Despite the strong reliability of computing hardware, you need to consider the risk of failure either through environmental damage or malicious activity. Backing up your data can take two forms: a series of periodic snapshots, or incremental updates to an initial copy.
The choice of the strategy that you will choose will depend on the stability of your environment. For example, it is more common in development environments to take complete periodic copies of all data in case a programmer makes an erroneous change to the software, causing data to be incorrectly adjusted.
Here is our list of the best server backup software:
- NinjaOne Backup EDITOR’S CHOICE A cloud service that includes secure storage space for backup repositories and offers a range of backup strategies. Start a 14-day free trial.
- N-able Cove Data Protection (FREE TRIAL) A service of the MSP software division.
- Barracuda Intronis Backup (FREE TRIAL) Centered on a multi-tenanted Cloud service that can be white labeled.
- ManageEngine RecoveryManager Plus (FREE TRIAL) Backs up Active Directory, Microsoft 365, Exchange Server, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Google Workspaces.
- Vembu BDR Suite (FREE TRIAL) A backup system that is particularly strong at backing up virtualization and can be deployed on premises or accessed as a SaaS package.
- Acronis Cyber Protect (FREE TRIAL) This cloud-based package of security systems features a comprehensive backup service with a range of options for storage location.
- Cloudberry Backup A range of backup solutions for different sizes of enterprise.
- Veritas Backup Exec Formerly Symantec Backup Exec.
- Altaro VM Backup Backup virtual servers.
- Veeam Backup and Replication A range of backup solutions for Windows, Linux, and virtual servers.
- Bacula Free backup for Windows, Linux, and Unix servers.
- Amanda Backups for Windows, Linux, Unix, and virtual servers.
- Quest Rapid Recovery Creates backup to Azure Cloud servers.
- Datto Virtual SIRIS Backup Windows, Linux, and virtual servers.
Incremental backups are much quicker to perform. After an initial copy of the server’s contents, any additions or alterations are rippled through to the backup immediately, making the copy a mirror server.
Simply copying the contents of one server onto storage media or another server kept on the same site might not be enough. Fire or flooding at your premises will destroy your backup device as well as the original server. It is a better plan to copy your data to a device that is physically located elsewhere. Thanks to the internet, the transfer of this data can be set up to run automatically as a background process without needing to use a portable storage medium.
Internet data transfers should always be protected with authentication procedures and encryption. You also need to make sure that data confidentiality is guaranteed at the backup site if it is a location that is not run by your organization.
You have a lot of options when seeking an offsite facility for backup. Thanks to stiff competition, the rental of space on Cloud servers has become very cheap. There are also syncing offers to consider, which combine the software and the space needed to back up your servers in one service package.
The best server backup software
We have taken into account the many different circumstances that any business would be in when needing to back up a server. We also looked at the software packages available and the Cloud backup services that have all of the management software bundled in with the storage subscription price.
Our methodology for selecting server backup software
We reviewed the market for server backup systems and analyzed the options based on the following criteria:
- A system that can implement a full and incremental backup strategy mix
- Options for bare metal or file-level backups
- A system that can restore data by file while the users are still online
- Options for application-aware backups
- A service that offers options for local and remote backup repositories
- A free trial or a demo service that allows an assessment without paying
- Value for money from a thorough backup package that is offered at a fair price
NinjaOne Backup is part of a cloud platform of tools that are aimed at managed service providers (MSPs). However, this system would also be useful for IT departments to manage in-house data protection, especially for multiple sites.
- Designed for MSPs
- Include servers anywhere
- File-level or bare metal
- Local and remote repository options
The cloud delivery model provides the processors to run the backup software and also cloud storage space. That file space for backup repositories is secured by 256-bit AES encryption. Each protected endpoint needs an agent running on it. That program implements the backup strategy that is defined by the settings that the user selects in the Web-based console for the backup system. Data transfers from the protected server up to the NinjaOne system are also protected by 256-bit AES encryption, as are transfers back to restore data.
