According to Statista, Windows and Windows Server still leads the market with an operating system market share of 65%. This implies that 65% of companies use Windows for end-user systems, and their backend infrastructure is powered by Windows Servers.
Windows Servers run various workloads to power their business, and when they are not functioning or are offline, business operations suffer. This has a negative impact on the company’s reputation, customer satisfaction, and finances.
In order to keep the business up and running, you need to implement a backup solution. But not just any solution — you need one with advanced backup features that is cost-effective.
Well, I am happy to have you here. Please allow me to show you what I use in my home lab for backing up Windows Server workloads.
I use BDRSuite — a cost-effective and one of the best solutions for backing up Windows Servers in small and medium-sized businesses.
What is Windows Server Image Backup?
BDRSuite’s Windows Image Backup is a feature that allows you to back up your entire disk and restore it in case of a workload failure. When you back up your machine, it copies everything from the operating system and settings to applications.
Practically speaking, if you have a Windows Server running AD DS and it fails, you can restore the entire VM using Windows Server Backup.
How much does it cost?
When you compare BDRSuite with other solutions, you can say it is cost-effective. You can back up up to 10 Windows Servers for FREE without any feature limitations.
Backing up Windows client machines (Windows 10, Windows 11, or other versions) costs 0.45 USD per machine, while it costs 1.8 USD per Windows Server. This is on a monthly basis.
Key Features of Windows Backup Software from BDRSuite
There are six key features you can benefit from if you use BDRSuite, including disk image, application-aware backups, flexible retention policies, automated verification of backups, flexible storage options, and Near Continuous Data Protection.
BDRSuite provides backup solutions based on system images for both physical Windows Servers and Endpoints.
It offers the flexibility to back up the entire Windows machine or specific disks/volumes, supporting both Basic and Dynamic disks. Additionally, it accommodates backup for larger disks, exceeding 2 TB in size. The advanced filter option allows the exclusion of system files, such as pagefil.sys and hiber.sys, during the backup process.
Today’s businesses rely on services and data that are built upon business-critical applications, requiring data protection solutions that can seamlessly interact with these applications for reliable backups.
BDRSuite utilizes Microsoft VSS technology to generate consistent application backups, providing support for Windows Servers running key Microsoft applications such as Exchange, SQL, SharePoint, and Active Directory. The solution also includes automatic Transaction Log Truncation, optimizing storage space by managing transaction logs efficiently.
Flexible Retention Policies
Retention enables organizations to manage the number of recovery points retained over a specific timeframe by removing older recovery points from a backup job.
Both Basic and GFS Retention Policies in BDRSuite facilitate the retention of multiple recovery points, spanning from days to years. Businesses can customize the retention policy based on SLAs, selecting the desired number of versions to be retained.
Automated Verification of Backups
Verifying backups stands out as a critical step in the context of disaster recovery, and BDRSuite offers an automated process to guarantee data integrity.
The 3-tier backup verification involves Boot test, Mount test, and Data Integrity test, ensuring a comprehensive assessment. BDRSuite automatically initiates the booting and integrity testing of backed-up Windows Servers/Workstations. Moreover, a screenshot of the booted machine is captured and sent to the administrator via email for further verification.
Flexible Storage Options
BDRSuite caters to diverse storage media to meet your data protection requirements. Providing choices like local storage and cloud storage, BDRSuite ensures flexibility in selecting optimal backup targets.
Effortlessly back up your data to various storage media, encompassing local drives, NAS (NFS and CIFS), SAN (iSCSI and FC), and cloud storage options like S3, Azure Blob, Google Cloud, and S3-compatible storage such as Wasabi and MinIO. This versatility allows you to scale your storage repositories in alignment with evolving storage needs, enabling the expansion of your backup infrastructure without constraints.
Near Continuous Data Protection (CDP)
BDRSuite provides an RPO of every 15 minutes for Windows Servers and Windows desktops/laptops, ensuring near-continuous data protection.
Utilizing an incremental Windows backup approach, BDRSuite employs its proprietary Changed Block Tracking driver to facilitate faster backups and minimize data transfer. Users have the flexibility to run backups on an Hourly, Daily, or Weekly basis. Additionally, the configuration options allow for additional full backups on a Daily, Weekly, or Monthly schedule. Furthermore, users can set up synthetic full backups on a Weekly or Monthly basis for enhanced data protection.
Multiple Recovery options for Windows Image Backups
BDRSuite supports multiple recovery options, including bare-metal recovery, instant recovery, file-level recovery, and Microsoft application recovery.
The Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) feature enables the complete recovery of physical Windows Servers, Desktops, and Laptops from scratch.
The BMR process reinstates the system to its previous state, as it existed before the disaster or system crash occurred. Users can execute the Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) using the BDRSuite Recovery CD. Furthermore, Bare Metal Recovery not only recovers the primary system but also restores the supporting environment, including operating systems and applications, facilitating the comprehensive rebuilding of the system.
