Data protection is a ubiquitous need that cuts across all size organizations and has resulted in dozens of products with specific features to address these needs. In fact, one can easily wonder why any vendor even thinks it stands a chance to compete by coming to market with new backup software. But still they do and part of the reason is that backup problems still persist; so much so that backup redesign has topped the list among end-users for three (3) years running as they struggle to meet new backup requirements. No where is this need for a better backup option more acute than in small organizations which is creating new opportunities for emerging data protection vendors like ROBOBAK.
The ROBOBAK data protection suite resembles other traditional enterprise-class backup software products as it ships with the types of enterprise features that small businesses are coming to want and expect. For instance, ROBOBAK offers:
- Thin Backup. This backup option does a full backup of a server’s data on the first backup and then backs up daily changes forever. Known also as “incrementals forever” in some enterprise backup products, Thin Backup has the same net effect. It contributes to dramatically shortening backup times and reducing the amount of backup traffic that is sent over corporate networks.
- Heterogeneous operating system support. It is safe to say that most small organizations run the majority of their applications on Linux and Windows operating system. However, small shops always have a least a few UNIX servers lurking in the shadows that require backup and recovery so ROBOBAK must – and does – meet this small business prerequisite.
- Integrates with Microsoft Exchange. Exchange is mission critical in many small organizations today which makes Exchange data protection critical for any new backup software to merit consideration. ROBOBAK smartly chose to integrate with and support MS Exchange and, in its latest v9 release, it even provides a new Thin Backup Option for Exchange (TBO-E) that further expedites Exchange backups and recoveries.
While ROBOBAK has numerous other features that are representative of enterprise backup products, I only list the aforementioned ones to give prospective customers a sense that the ROBOBAK data protection suite is a competitive offering for small organizations as well as large.
But to justify making a switch from known backup software to a relatively unknown suite such as one from ROBOBAK requires it to provide features that make it both compelling and justifiable to switch. Based upon an initial evaluation of ROBOBAK’s data protection suite, there are three features that stand out in my mind that should pique the interest of small organizations evaluating this product and provide the needed motivation to make such a change.
- Agentless deployment. “Agentless” means that an organization does not need to spend time deploying backup software on each server (physical or virtual) in their organization. Instead, all an organization has to do is introduce ROBOBAK’s software into its environment and it will discover the servers installed there. The discovery occurs quickly, eliminates the time normally required to install and maintain the agents that traditional backup software requires and facilitates these size organizations quickly and easily configuring ROBOBAK to protect their environment.
- Reporting features. I received a phone call just the other day from a consultant in North Carolina who was trying to help one of his clients get a handle on what they have in their environment. They were trying to make some decisions about how to best protect and recovery their data without spending gobs of money and time doing so. ROBOBAK can help in this scenario. Using its Smart Crawl Technology in conjunction with its agentless technology, ROBOBAK can auto-discover files across corporate computers and provides results in seconds – not days or weeks. Using these reports, organizations can assess how much data they have and will be required from a cost and infrastructure perspective to appropriately protect their environment.
- It deduplicates and replicates. Small organizations may be small in terms of people but their data growth rates and offsite recovery requirements are just as great as larger companies. In response to these needs, ROBOBAK backs up data to disk and then deduplicates it to keep data stores minimal. Once deduplicated, it includes replication so these organizations can copy their deduplicated data offsite, often using existing WAN connections.
Small organizations need to redesign their backup infrastructures just like large organizations but they must do so with a fraction of the time, expertise, staff and resources that large organizations may have at their disposal. This is where ROBOBAK stands a reasonable chance at succeeding as it fills this gap that exists in these size organizations.
While ROBOBAK may not yet be as well-recognized or known and its product suite still lacks some needed application support (its lack of support for Microsoft SharePoint is noticeably absent), its data protection suite delivers the features that small and mid-size organizations need now which gives ROBOBAK a fighting chance in a saturated market segment but one that is a ripe for change.