The Real Cost of Free Windows Server Backup
Windows Server Backup may be free to use, but it comes with costs. There’s a lot of free and open source software on the market, but a large number of people still choose to pay $8600 per year to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) on a single server rather than to install the Linux kernel on their own. The support and added features that come with RHEL make it cheaper to use than having IT do the job on its own.
The same applies to the software that vendors bundle with their operating systems. Microsoft includes utilities from defrag tools to a web server to a hypervisor to backup software with Windows Server. There is no additional cost for all these add-ons, but as with Linux, free is not necessarily the least expensive option once one considers labor and functionality. Let’s take a look at how the Windows Server Backup utility compares to Zetta Data Protection:
1. Ease of Deployment of Free Windows Server Backup
Microsoft provides a lot of valuable support data for Windows Server Backup on its TechNet site. Here is a link to a discussion on the differences between backing up Microsoft Exchange 2007 SP2 on a box running Windows Server 2008 STD vs. a box running Windows Server 2008 R2. Here are directions on how to install Windows Server Backup on Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. Here is a description of the changes in functions between Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012.
While it’s great having comprehensive documentation available, the problem here is that it’s necessary to deploy Windows Server Backup since the exact backup functions and configurations vary with each version of Windows Server. For example, with Windows Server 2008, backup was limited to drives with 512 byte sectors and with Windows Server 2012 the sectors can be 4K. On Windows Server 2008, Cluster Shared Volumes (CSVs) were not supported; with 2012, there is limited CSV backup support. There are also changes in how virtual machines are backed up and restored, the size of volumes, and whether one can specify deletion policies, among other features.
The good news is that the Windows Server 2012 backup features are an improvement over 2008.
The bad news is that the backup features, policies and procedures are locked into the operating system the server is running. If you are operating in a mixed OS environment, it means you need to know how to manage the backups on each of the servers individually according to the version of Windows it is running.
Zetta is easy to deploy: Zetta’s enterprise-grade windows server backup can run on any of five different versions of Windows, and be managed though a common interface. Admins don’t need to know the peculiarities of each OS version, but can deploy the software in 15 minutes through an intuitive web-based interface.
See how our enterprise cloud backup solution works.
2. Support for Multi-platform Server Environments for Windows Server Backup
Another shortcoming of Windows Server Backup is that it only backs up Windows Servers, obviously.
Zetta supports 11 different versions of Linux and 2 versions Mac OS (in addition to Windows):Through a common interface, using common protocols, administrators can back up all their servers, desktops and laptops, whether they are at headquarters, a branch office, a home office or on the road.
3. Application Specific Backup
Zetta extends beyond file system backup and includes plug-ins to back up key applications including Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, VMs and system states. There is no additional charge for these specialized backup agents.
4. Automated Cloud Backup, Archiving and Disaster Recovery
Finally, with Windows Server Backup, IT still has the task of maintaining the backup servers or tape drives, establishing an offsite backup service, and moving all the data stores to and from that offsite facility. Zetta’s all-inclusive service includes backing up all the servers to a local server as well as our secure data centers. Admins or end users can quickly restore files or entire drives through a web interface from either the local server or the cloud service.
Windows Server Backup is an adequate tool, if say, you’re running a single server with a single version of Windows. But when you need to back up multiple servers, multiple operating systems or multiple locations – the security and reliability of enterprise-grade cloud based backup versus free windows server backup protects data faster & easier.
Learn more about the most essential rules for reliable backup according to Reddit.