eWEEK Labs strongly recommends that IT managers closely examine their current environment and size up their goals before shopping for a backup solution. A site survey can provide this information. Following are some questions to ask as you begin developing an RFP for backup solutions.
* Does your solution support backup to disks? • If so, which targets can you write to? (NAS, file share, iSCSI array and so on)
• How is data compressed onto disk?
* Does the product offer bare-metal restore capabilities? • For which platforms? • Does it have bare-metal restore for client systems?
• Are there additional licensing fees?
* Does the solution provide end-user file restore? • If so, how do users access the backup utility? (through a Web interface or through an add-on application)
* Does the product offer client backup? • Can it back up remote clients using an Internet connection?
• Does it have a push install mechanism to place agents on client machines?
• Can its management tools locate at-risk systems and enforce mandatory backups?
MANAGEMENT APPLICATION INTEGRATION
* Is your backup platform compatible with anti-virus software? • If so, which products?
• Does the platform integrate with SRM (supplier relationship management)? Which packages?
• Does it integrate with security applications?
* Which e-mail platforms does the product back up? • Does it have message-level restore capabilities?
• Is WORM management built into the product?
* Which databases does your offering support? • Can it back up live databases?
• Does it have the ability to quiesce a database before creating a backup?
* Is tiered backup supported? • Does your offering support D2D2T backups?
• Does it automate the data migration process (moving old data on disk to tape)?
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