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Acronis Backup 12.5 Review - Data Protection Software for Physical, Virtualized and Cloud Data

Acronis Backup 12.5 Review

Acronis Backup 12.5 is data protection software for physical, virtualized and cloud data, regardless of size and complexity. Acronis Backup 12.5 comes in two editions: Standard and Advanced. The two editions allow users to pick the features required today and easily upgrade in the future when infrastructure changes.

Acronis Backup 12.5 is designed to meet the data protection needs of everyday business. Small or large, this solution can easily grow and evolve together with the infrastructure that it protects, and despite the impressive feature set, it remains cost effective and easy to manage for one computer or a thousand workloads in different environments.

Based on the Acronis proven hybrid cloud architecture, both editions offer the same level of protection with the Advanced edition adding enterprise functionality such as support for 21 platforms through a unified web interface, admin roles and delegations for distributed infrastructures, bare-metal recovery automation, SAN storage snapshots, Oracle support, advanced tape management, reporting, backup validation, and much more.

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The new solution also introduced a number of innovative features extending the functionality of backup. These include Acronis Active ProtectionTM to detect, block ransomware attacks and instantly restore compromised data, and Acronis NotaryTM to certify data with blockchain in order to validate the authenticity of data in the future.

 

Supported systems:

Instead of using different products for different workloads, users are now able to use Acronis Backup 12.5 to protect and manage multiple systems, through a single web-based interface.

  • Windows Server® 2016
  • Windows Server 2012R2/2012, 2008R2/2008, 2003R2/2003
  • Windows Small Business Server 2011/2008/2003R2/2003
  • Windows Server 2016/2012R2/2012 Essentials and Foundation
  • Windows Storage Server 2012R2/2012, 2008R2/2008, 2003
  • Windows MultiPoint Server 2012/2011/2010
  • Windows® 10, 8/8.1/7/Vista/XP
  • Mac OS X® (macOS®)
  • Linux (various distributions)
  • VMware ESX/ESXiTM (agentless and agent-based VM backup)
  • VMware changed-block tracking (CBT)
  • VMware ESXi Virtual host backup
  • VMware vSphere Hypervisor (free ESXi) support with agent-based backup
  • VMware vSphere VM Replication with WAN optimization
  • Replica Seeding for VMware vSphere VM Replication
  • Hyper-V agentless and agent-based VM backup
  • Hyper-V changed-block tracking (CBT) and resilient-change tracking (RCT)
  • Hyper-V virtual host backup
  • Microsoft Exchange database backup with log truncation
  • Microsoft Exchange mailbox backup
  • Microsoft SQL Server backup with log truncation
  • Microsoft SharePoint backup
  • Microsoft Active Directory backup
  • Microsoft Office 365® mailbox backup
  • Microsoft Azure® VM backup
  • Amazon AWS EC2® instance backup
  • Disk-imaging backup
  • File backup
  • Dynamic disks support
  • GPT disks support
  • iPhone®, iPad®, Android® backup to Acronis Cloud Storage subscription
  • Acronis Disk Director Lite in bootable media
  • Oracle Database backup with log truncation
  • Citrix XenServer
  • Red Hat Virtualization
  • Linux KVM
  • Oracle VM Server
  • NetApp® SAN Storage Snapshots for VMware vSphere Backup
  • Exchange and SQL Server cluster backup

Installation

Acronis Backup 12.5 automatically performs background checks and is installed in three clicks, giving users an option to install both a backup agent and Acronis Backup Management Server, or just an agent.

 

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A few minutes later, the management server becomes accessible on port 9877 locally or via an external IP.

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Since we installed both the management server and the agent, the current server (in our case, a VM) is automatically detected and is ready for a backup configuration.

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The management interface is mobile friendly, giving users extra flexibility.

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Configuring storage location

Acronis hybrid cloud architecture presents great flexibility when selecting storage location for backups. Acronis Backup 12.5 supports the following storage (and allows backup replication between locations): 

  • Local disks - SATA, SCSI, IDE, RAID
  • Networked storage devices - SMB, NFS, iSCSI, FC
  • Removable media - ZIP, Rev, RDX, etc.
  • External HDDs and SSDs - USB 3.0/2.0/1.1and IEEE1394 (Firewire)
  • Acronis Cloud Storage

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Data stored in the Acronis Cloud immediately becomes available for restoration. Full image backups can be restored as virtual machines ("Run as VM"), which can be useful in a disaster recovery situation.

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Backup plan configuration 

Acronis Backup 12.5 allows multiple backup plans for each protected device. Users are able to run daily full image backups and hourly application backups for extra protection.

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Supported applications include Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory, and Oracle Database. Application backup allows users to recover an application without recovering the entire disk.

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Dashboard and reporting

Acronis Backup 12.5 has customizable dashboard and advanced reporting presenting a visual representation of backup status and offering automated status reporting.

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Status reporting can be customized to meet individual user's requirements.

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Ransomware protection

Acronis Backup 12.5 comes with Acronis Active ProtectionTM. This is a built-in technology that automatically blocks illegal ransomware attacks and instantly recovers any ransomware-encrypted data. It is designed to protect data and its back-up copies and potentially reduce Recovery Time & Point Objectives (RPO & RTO) by removing the need to manually restore the affected systems. 

Currently only available for Windows-based system, this functionality has to be enabled manually.

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Acronis Active Protection blocks the attack and the system generates an alert notifying the user of the attack (this alert can also be sent to the system administrator by email).

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Blockchain-based Acronis NotaryTM

Blockchain-based data certification is enabled by setting the Notarization switch to On when backing up individual files and folders. Acronis NotaryTM calculates a SHA-256 hash, or fingerprint, for each file, and stores it in the "Ethereum" blockchain.

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Comparing two fingerprints of the same file enables users to verify the file's authenticity. Such verification can be performed automatically or manually (Acronis provides the instructions).

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Backup recovery

Data recovery is preformed through the web interface. Acronis Backup 12.5 allows users to browse the backup file and restore the full copy or individual files. Users can select where the data is restored, and verify the backup before recovery.

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Conclusion

Acronis Backup 12.5 is a feature rich solution designed to be accessible and easy to use even for people without previous data management experience. Its multiplatform capability and unified management interface dramatically simplifies the management of different environments. Flexible data recovery procedure means that this solution can be used for migrating workloads between different environments.

Active protection against ransomware is a welcome addition, making backups secure and removing the need for manual data recovery post ransomware attacks.

Blockchain-based data certification is easy to set up and use - a great feature for legal, medical, and IP organisations whose business depends on data integrity.

In short, Acronis Backup 12.5 is an easy to use backup and recovery software with powerful features suitable for all types of environments and all sizes of infrastructure.

More information: http://www.acronis.com/en-us/business/backup/ 

Published Tuesday, June 06, 2017 7:01 AM by David Marshall
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