Securstore Cloud Backup review
There are plenty of cloud backup options for SMBs, but prices vary hugely and can become expensive if you don’t control what you’re sending to their vaults.
Securstore’s Cloud Backup takes a refreshingly different tack: its prices are based purely on the amount of compressed vault storage.
There aren’t any limits on the number of systems you can back up, and you can keep as many file versions as you want. Another advantage is that the price includes support for Exchange servers, and SQL and Oracle databases as standard.
Optional off-site archiving, or backup lifecycle management, is also on offer. Here, data is moved gradually to lower-cost media and can be retained permanently. Prices for the latter are roughly 50% of the initial outlay for the standard backup features.
Securstore is powered by Asigra’s Cloud Backup software. It comprises three components, but the only two you’ll ever see are the DS-Client and DS-User utilities. Deploying the system is swift: the DS-Client is installed on one Windows system where it loads a SQL Sever 2005 Express instance and runs as a service. This manages all backup and restore jobs, data encryption, schedules and data reduction processes. It’s also agentless, which means you don’t have to install it on every system you want backed up.
We loaded it on a Windows 7 system without any problems, and licensed it with the file supplied when Securstore set up our account. All backup and restoration is configured from the DS-User utility, which links up with the DS-Client service.
With DS-User’s effective interface it’s straightforward to get started with backups, but before you get going it’s worth spending some time setting up email notifications, data retention rules and schedules; data retention rules determine how many generations of file you want to keep and how long files deleted at source should be retained in the vault.
Backup set creation is helped along by a wizard. After browsing the local network, we could select a system and add multiple entries for drives, folders, files, the Registry and system state. SQL databases and Exchange servers can also be selected, but each backup set can include only one system.
With our Exchange server, we found we could also opt for item-level backup after we’d deployed the DS-Recovery service to the host server. This took only a few seconds and we could then browse our storage groups and select users, mailboxes and emails.
Hyper-V VMs can be secured easily using the VSS Backup option. Unfortunately, VMware and XenServer hosts can’t be backed up from the Windows DS-Client, so you’ll need a separate host running the Linux DS-Client for these systems.
The remote vault needs seeding first, and if you have a lot of data, Securstore sends a removable device to create the initial backup. You then have it picked up and transferred by courier, at Securstore’s expense, and on receipt the encrypted data will be imported directly into the vault.
File restoration is a simple process, since you can choose any backup set and view its contents. When selecting files you can ask for the latest generation, or select a time period if you want earlier versions. We had no problems restoring data on our Exchange and SQL servers. For the former, the item-level backup allowed us to browse users’ mailboxes and even pick individual emails to restore.
For faster restore operations the DS-Client can be set to save secondary backups to on-premises media, which could be a local drive or, perhaps, a network share on a NAS appliance. When creating a backup set, the data can be sent either to local storage, this vault or both together.
One thing Cloud Backup doesn’t provide is bare-metal recovery. To restore a complete system the operating system must first be installed and then backups of the Registry, system state and application data applied to get it back to its last working state.
Where this involves large data transfers over the WAN it’s possible to speed up the process by requesting a copy is made to removable media. This is done through the DS-Client restore options and is passed as a customer order to Securstore, which then copies the data to the desired media and sends it back via courier.
Securstore Cloud Backup is ideal for SMBs since its pricing structure means costs can be easily kept under control. It’s also simple to deploy, has good client and application support, and item-level restore is included as standard.
|Software subcategory||Backup software|