All of NinjaOne’s tools are multi-tenanted and that includes the Backup module. This means that an account holder can set up subaccounts, allocating one to each of the MSP’s clients. The processing services and file space of the NinjaOne system are segmented with different keys for the AES encryption to make it impossible for the users of one client account to get at the data of another client.
As it is based in the cloud, NinjaOne Backup is not limited to operating on one network and can protect servers and desktops anywhere in the world, grouped together within one client account. The system is also able to protect the computers of home-based workers, offering a self-service portal to enable users to trigger data recovery.
- Constructed for managed service providers
- Offers a range of backup strategies
- Includes secure backup cloud storage
- No price list
The users of the NinjaOne system have a choice of backup strategies. These options include disk or OS imaging. It is also possible to backup server drives at block level. Other options are file-level and application-centered backups. The backup system can perform full, differential, and incremental backups and it is possible to sequence combinations of full and partial backups.
Users can choose to store backups on a server on the same site as the protected system, on another site of the business, on a server at the MSP’s premises, on the NinjaOne servers, on a third-party cloud platform.
NinjaOne Backup is our top pick for server backup software because it can provide file-level backup as well as whole disk imaging services. The package is a SaaS platform and is designed to maximize the efficiency of technical staff and empower users to manage their own recovery processes in the event of accidental loss. This centralized service can manage the backup of endpoints anywhere in the world, which is great for the current growth in home-based working. Businesses can use this tool to manage servers and desktops on multiple sites. However, the multi-tenanted system is ideal for use by managed service providers.
Official Site: https://www.ninjaone.com/freetrialform/
Related: Full NinjaOne Backup Review
N-able Cove Data Protection is part of a suite of utilities produces for managed service providers (MSPs). However, the tool can be bought and operated separately; it is a suitable backup utility for in-house use as well as a necessary facility for companies that run services for other companies.
- Tool for MSPs
- SaaS package
- Storage space included
- Block, file, or application-level backups
The backup system is more than software because it includes the provision of storage space on remote servers. You don’t need to install the software on your servers – this is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and you access the console through a web browser.
You can manage multiple resources through the same account and all can be accessed through the dashboard’s Home page. The backup service can manage the contents of virtual servers as well as physical servers.
Servers can be backed up right down to, and including, the operating system. It is also possible to back up the contents of workstations. You can create a central document store backup with the tool and also back up mail servers running Microsoft Exchange. Sharepoint files and MySQL databases can be replicated with this system. If you use OneDrive for a cloud-based file server, you can back that up with N-able Backup.
Data transfers in this environment deploy compression to speed up backup and recovery times. Rather than running one central data center, N-able has service points strategically placed around the globe.
Both transfers and storage are protected by AES encryption with a 256-bit key – the strongest encryption in commercial use today. This encryption is applied end-to-end, which means that there is no intermediate point in the connection where snoopers or even data center staff can access your data.
Updates to files can be archived, letting you access earlier versions to restore. Restoration of data can be performed bare metal, physical-to-virtual, or virtual-to-virtual. The N-able Backup console enables you to command any of these scenarios and the backup software takes care of all the detailed tasks needed to get your data recovered.
- The interface is simple and easy to learn
- Designed with MSPs in mind, with multi-tenant features and reporting capabilities
- Scales well as a cloud-based application
- Can back up data from other cloud providers like OneDrive
- N-able Cove is a highly detailed tool designed for IT professionals and may take time to fully explore all features available
N-able Cove Data Protection is available on a 30-day free trial.
Related post: Best Network Configuration Backup Tools
Barracuda MSP specializes in providing tools to managed service providers that support small and middle-sized enterprises. Intronis Backup is one of the tools offered by this provider. The system is multi-tenanted and includes cloud storage space that can also be suitably separated per client. The dashboards for the tool can be white-labeled, so it would be possible to give access to clients while still enforcing your brand image.
- A system for MSPs
- Can be white-labeled
- Also offers virtualization backup
Intronis Backup caters to every type of backup that you could need. These include application-level backups so you can create specific stores for key services, such as email. The system offers an option to take a server image and it also offers VM backup for VMWare and Hyper-V. A total backup for a bare-metal restore is also possible.
