Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Advanced Server review

Acronis delivers plenty of features with its new server imaging software and adds data deduplication as an option. It’s a highly popular technology but has Acronis got it right?

Backup policies make light work of securing data on multiple servers as you browse the network and add each one along with global definitions of the files, folders, volumes or drives you want copied. A vault location needs to be assigned to the policy and Acronis also offers predefined backup strategies including a GFS rotation system with full and incremental backups.

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Selecting a vault shows plenty of information about the contents of archives and space usage.

Acronis provides file and block level deduplication and can carry this out at both the source and target. The block level deduplication technology is fundamentally the same as that used by the majority of other solutions where the data stream is broken up into 4K chunks and a hash value is computed for each block of data using an algorithm that uniquely identifies it.

Acronis has no published claims about deduplication ratios so we used our standard set of tests to find out what it could do. Using a 4.5GB data set consisting of 600 files, we introduced controlled changes within a percentage of the files during a standard backup strategy consisting of daily incrementals and weekly full backups.

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After backing up 44GB of data from a remote server we found the subsequent indexing task shockingly slow.

After the first full backup was completed, two per cent of the data was modified in 40 per cent of the files prior to each subsequent backup. After a two week simulation we saw Acronis deliver a deduplication ratio of 3.4:1 showing good savings on storage.

We also ran a full backup of a 44GB data volume on a remote Windows server. On completion, the size of the vault and index database was 29.2GB resulting in an initial deduplication ratio of 1.5:1 and a storage saving of about 33 per cent.

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