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Acronis Backup 12.5 Review: A Data Protection Dynamo That's Fast, Easy and Complete

Article Written by Doug Hanchett, Acronis 

The reviews are in, and it's official: Acronis Backup 12.5 is sending shockwaves through the world of backup. Its blazing speed, rock-ribbed reliability and unprecedented level of data protection has redefined backup for businesses of all sizes.

Years in the making, Acronis Backup 12.5 is a significant upgrade over prior backup solutions and marks the future of data protection. It also signifies a merger of Acronis' longstanding, highly-regarded business backup solutions:  Acronis Backup 12 is now Acronis Backup 12.5 Standard Edition and Acronis Backup 11.7 Advanced is Acronis Backup 12.5 Advanced Edition.

What's all the hubbub? The consensus from reviewers is that Acronis Backup 12.5 is fast, dependable and easy to use. It offers complete protection that safeguards all data regardless of where it's located - on-premises, in remote systems, in private or public clouds, or on tablets or mobile devices. 

"Acronis Backup 12.5 Advanced is the world's first enterprise-grade data protection solution with a consumer-grade user interface," said Jason Buffington, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "It makes the complex job of data protection easy for any IT administrator or business owner ... and it works equally well with organizations of all sizes."

Underpinned by proven technology that's trusted by more than 5.5 million users across the globe, Acronis Backup 12.5:

  • Installs in three clicks and provides one-click backups.
  • Protects data on 21 platforms with a single touch-friendly, web-based console.
  • Stops ransomware in its tracks with Acronis Active ProtectionTM - the only backup technology that actively fights back against this growing threat. 
  • Delivers the world's fastest backups and 15-second restores.
  • Simplifies backups with customizable dashboards, smart alerts and advanced reports. 

While Acronis Backup 12.5 has over 150 new features - many of them developed based on input from customers - in this article we'll look at the key enhancements for each edition.

Acronis Backup 12.5 Standard Edition

Acronis Backup 12.5 Standard Edition is designed for small- and medium-sized businesses looking for safe, straightforward backup of their vital business data.

Unlike larger companies that have dedicated IT staff to oversee backup and recovery, data protection at smaller outfits often falls to an employee with a limited tech background. So simplicity is key. Smaller companies are often less concerned with the latest bells and whistles than with knowing they can set up their backup software easily and it will reliably protect them in the event of a data loss incident.  

Enter Acronis Backup 12.5. It packages sophisticated, innovative technology with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface that makes data protection a snap. Here is some of the enhanced functionality that comes with the standard edition.

Acronis Active ProtectionTM

Acronis Active Protection is the first backup technology to actively defend against ransomware, detecting and deflecting attacks before they can encrypt data and hold it hostage. It uses sophisticated analysis and artificial intelligence to monitor your system. If it spots any errant behavior or suspicious processes, it stops the activity and blacklists the program responsible for it. And if ransomware does manage to sneak through and start encrypting files, Acronis Active Protection will quickly detect the encryption and halt it - automatically restoring the affected files.  

"Acronis has turned the world upside down," said Eric O'Neill, a cybersecurity expert and former FBI counter-terrorism agent. "Not only have they delivered an innovative protection that any size business can easily use, but also an active protection against ransomware attacks with instant recovery of the affected data. This is a game-changing industry first."

Cool interface with customizable dashboards

The slick new management console gives backup operations a modern look and feel. But Acronis Backup 12.5 is more than just a pretty face. With one quick glance, users get unparalleled visibility into their systems and understand everything that's going on. Best of all, they can easily customize the intuitive dashboard by adding drag-and-drop widgets that contain real-time data, monitoring items like which machines are unprotected, if any backups have failed and which alerts are active.  

Acronis Startup Recovery Manager

This tool helps users quickly restore their Windows PCs from software failures without the need for assistance from IT, saving time and trouble for everyone. Users simply press F11 during boot-up and then use the easy-to-use system recovery interface directly from the PC's hard drive.

All in all, Acronis Backup 12.5 Standard Edition is the perfect fit for small- and medium-sized business that want to protect their data without getting sidetracked from their core business

"The Acronis Backup 12.5 interface is useful to newcomers - very user friendly - while offering a good range of configuration options," said Patrick Savary, systems engineer at Abacus Computers, Inc. "This looks like a great implementation for small businesses that have been burned by ransomware in the past and don't want to be hassled with keeping track of workstation backups - just set it and forget it."

Acronis Backup 12.5 Advanced Edition

Acronis Backup 12.5 Advanced Edition is designed for enterprises and medium-sized business with more sophisticated IT environments. It contains the same groundbreaking features of the standard edition, but also offers robust new tools that allow IT personnel to optimize their infrastructure and backup regimen to suit their company's particular needs.  

Here are some of the more popular features we've added.

Admin roles and delegations

Companies with multiple locations can delegate data protection duties to IT staff in remote offices. Users can still monitor, control and report on the entire organization, but remote administrators take care of their own systems and networks. This makes them faster, more responsive and more agile if anything out of the ordinary crops up.   

Remote and automated bare-metal recovery

Users can now boot a bare-metal system from Acronis Bootable Media and connect to it remotely from the web console. If they need to recover a server in the data center, they simply ask an on-site employee to insert the bootable media, press the power button, get the IP address, and connect to it remotely. That's it. There's no need to waste time traveling to the data center.

SAN storage snapshots

Businesses with VMware virtual machines that use NetApp storage can reduce the load on their ESXi hypervisors by offloading backup snapshots to NetApp SAN. They simply have to configure the connectivity and let Acronis Backup 12.5 do the rest. ESXi no longer needs to track VM changes for the entire period of the backup, but only for few seconds at the start, freeing up ESXi resources for primary production tasks.

Oracle Database backup and granular recovery

This lets users back up the entire Oracle Database server, including the operating system, applications, configurations, and databases, and then restore select databases, tablespaces, or logs. This works on physical and virtualized Oracle Database servers, including the ones hosted in Microsoft Azure and Amazon EC2 clouds.

Advanced reporting

Acronis Backup 12.5 includes a large number of pre-defined reports based on the extensive feedback from existing Acronis customers. In addition, users can include dashboard widgets in their reports, such as adding diagram with just a few clicks. Reports are customizable with filters, sorting, and field selection so users can easily satisfy corporate reporting requirements. Plus they can be scheduled to be sent out on a regular basis via email or saved to a specific folder.

Blockchain verification

Acronis NotaryTM uses blockchain technology to generate a time-stamped "fingerprint" that can be used to verify the immutability, authenticity and integrity of stored data or show a legal chain of custody, such as proving when a document was created.  

"Blockchain technology is gaining acceptance as an indisputable method to certify data and verify its integrity," said Vitalik Buterin, chief scientist and founder of the Ethereum Foundation. "Acronis recognized the need before any other vendor and is ready to offer mature technology just in time when the market is ready."

These are just some of the new features Acronis Backup 12.5 is being lauded for. Learn more about its full breadth of functionality today. Or better yet, try it for yourself for free.

Final Thought

Whether it's a small, home-based business or a global industry goliath, Acronis Backup 12.5 has something for everyone. Its speed and simplicity will appeal to mom-and-pop entities, while its leading edge technology and robust tool set can handle any challenge a big IT department can throw at it. Plus Acronis Backup 12.5 is the only backup solution to actively defend data against the growing menace of ransomware.

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About the Author

Doug Hanchett is the corporate content manager at Acronis. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter, Doug has spent the last 12 years creating killer content for global IT firms.
Published Friday, June 30, 2017 9:03 AM by David Marshall
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