Acronis Backup Review

A stable and scalable backup solution with superior image restoring capabilities

What is our primary use case?

I use the product to protect key servers and workstations. We run mission critical servers where downtime cannot be afforded. Acronis is the only solution I trust to get us back up and running after a major catastrophe.

How has it helped my organization?

It has saved us from certain financial ruin after important servers containing financial data were stolen during a robbery. We were able to restore backups to new hardware and carry on with business as usual.

What is most valuable?

Incremental image backups are the most valuable part of the software. Using this feature we are able to restore to any previous backup. It is more than file backup, it backs up the entire disk, containig operating system, software and data. By restoring an image to a new hard drive, we can run the restore and reboot, and immediately be back in business.

What needs improvement?

Over the years they seem to have changed the interface to be more of a graphical interface and they have omitted the ability to use the interface using a keyboard only. When you are in a data center environment and you don't have a mouse with you, or for some reason the mouse is not working and you need to restore, it is extremely difficult/impossible. 

If you don't have a mouse, there seems to be no way to move between the icons. In the old days it was compulsory to design software interfaces that were compatible with both the keyboard and mouse. You could press 'Alt-R' for restore and 'Alt-B' for backup, or something like that. Those functions have been removed from the product and it's very frustrating.

Another one feature I would like to see added is an agent to back up MySQL databases as well. They've got an agent to back up Microsoft SQL, but there is not an agent to back up MySQL databases.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Acronis Backup for more than 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Acronis Backup is very stable. I'm using it for critical servers and workstations — it runs really well.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very easy to add more machines. You can install as many as your license allows.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would say they're very supportive and really helpful. The guy even came up to our site to help and gave us some assistance and training as well. I can't complain about that at all.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I switched 20 years ago, so whatever I used before Acronis would not be not relevant now.

How was the initial setup?

The TrueImage versions are super easy to install. The initial setup is really easy if you know what you're doing. You just have to download it from the web, run it, and install it. It's very straightforward, there's nothing really difficult about it. The only little technical bit comes with the Cyber Cloud versions where you now have to install a Cyber Cloud console, and then you have to create a backup job and you have to assign the backup job to a computer. For an average person, that would be slightly tricky to do, whereas a reseller or a service provider could easily do that.

Deployment on one machine only takes a few minutes. You literally select the product you're going to install from the cyber console, download the agent, install the agent on the computer, create the backup job, and then link the backup job to the agent. It probably takes about 10 minutes to set up the whole thing.

What about the implementation team?

We do all installations ourselves, but I had to get support from Acronis initially to get up to speed on all the features. They are really professional and gave all assistance where required.

What was our ROI?

Massive peace of mind and the certain knowledge that we can recover from any disaster goes way beyond the cost of the product.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The installation fees are very reasonable and the monthly/annual licensing fees are minimal for the features you get.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at VeeAm, Backup Exec, Solarwinds and Redstor. Veeam requires the installation of SQL even on workstations. In my experience this impacted overall performance of workstations. Backup Exec I found frustrating to administer and Solarwinds, although fantastic for File Backups and Office365, is not ideal for image backups. The bare metal restore (BMR) for Solarwinds is extremely basic and only restores to the first available SATA drive it finds. I accidentally overwrote important data using Solarwinds BMR since it does not warn you or give you an option to choose a destination drive for the restore. And after the BMR the machine did not want to boot, meaning I could not rely on the solution in times of crisis. Redstor is a great product and works well, but it is complicated to get to know and even after a course on it, I still felt a bit lost. Plus it was really expensive compared to Acronis.

What other advice do I have?

Acronis now includes a feature called Cyber Protect, which performs anti-malware scanning and protects everything on your system. It can also check for Microsoft patches and helps you to stay updated and protected. It has a very accurate disk health monitor that could warn you of imminent drive failure. It also protects the integrity of your online backups against ransomware. From start to finish, not only does it protect your hard drive, it protects the integrity of the backups as well.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give this solution a rating of eight. You might require assistance to create backup plans and to link them to backup agents, and also for the fact that it doesn't have the ability work without a mouse. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: After many years of using the product to provide disaster recovery services to clients, since 2020 we became a full Acronis Partner
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