Titan Backup 2 Business review

£30
Price when reviewed

There are a number of backup solutions available for the SME, ranging from the simple built-in Windows backup to the all-singing, all-dancing complexity of Symantec’s Backup Exec. Titan Backup sits in between these two extremes, offering a useful range of backup options while keeping things simple.

It doesn’t support backup to tape, but while tape may be the weapon of choice for large installations, they’re not so common among SMEs, so this isn’t a serious omission. It does offer a range of other options, though, which should cover most needs. It can store backups in a directory on the workstation, on a remote system across the LAN, on removable storage or on a remote system via FTP. It can also burn backups to a CD or DVD. Backups can be stored using zip compression or as self-extracting archive files, which can be encrypted and password protected.

Don’t look for the sort of specialised back up features found in high-end products. If you want to back up an SQL database, for example, then you must use its own facilities. However, you can back up the directory containing the database, so you can either dump the database to a file and back it up, or you can simply back up the whole directory. If you have the expertise you can write a plugin to do the job. Titan includes a large number of plugins covering applications ranging from Adobe Dreamweaver to Yahoo settings.

Two backup types are available, replace and stack. Replace mode offers a choice of incremental or differential backup methods, while stack creates time-stamped backup copies of the selected data.

Selecting the data to be backed up is a simple matter of selecting tickboxes from the directory tree, but the software also offers searchable masks, which can select specific file types for backup. When a backup task has a searchable mask, the entire hard disk is scanned for files of the correct type.

Backup jobs can run to a schedule. The scheduler can run jobs at set times – at intervals ranging from an hour to six months. Plus it can run them on particular days of the week, or when Windows starts up or shuts down. It can also arrange to execute a program or script before a task runs or after it finishes.

The server software provides a central management console, which can track and report the state of all the workstations under its control. You can create backup tasks and monitor their progress, update the workstation software and generate a number of reports covering both successful and failed tasks. The workstations’ backups could also be stored on the server, but this isn’t a requirement.

it_photo_31814The workstation version supports Microsoft Windows NT, 2000 Professional, XP and Vista.

The server software is available in PHP source code and can be compiled and installed on any operating system, but Windows users can use the installation kit to install a working Apache web server and an SQL database on any supported Windows system. We installed it on a system with an Intel Pentium 4 system with 1.5 GB of RAM running Windows XP SP2 with no problems, and it happily supported a mix of Windows XP and Vista workstations.

Titan Backup may lack some high-end features, but it’s easy to set up and use and can produce a reliable back up solution for the SME without entangling them in the complexities of tape library management.

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