This is a management system for backup and disaster recovery so it will also manage the restoration of systems, should a disaster occur. These restore functions can also be applied to new servers, adding a replication service to the package.
Barracuda MSP provides a range of tools for managed service providers but the Intronis system is not sewn into that product line – it has integrations for a range of RMM and PSA systems provided by other suppliers, such as N-able, ConnectWise, Kaseya, and Autotask. This means that you can safely plug the Intronis system into other environments without risking losing the ability to track activity for billing.
- Offers four backup strategies
- Integrates with RMM and PSA systems
- Can be white-labeled
- Plans lock-in backup storage space capacity
This is a SaaS service, so you don’t need to worry about maintaining your own servers with failover procedures in order to run it – those features are taken care of.
The plans for Intronis are charged for per client. However, each plan comes with a specific capacity of storage space, so you have to be careful about which plan you choose because you could end up paying for space that you will never use, or underestimate and face running out of space.
Despite publishing descriptions of its three plans – Basic, Premium, and Elite – Barracuda MSP doesn’t publish its prices. You have to contact the company to request a quote. The Intronis Backup service is available on a 14-day free trial.
ManageEngine RecoveryManager Plus will backup both on-premises and online resources, so this isn’t just a good tool for backing up your own servers, you can also back up services on virtual services on the cloud. Rather than backing up entire servers down to bare metal, this tool will protect the data and settings of specific applications.
- Application-aware backups
- File-level or bare metal options
- Free version
This approach is easier to manage because it can operate within the framework of each application and implement unintrusive backups and non-disruptive recovery – you don’t need to kick users off the system and reboot in order to restore data with the RecoveryManager Plus systems.
The tool will backup Active Directory and Exchange Server running on your own servers and also cloud services Azure AD, Microsoft 365, SharePoint Online, OneDrive, and Google Workspaces. If you use both on-premises and cloud systems, you can backup all of them with the same RecoveryManager Plus package.
The RecoveryManager Plus system focuses on Active Directory implementations and provides easy-to-manage recovery processes for objects within your domain controllers. File protection services in the system focus on OneDrive and SharePoint cloud accounts. However, if you sync on-site files with those accounts, you can get your onsite file servers backed up by bouncing them through your cloud accounts. If you gave your users Google Workspaces for the corporate productivity suite, you can get that backed up with RecoveryManager Plus as well.
- Backup on-premises or Azure-based Active Directory
- Backup Exchange Server, Microsoft 365, and Google Workspaces
- Backs up files on SharePoint Online and One Drive
- No cloud-based version
ManageEngine RecoveryManager Plus is an on-premises software package that installs on Windows Server. The system is offered in two editions: Free and Standard. The Free edition is limited to managing user accounts in one AD domain and it will run backups weekly. The Standard edition will backup more frequently – up to continuously on an incremental basis and it can be used for many domains.
ManageEngine offers a 30-day free trial of the Standard edition. If you choose not to buy at the end of the trial period, your RecoveryManager Plus package will switch over to the Free edition.
Vembu BDR Suite is a family of backup products – BDR stands for Backup and Disaster Recovery. The service is available to protect physical, virtual, and cloud systems. You buy the service for a specific platform. You can use this system to backup and recover individual files or entire servers.
- Deployment options
- System or file backup
- Recovery procedures
The Vembu BDR system can be used for application-specifc backups. The service offers a degree of automation for copying and returning data. Each backup process is not declared complete until a verification scan has been passed. If a problem occurred during the backup, the whole process is flagged – you can set it to automatically reload, but if there is a fundamental problem it would just recycle again and again.
Data transfers are protected by encryption and made faster through comprssion. That encoding is retained for the data in storage to provide security and save space. There features save time for both backup and recovery.
