A closer look at GFI Backup 2010 Business Edition

Through GFI Backup’s central web-based administration console, administrators can configure and implement company-wide backup policies in a single task. Additionally, through the product’s agent component, users can create their own personal backup and restore tasks, over and above the centrally-created default backups.

GFI Backup uses standard Zip archives, which allows administrators to recover data from backups even if the GFI Backup solution is not installed. It also enables users to automatically synchronize their files and folders across their desktop workstations, laptops, servers, and external drives.

The installation process is simple – the IP address of the machine is detected automatically, HTTP and HTTPS ports are set by default. If a firewall blocks the communication ports, you will be notified and asked to allow the server to communicate with the selected networks:

Upon installation, you access the Administration Console through a browser. Before you can use it, you need to configure it by entering login details and by selecting access data methods:

First glimpse at the Administration Console:

To execute a backup task, we have to configure it first by choosing which type of backup it will be (files and folders of SQL servers), selecting the backup media (local/external HDD or LAN/FTP location, CD/DVD or tape), naming the backup task, specify the computers and users to which this backup will apply, specify the source files and items to be stored, and specify the destination of the backup:

Among other things you need to specify are compression settings (Zip compression or no compression), encryption settings (Zip password protection, AES encryption or no encryption) and backup type (incremental, differential or always full backup). Then, specify a schedule for the backup process and define pre and post actions (error, warning, completion notifications, and actions to trigger before and after backing up).

All that remains now is to execute the backup. If you have chosen to receive a completion notification, you will be faced with a similar summary (and you can access the log file via the bottom link):

To restore a backup, choose the “Restore” option from the Administration Console, then select the type of process you need (full backup or item-level restore) and which backup session to restore. When the task is finished, you might be faced with a warning notification:

Luckily for you, you are offered a link to a help page that specifies all the possible reasons why errors and failures during the restoring process can happen – it’s often just a matter of misconfiguration.

From the Administration Console you can also authorize, unauthorize and review GFI Backup agents:

The Settings menu let’s you modify general and task settings, email and update settings, central location details and user permissions:

To manage the backup of multiple computers in a single network, every computer must have the GFI Backup Agent component installed:

With it, not only can administrators manage company-wide backup, but every single user can also organize the backup of files that matter to him.

The backup process follows practically the same steps as when executed through the Administration Console: define the source and the destination, choose compression and encryption settings and backup type, schedule the event and define pre and post actions. The restoring process is also the same.

The Sync option enables the synchronization of files and folders between two computers or devices. The user must define both locations, then choose the method for comparing the two locations and the method of settling issues that might arise:

The scheduling of the task and the choice of actions remains the same as in the previous processes.

User-friendly and very customizable, GFI Backup Business Edition is a good office backup management solution. You can use it to back up to all kinds of storage devices or choose to deploy offsite backup storage.

It is very easy to configure and maintain, and the fact that the backup items are compressed into zip archives makes them easy to restore even if you don’t have a GFI Backup agent installed on the computer.

You can download a trial version here.

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