Iperius Backup Full review: Cheap as chips
Top backup features, extensive platform support and great value makes Iperius a fine choice for SMBs
If you're looking for business-class backup on the smallest possible budget, you won't do much better than Iperius Backup. The completely free version supports all Windows desktop and Server operating systems, while for a very reasonable 222 exc VAT, the Full version (on test here) delivers a heap of extra protection features, including support for VMware, Hyper-V, Exchange and SQL Server, along with just about any storage destination you can think of.
But there are some other costs you'll need to factor in. The package doesn't include cloud storage, so you'll need to sort that out separately - although there are plenty of options, with Dropbox, Google Drive and Cloud Storage, OneDrive, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure and Iperius' own cloud storage all supported.
It's also worth pointing out that Iperius Backup doesn't provide client agents; if you want to back up multiple workstations and servers, you'll need a paid-for installation of the software on each one. That doesn't apply to VMware, Hyper-V, Exchange and SQL hosts, though, as you can remotely access these from the main Iperius console and run a range of backup jobs to your choice of storage. Exchange features are a particular strength, with granular backup and recovery of PST files and image-based backups.
You'll need to pay a little extra for the optional remote web console too - but at 34 per year this is hardly expensive, and it's a worthwhile add-on, allowing you to monitor 20 installations, with statistical views and facilities to remotely run backups or set schedules. It can also be accessed on the move, using Iperius' free iOS and Android apps.
Installing the software on a Windows Server 2019 host took us only a minute, and setting up our first backup job was nicely handled by a wizard, which stepped us through choosing a source, destination and backup strategy, scheduling it and then optionally adding a task to run before and after the backup. In addition to the various cloud services mentioned above, backups can also be written to local storage, network locations such as a NAS, tape drives or FTP/SFTP servers.
It was just as easy to back up Hyper-V VMs; after we entered our host's credentials, the console presented a list of its VMs, from which we configured hot backups with no fuss. Just note that for block-level backups you'll need a copy of the software installed on the host.
VMware VM backups are even easier as nothing extra is required on the host. After providing our VMware ESXi 6.7 host credentials, we could view its VMs and choose from basic VM copies, a full backup partnered by ongoing incrementals, or differential backups using change block tracking (CBT). You can even set up VM replication to another VMware host for instant disaster recovery.
Securing our Exchange 2013 system was more involved, as remote access permissions needed sorting first - but Iperius' excellent online tutorial got us quickly logged in, allowing us to view all mailboxes and export them as individual PSTs. For Office 365 and Exchange Web Services, you can export mailboxes as EML, ICS and VCF files, but you'll need the Iperius software installed on the Exchange host to enable block-level image backups of all mailboxes.
Restoring your data is as easy as selecting a system or app from the console, browsing its backups and choosing what you want to recover. Or, since files and folders for system backups are stored natively, you can simply drag and drop them. With Hyper-V backups, you can browse the contents of VMs and restore individual files; for VMware, Iperius lets you choose a data centre to restore a VM to.
Iperius Backup has matured over the years and grown into a fully-fledged business backup solution. It presents an impressive range of features in a well-designed console and its low price makes it a highly recommended data protection solution for budget-conscious SMEs.
Iperius Backup presents a fine range of features in a well-designed system, and its price makes it ideal for budget-conscious businesses.
The IT Pro guide to Windows 10 migration
Everything you need to know for a successful transitionDownload now
Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape
How key technology partners grow with your organisationDownload now
Software-defined storage for dummies
Control storage costs, eliminate storage bottlenecks and solve storage management challengesDownload now
6 best practices for escaping ransomware
A complete guide to tackling ransomware attacksDownload now