The service is packaged in two versions. One of these is an on-premises package and the other is a hosted SaaS system, called Vembu Cloud BDR Suite. Storage is an optional extra, so you are not limited in your choice of repository location. You can also implement a multiple location backup strategy, storing both locally and remotely.
The implementation of your backup strategy also gives you lots of options, for example, you can decide how extensive you want the storage of virtualization data to be – just the mappings to VMs or the entire structure. You can also backup a whole server, taking virtualization with it.
- Backup physical or virtual servers
- Virtual-to-virtual possible
- Backup Windows Server and Linux
- Would be nice to have one product to cover all technologies
The physical system backup can operate for servers running Windows Server or Linux and there is a workstation version that covers devices running Windows or macOS. There is a free tier for the workstation edition that covers up to 10 workstations – there isn’t a free version to backup servers. You can put BDR Suite through its paces with a 30-day free trial.
Acronis Cyber Protect is a bundle of security systems for fleets of endpoints. It can back up servers, desktops, and mobile devices. The system is based in the cloud, so it is able to unify the management and protection of devices anywhere. That includes the computers in the homes of remote workers.
- Backup physical and virtual systems
- Bare metal or application-aware
- Storage option
The Cyber Protect package includes an anti-malware system and a patch manager. All endpoints can be monitored through the cloud-based dashboard of the Acronis service, which is accessible from anywhere through any standard Web browser.
With the Acronis backup system, an administrator has a range of options over how to implement server backups. It is able to operate file-level backups and also full disk copies. backups can be incremental to save time and processing time. It is also possible to mix strategies with multiple backup cycles running simultaneously. The function can backup servers running Windows Server and Linux.
The Acronis system is also able to manage backups of virtualizations, with special integrations for backing up VMWare vSphere and Hyper-V. In the case of hypervisors, the charge rate is calculated per virtual server. The process will also backup data and settings related to vSwitches and VMs at no extra charge.
Acronis applies a virus scan to all files before they are uploaded into the backup repository. This prevents systems like ransomware from damaging backup data. Scans are also applied before files are restored.
- Choice of local or cloud backup storage
- Can manage a mix of backup strategies
- Scans files for viruses before uploading
- Cloud-based system
- Cloud storage not included in the plan
You can backup to a location of your own choosing. That can be to a private cloud, to a public cloud platform, such as AWS or Azure, or to the Acronis Cloud server. Cloud storage space is available for san extra charge. You can assess Acronis Cyber Protect with a 30-day free trial.
Cloudberry offers Cloud-based backup services for MSPs, for small enterprises, and for individuals. The MSP package is called Managed Backup. The service allows MSPs to brand the console themselves, selling it to their customers in whatever way they choose.
- Packages for MSPs, SMBs, and individuals
- Full endpoint backup
- Virtual system backup
This service includes image-based backup, file-level backup and also direct support for data generated by Microsoft products. The image-based system works at the block level. Once an initial copy has been taken, only blocks that show changes will be copied over. Data transfers are speeded up through the use of compression. Although not responsible for security at the storage provider, Cloudberry protects data transfers with AES encryption using a 256-bit key.
The software for this backup service runs on the device that is being protected. This could be a server or a desktop computer. The software runs on Windows, Windows Server, Linux, and Mac OS. Virtual servers composed by VMWare and Hyper-V can be backed up with Cloudberry. It is also possible to backup and restore all of a server right down to the operating system, which is called “base metal restore” (BMR).
Cloudberry doesn’t include storage along with its backup software. Instead, businesses can choose from a panel of compatible cloud storage providers, including AWS and Google Cloud Platform.
Although Managed Backup is marketed for MSPs, it would also be suitable for use by the centralized IT support department of a large business.
- Offers backup services for virtually any size business, including resellers
- Offers system-wide backups alongside file-level backups, great for quick restores
- Can run on Linux, Windows, and most virtual platforms
- The trial is only 15-day long, would like to see it longer
- The interface can feel clunky when dealing with lots of directories
Smaller businesses would be better off accessing the Cloudberry Standalone Backup software. This is available for Windows systems, including Windows Server. It will also backup Exchange Server and SQL Server. You can get a 15-day free trial of this software and the desktop version is free for personal use.
