however; the process is well documented, and KeepItSafe’s excellent support staff held our hand throughout.

KeepItSafe Online Backup - supports Exchange item-level restores

You can also opt for single-pass backup and recovery during Exchange VSS backups. This allows individual emails to be recovered, with KeepItSafe running the Ontrack data-recovery service on the backup to extract the required data.

For file restoration, we chose the relevant backup set, browsed its contents and selected the version we wanted to recover. Restores for Exchange 2013 and SQL Server 2014 were just as simple to run, and we could choose individual emails and a particular database.

One drawback of KeepItSafe is a lack of bare-metal recovery services. To restore a system from scratch, you must first reinstall the OS and use the latest backup set to pull down the Registry, system state and application data. If you have a large dataset but a small WAN pipe, and recovery speed is of the essence, a request can be made from DS-User for a copy to be put on removable media. KeepItSafe will copy the encrypted data and courier it to you.

Its agentless backup and restore operations make KeepItSafe very simple to deploy, and its extensive platform and app support can’t be beaten. Bare-metal restores would have rounded off the package nicely, but charging only for compressed cloud capacity makes it easy for businesses to control costs.

Operating system supportWindows XP SP2+, Linux, OS X
Storage space50GB and up
Number of computersUnlimited
Buying information
Free versionNo
Price per year£600, 50GB compressed, unlimited desktops and servers

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