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Managed Remote Backup Services – An Introduction
Managed remote backup services contain two essential terms: managed and remote backup. Remote backup is often an online storage service that allows you to back up your data to a remote server via Internet or FTP protocol. All of these sites charge a low fee per GB. Most of them offer free storage up to two GB. You need to register at their website and opt for one of their plans. After registration and confirmation, you download their software so that you can backup. As such, most of them offer you their own proprietary "Software as a Service" (SAAS) that work on HTTP protocol mostly. These software help you create backup sets and upload data. They also help you restore the backup.
However, some remote backup services allow enterprise network backup, meaning huge and continuous backups. As HTTP protocol is slow for uploading files, these remote backup service providers allow you to use FTP protocol for faster upload. They too have their own SAAS so that you can keep a track of your backups.
Coming to managed remote backup services, they are same as the above with some additional facilities. Unmanaged remote backup services can be Windows Live SkyDrive, Google Docs, and Office Live Workspaces. In case of unmanaged remote backup service, you manually upload files at regular intervals. You can use SAAS for managed remote backup services. SkyDrive, Google Docs, and Office Live Workspace do not offer SAAS. Managed remote backup services combined with their SAAS software help you automate the backup tasks: help you create one or more backup sets, compress the sets, upload the backups at scheduled time (or as soon as you make any change to the backup set); and helps you restore the backup at your will.
In short, managed remote backup services help you save time by automating backup process. You can be sure that you have the latest copy even if you forget to backup - as their software (SAAS) takes care of backups.
The following section reviews two highly used managed remote backup services.
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Top Managed Remote Backup Services - Single Computer and Small Networks
Mozy - One of the top managed remote backup services, Mozy has several clients who use it to back up a single computer or tiny networks. Mozy offers you a highly integrated SAAS that you can set to continuous mode. The continuous mode uploads a file as soon as you make any changes in it (if it is marked in any of your backup sets). This way, the managed remote backup service makes sure that you have the most current backup available. The SAAS employs HTTP protocol and is hence slow. Still, I highly recommend it for single computers. The best part is that Mozy also offers you 2GB of free backup. If your backup needs are more, you can purchase additional storage at relatively low costs as compared to other remote backup services.
The downside of Mozy is that it does not replace/save files while restoring to the respective folders. It asks you the destination and copies all files from the selected backup set to that folder. Thereafter, you manually replace the files. You may consider this as an added protection so that you do not accidentally replace the files that you do not wish to change. In other words, you can replace only those files that you wish without having to replace the entire backup.
IDrive – IDrive too works on the HTTP protocol. As with Mozy, this managed remote backup service too offers you 2GB of free backup space. For any additional space, you have to pay few dollars. IDrive also has its own proprietary software that helps you: create data backup sets; upload them; schedule upload time; and restore the data to a destination folder. As with Mozy, IDrive too offers the continuous backup option.
Coming to the drawbacks, IDrive consumes more memory when compared to Mozy. I would recommend IDrive for small networks of 3-5 computers as the SAAS compresses data before uploading it – making the process slightly faster than Mozy.
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Top Managed Remote Backup Services - Business Networks
SYMFORM – A relatively new entrant in the marketing of managed remote backup services, Symform does not back up your data to a single remote server. Instead, it encrypts the data and saves it on the several PCs on different networks spread all over the planet.
In other words, the company asks all registrants to spare some percent of space on each PC in their networks. It then pools all these PCs to get plenty of space for storing encrypted and compressed data that can be read only by the Symform software. You never know at which organization or where on the Earth your data is stored. Similarly, the participants do not know what is stored on their PCs.
Any illegal attempt to access the reserved space is termed breach of condition and the person or company involved may lose its registration as well as its backup.
The best part is that you get unlimited storage for just USD15 per month. The accompanying SAAS supports FTP, helps you create backup data sets, schedule the backups, encrypt and compress the data, and route it to one or more networks for storage. While restoring, the SAAS helps in figuring out the networks and PCs where your backup set is stored, retrieves it, passes it to your computer, and finally removes the compression and encryption to offer you usable data.
EXAVAULT – You might have heard of ExaVault, one of the pioneers in managed remote backup services. ExaVault offers plans as low as USD 4.95 per month. The remote backup service provider claims to offer you unlimited bandwidth and concurrent logins so that you can use the backup system for collaboration purposes, too. It also offers you the facility to create as many sub-user accounts as you wish. With all these facilities, ExaVault serves as a good option for enterprise strength network backup.
The best thing about ExaVault is that they offer a 31-day remorse period. This means if you are not satisfied with their service, you can cancel the registration and get a refund.
DriveHQ – DriveHQ offers you several options other than just remote backup services. You can use the extra space for web hosting or as an email server. You can also use DriveHQ's multiple, concurrent login facility for collaborations. Its own proprietary software supports both “drag and drop" as well as a “navigation" system. Due to the high speed uploads and downloads and the drag and drop facility, DriveHQ stands among the top used remote backup services. Another reason for DriveHQ's popularity is its plans are relatively cheaper than other managed remote backup services in the market.
These are just five remote backup services. There are plenty of other service providers offering both unmanaged and managed remote backup services. However, as cloud storage is still under question owing to privacy issues, not all business houses use them. On the other hand, the most beneficial aspect of managed remote backup services is that you can access/retrieve most current data from any place on the planet.
Remote Backup Services - Top Managed Service Offerings
This series aims to review top computer safety and software for enhancing computer performance. It covers top 10 firewall, offers you a list of top computer backup programs while discussing top remote backup services. It also reviews software for enhancing computer performance.