The version for Linux servers and endpoints will run on Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, RHEL, CentOS, and Suse Linux. The company produces a free version of this package for personal use. There are also versions for Mac workstations with a 15-day free trial for business and a free license for personal use.
The small business backup software will cover VMWare and Hyper-V virtualizations and it can also be set to back up Office 365 and G Suite activities.
Veritas Backup Exec has been through a number of changes in ownership over the years. It was created in 1980 by Maynard Electronics, which was taken over by companies that were eventually taken over by Seagate Technology, which used the software as part of its storage solutions for businesses. This division was bought by Veritas in 1999, which in turn was bought by Symantec in 2005. Symantec developed and marketed Backup Exec until 2016, when Veritas was spun off as a separate company, taking Backup Exec with it. There are still versions of Symantec Backup Exec in use today.
- Back up endpoints on multiple sites
- Store locally or to cloud account
- Cloud storage mirroring
Backup Exec operates as a storage area network controller. You install it on its own server, running Windows Server and storage devices are attached to that server. The Backup Exec server communicates with your other servers and endpoints over the network. The sources of data to be backed up are called “clients.” The Backup Exec server can pull data from remote sites over the internet and can also substitute remote or cloud servers for the storage media.
The Backup service can mirror virtualizations, Microsoft Hyper-V, and VMWare vSphere. Data can be stored to AWS S3, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform storage.
- Designed with enterprises in mind
- A solid option for those looking for an on-premise solution
- Can mirror cloud-storage environments locally
- Ample 60-day trial period
- The interface feels outdated, making it tougher to navigate
You can get Veritas Backup Exec on a 60-day free trial.
Altaro specializes in backing up virtual servers. Its capabilities are focused on VMWare and Hyper-V virtualizations. This system is primarily designed to help businesses replicate their virtual servers on one or all of their other sites through this software. That offsite copy can just as easily be stored on a cloud server. There is also a version aimed at MSPs and SaaS resellers – it can be white-labeled to carry the brand of the intermediary.
- Back up virtualizations
- Incremental backups
- Version for MSPs
The initial backup procedure identifies copies of the same data and only transfers and stores it once, marking the original duplicate locations so they can still be restored to any of those places. Another optimization feature is its Continuous Data Protection feature (CDP) which checks for changes in data every five minutes and only copies that. Separate VMs can be backed up simultaneously for more speed gains. Files can be archived instead of just being backed up, which means that older versions of files are stored rather than being overwritten.
Other data transfer features with this software are compression and encryption. If you want to use a cloud server for your backup storage, Altaro provides a free controller, called Altaro Offsite Server, which provides security and connection services.
- Great interface, easy to see key backup metrics
- Supports virtualization recovery
- Has a version for MSPs and resellers
- Can detect changes in data and replace files, acting as a DLP tool
- Would like to see more database recovery options, specifically recovering single databases rather than the entire VM
- Large datastores can corrupt if not carefully monitored
The company prides itself on its customer support department, claiming that all support calls are responded to within 30 seconds. You can get a 30-day free trial of the VM Backup software.
Veeam Backup and Replication is a very similar product to the Altaro VM Backup system.
- Virtualization backups
- Version available for SMBs
- Easy to use
This tool focuses on replicating virtualizations and is capable of working with VMWare vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. The agent software for this system can run on Windows server and Linux. Other agents are available to back up IBM AIX and Oracle Solaris servers.
- Easy to use for both technical and non-technical users
- Supports system-level recovery and backups
- Can run on Windows or Linux operating systems
- Ideal for small businesses and home users
- Would like more integrations into more hardware storage and NAS solutions
- Would benefit from FTP backup integration
The Backup and Replication system is a standalone product and is also part of the Veeam Availability Platform. This suite combines the backup system with the Veaam One network management tool. You can get a 30-day free trial of Veeam Backup and Replication. A lightweight version of Backup and Replication is available for small businesses. This is called Backup Essentials and you can also get this software on a 30-day free trial.