BDRSuite enables the immediate booting of the entire physical machine as a virtual machine on VMware/Hyper-V/KVM hypervisors.
Achieve a remarkable RTO of less than 15 minutes, ensuring seamless business continuity. BDRSuite also supports Physical to Virtual platform migration (P2V), offering versatility in your recovery options.
Additionally, users can swiftly mount the disks of the backed-up Windows machine virtually on the local server, all within a matter of seconds, utilizing the Disk Mount recovery option.
BDRSuite allows for the quick and easy recovery of files and folders directly from the backup, bypassing the need to restore the entire Windows machine. This is achieved through granular recovery from an image-based backup.
Users have the flexibility to restore files/folders to either the same or a different location, while also retaining the original file permissions during the restoration process.
Recovery of Microsoft Applications
BDRSuite supports the recovery of individual application objects from Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint, and Active Directory within the backup data. Users can select any restore point, enabling the quick recovery of specific items within minutes. This functionality is applicable to Microsoft Exchange, SQL, SharePoint, and Active Directory.
The software allows users to mount the backup data, browse through it, and restore application items directly from the Windows disk image backup. Specific application items from backups of Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL Server, and Active Directory Server can be restored, regardless of whether they are running on a physical or virtual Windows platform.
Robust Data Security & Management options for Windows Backup
Higher Grade Backup Encryption
BDRSuite enhances data security through robust encryption, employing industry-standard AES-256 bit algorithms for both in-flight and at-rest protection. Users can further fortify backup data with an additional layer of authentication using customized or system-generated passwords.
Software Defined Backup Storage
The software introduces a software-defined approach to backup storage, allowing the creation of logical storage pools by grouping multiple volumes. This ensures efficient utilization of all provisioned storage for backups, incorporating built-in compression and deduplication for optimal storage efficiency.
Build Virtual Lab Environments
By enabling the direct booting of backed-up Physical Windows Machines as VMs, BDRSuite facilitates the construction of virtual lab environments. This capability empowers businesses to swiftly provision DEV/STG/Test environments, enhancing agility and flexibility.
Optimized Backup with Where-it-left-off
The backup process is optimized with a “Where-it-left-off” feature, ensuring efficiency in image-based backups even in the presence of network failures or interruptions. When a backup restarts after an interruption, it seamlessly resumes from where it left off during the previous schedule, significantly improving performance, especially in WANs with frequent network failures.
Multi-host Backup Support
BDRSuite supports multi-host backup configurations, enabling the grouping of backups for multiple hosts within a single job. This flexibility allows for parallel execution of backup tasks for different hosts, thereby enhancing overall backup performance.
Parallel Disk Processing
Additionally, the software introduces parallel disk processing, allowing simultaneous backup of multiple disks within a single host during scheduled backups. Users have the ability to customize the number of backup jobs and disks within a single backup job that can run concurrently, providing further optimization for backup performance.
DR support for Microsoft Windows Backup
Offsite Copy & Backup Copy for Windows Backup
BDRSuite offers the capability to establish additional layers of data protection by utilizing features like backup copy and offsite copy, specifically designed for disaster recovery purposes. Users can replicate backup data to an offsite location, such as a remote office or branch office data center, ensuring extended data protection crucial for disaster recovery strategies.
The software incorporates bandwidth throttling capabilities, enabling users to regulate network traffic during work hours to prevent adverse impacts on essential tasks. Additionally, BDRSuite facilitates the efficient transfer of large amounts of backup data to offsite locations, optimizing bandwidth usage and expediting the initial transfer of substantial data sets.
Windows Cloud Backup
Unlock the potential of the cloud by duplicating essential business data from Windows machines, facilitating access from virtually any location.
BDRSuite provides the capability to replicate a copy of the backed-up Windows machine to DRCloud using the Cloud Disaster Recovery (DR) option. Additionally, with the Offsite DR Server, users can replicate backup copies to their preferred cloud storage solutions, including S3, Azure Blob, Google Cloud, as well as S3-compatible storage options such as Wasabi and MinIO.
This cloud integration empowers users to granularly restore backup data from any location at any time, offering flexibility and accessibility to critical information whenever needed.
Archive Windows Backup to Tape
BDRSuite provides seamless support for native tape backups, specifically designed for Windows Image backups. This feature enables the efficient and cost-effective long-term archival of critical data.
Users can effortlessly archive Windows backups to tape drives, ensuring a reliable and accessible storage solution for extended periods. When needed, data restoration from tape becomes a straightforward process, contributing to a robust backup and recovery strategy.
This native tape backup support aligns with the best practice of the 3-2-1 backup strategy, offering an additional layer of protection by maintaining multiple copies of data, both onsite and offsite, including a copy on tape for enhanced durability and compliance.
Secure your business data with our cost-effective solution. Get started today!