Acronis Backup Review
Nearly set-and-forget for Server Live Imaging


Valuable Features

Live System Imaging – Zero Downtime.

Improvements to My Organization

The key for me at the time was allowing my Engineers to have their weekends free vs rotating them through a schedule so that servers were taken offline and imaged during the change window. Post-implementation, this fell to zero and boosted morale by allowing the engineers to enjoy their weekends with their families. In this instance, showing the team that I valued their personal lives and was willing to pay to insure their quality of life resulted in a dedicated team that was thankful and produced more.

This organization also highly mission critical server applications where RTO was very low. We did use Load Balancers and other technologies, but for a catastrophic failure this solution presented an RTO of roughly 1 Hour (depending on the size of the server) although often less. It became routine to run an off cycle image before any major physical server upgrade, thus improving the speed from development to QA to production. Developers could be less leery of major changes knowing that the back-out was quick and reliable.

Room for Improvement

There can be inconsistencies between builds in terms of the product working with one NIC or another, especially on newer generation servers. Usually downloading the latest bits solved, though. A minor nit, but it’s the only gripe I’ve had to date.

Use of Solution

7 Years.

Deployment Issues

None.

Stability Issues

None.

Scalability Issues

None.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Excellent.

Technical Support:

Excellent.

Initial Setup

Relatively Straightforward. We needed to create an in house script to purge old images (vs using something like a product retention setting). This may have been corrected in subsequent versions.

Implementation Team

In-House.

ROI

Somewhat difficult to quantify. The key for me at the time was allowing my Engineers to have their weekends free vs rotating them through a schedule so that servers were taken offline and imaged during the change window. Post-implementation, this fell to zero and boosted morale by allowing the engineers to enjoy their weekends with their families. In this instance, showing the team that I valued their personal lives and was willing to pay to insure their quality of life resulted in a dedicated team that was thankful and produced more.

This organization also highly mission critical server applications where RTO was very low. We did use Load Balancers and other technologies, but for a catastrophic failure this solution presented an RTO of roughly 1 Hour (depending on the size of the server) although often less. It became routine to run an off cycle image before any major physical server upgrade, thus improving the speed from development to QA to production. Developers could be less leery of major changes knowing that the back-out was quick and reliable.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Rough cost at time of implementation was approximately $1200 per managed server. One engineer monitored the job status, spending approximately 15 minutes per day.

Other Solutions Considered

No.

Other Advice

Great product, nearly set-and-forget for Server Live Imaging once fully configured.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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