Bacula is a free, open source backup utility for Linux. The source code is also available for Windows and Mac OS. The software package is made up of five elements, which includes a graphical interface, a file server to manage data transfers, and a storage manager that runs on the backup server and receives and returns files. It also has a module that can replicate databases. You need to install a client program on each machine that is being served by the backup system.
- Free to use
- Backup endpoints running Linux, macOS, and Windows
- Runs on Linux
You don’t get any storage space bundled with this software, so the choice of where you save your backup files is up to you. You can implement both full and incremental backups with this software. Processes can be automated through a scripting language. A big shortfall of this software is that it doesn’t encrypt data transfers. However, you can slot in a third-party encryption system via the scripting language.
- Completely free and open source
- Designed specifically for Linux
- Robust automation features can be implemented through scripting
- Windows version isn’t as easy to setup
- Every endpoint that gets backed up must have an agent installed
- Automation requires scripting, making the tool more difficult to use
- The user interface has an odd design, making it hard to find features
This is free open source backup software, written for Linux that can back up servers and endpoints running Linux, Unix, Mac OS, or Windows.
- Free tool
- Back up Windows, Unix, Linux, and macOS
- Local backup repositories
The name of the tool is an acronym for “Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver”. Storage devices can be tape or local disks. Essentially, this is a controller for a network-attached storage system for backups.
- Free open-source tool
- Supports Linux, Windows, Mac, and Unix systems
- Can integrate with most network-attached storage devices
- Very barebones interface, no visualization options for backup insights or progress
- Not as user friendly as other tools on the market
Quest Software was known as Dell Software until 2016 when Dell sold the division off to venture capitalists. The Rapid Recovery tool is one of the company’s main products.
- Bare metal server hardware
- Virtualization backup for recovery and replication
- Backup cloud platform accounts
This backup system installs on Windows Server, but not on Core versions of the operating system. Agents install on Windows and RHEL, SuSE, CentOS, Debian, and Ubuntu Linux. The software can replicate and manage recovery for VMware ESXi and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualizations. It is also capable of backing up data from cloud servers: Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3 and Glacier, Rackspace, and Google, or any OpenStack implementations. Backups can be saved to a disk on the local site, to a remote site, or to cloud storage.
The interface for this backup system is browser-based, which gives access to your recovery server from anywhere.
- Sleek and easy to navigate dashboard
- Can replicate and recover virtual environments
- Can replicate or mirror data for major cloud providers
- Supports most local storage solutions
- Linux version isn’t as easy to configure as Windows
- Can be resource-intensive at times
- Would like to see better alerting when endpoint agents fail to check-in
SIRIS will protect your on-premises servers, virtual servers, and cloud servers. The software acts as a NAS controller, but you can store to offsite cloud storage as well as attached storage. The Datto system uses image-based backups and you can copy in bulk or set to incremental backups. As well as backing up your Windows Server and Linux servers, this software can back up workstations running Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
- Whole server backup
- Cloud account backup
- Virtualization backup
Datto offers its own cloud storage solution to bundle in with the recovery software. Stored data is protected by encryption as are all communications with the remote server and data transfers. In both transit and at rest, 256-bit key AES encryption provides protection.
- Provides robust encryption both in transit and at rest
- Can backup to and from on-premise and cloud environments
- Supports both Windows and Linux systems
- Would like to be able to customize the interface
- Can be more expensive than most competing platforms
- The interface needs updated to be more user friendly
Server Backup Software FAQs
What software should I use to back up my server daily?
There are many excellent server backup software packages available that will enable you to back up daily. Above all, you should consider:
- N-Able Backup
- Cloudberry Backup
- Acronis Backup
- Veritas Backup Exec
- Altaro VM Backup
- Veeam Backup and Replication
- Quest Rapid Recovery
- Datto Virtual SIRIS
What is the best Windows Server backup software?
N-Able Backup is a very good tool and we recommend it as the best Windows Server backup software system.