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Six Must Have Features for Enterprise Laptop Backup

Mar 28, 2008
For any enterprise, the definition and amount of "critical data" on laptops and desktops is increasing. This is fueled by increasing security concerns, user mobility and cross-geography office expansions (global expansions / decentralization). While the expectations have increased, the existing backup solutions haven't adapted well with these changes. They still continue to depend upon large computational resources and dedicated and trusted network/media for backups.

In short, the key requirements for an enterprise PC backup should be -
1. Simple, Fast, Scalable
2. Light weight and resource/power friendly
3. Secure and Internet friendly
4. WAN and bandwidth optimized
5. Support for incremental sync for large binary formats like Outlook PST
6. On-demand (remote) restore.

Features Explained -
1. Simple, Fast, Scalable
"Backing up your PC is one of those things, like eating right or changing your oil on time, that everybody knows they're supposed to do, but too few people actually carry off well..." Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal

Today no one has time to schedule and monitor backups. This should be have maximum a client side five minute setup and should monitor/backup automatically and Fast.

2. Light weight and resource/power friendly
Laptops are replacing desktops in most of the enterprises, but the software still hasn't evolved.

Backups should be resource friendly and optimized low power consumption. Also, simple options like - "Don't backup when i am on battery" make a lot of difference.

3. WAN and Bandwidth optimized
Every company has a reasonably good percentage of mobile workforce. And usually this includes the top-tier management (CEO, and likes). With increasing laptop thefts and data risks, backups should be WAN/Internet ready.

The user should be able to choose a bandwidth (something like use 10% of my bandwidth) and the backup solution should just do the job, even over the weakest internet links. This also greatly helps in cross-office backups and backup consolidation efforts.

4. Secure and Internet friendly
Security is very important, specially when you are over WAN/VPN. Most of the backup solutions are Server triggered, making security policies for firewalls and monitoring very diffic ult (every one is afraid, when they see data flowing out of their network).

The backups should be client triggered, so that the server side firewalls just allow and monitor inbound traffic. Also,The solution should be able to securely setup encrypted/authenticated channels to backup. (SSL channels are best, when it comes to WAN/Internet)

5. Support for incremental sync for large binary formats like Outlook PST
With data increasing, and WAN coming into picture it is very important that the backups are incremental in nature and only the changed bits are copied back to the server.

6. On-demand (remote) restore.
Sending an email to admin to get the data back is surely complete NO, specially when the user may be off-site/traveling. The backup software should facilitate a smart (possibly browser) based remote and secure data restore.

So next time you choose a backup software for your personal or enterprise needs, make sure it has evolved to have the above mentioned features.

And remember - backup more, backup often.
About the Author
Jaspreet Singh is product evangelist at Druvaa Software . Druvaa is a startup working on innovative Enterprise disaster recovery and data protection solutions.

http://www.druvaa.com/
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