Barracuda Backup 190
It’s lean on storage capacity, but scores highly for its simple backup and cloud replication features
Small businesses seeking hassle-free local and cloud backup should take a close look at Barracuda's Backup 190 appliance. This diminutive desktop box supports an impressive range of client systems, and the icing on the cake is one-click cloud replication.
What you don't get on this low-end model, however, is much space. The Backup 190 has one 500GB SATA hard disk; once the OS has taken its bite, you're left with only 250GB of usable space. That said, Barracuda's variable block level deduplication can increase the capacity available significantly: during testing, we backed up 220GBof data and saw the Barracuda scrunch it down to 142GB. If you need to back up terabytes of data, however, you'll need a more expensive model.
Installing the Backup 190 is a breeze: setup took us less than half an hour. After a quick local session to set the appliance's static IP address and DNS details, it was straight over to the Cloud Control portal for all further management. Using the serial number and code provided in the box, we were able to add the appliance to our cloud account easily; then, we moved on to setting up backup schedules.
Finishing the job required a little manual setup: an agent must be downloaded from the portal and installed on all backup candidates. But this is an easy task, since all Windows systems use the same agent, which takes seconds to load. From the portal, we declared each client using its IP address or domain name, and could then browse file systems, audit system states and applications, choose what we wanted to secure, and assign backup schedules.
When it comes to cloud backup, things don't get any easier. Your local storage is automatically linked to a cloud account of the same capacity;if you tick the relevant box when declaring a system, cloud replication is handled transparently thereafter, with no further intervention required. If you want off-site replication too, Barracuda can do that. You can link the Backup 190 to a remote appliance from the portal, then tick another when adding your sources to have all selected data replicated to that system.
In testing, the appliance didn't complain about any of our backup choices. We had no problem declaring our Windows Servers, Hyper-V hosts and VMs, Windows workstations, Exchange 2013 data stores and SQL Server 2014 databases. Message-level backup for Exchange wasn't tricky to set up, either: we followed the clear instructions to create an Exchange service account and were happily backing up our user's mailboxes ten minutes later.
Backup performance wasn't great: a full 39GB backup of our Windows AD server averaged only 22MB/sec. That's not necessarily a big problem, though, as Barracuda employs an "incremental forever" system that runs one full backup followed by regular incrementals; we found these took only a few minutes to complete. Schedules can be set for specific times and days of the week and repeated as often as every 15 minutes.
To restore our data, we selected folders and files from the portal and simply decided where to send them. Entire Exchange data stores and SQL databases can be restored, and you can browse mailboxes and reinstate individual messages. To restore files from cloud storage, you can select the Download option from the Restore page and specify where to copy them. This works for SQL and Exchange backups as well as regular files; we downloaded databases as Zip archives and individual email messages as EML files.
With only 250GB of raw backup space, the Backup 190 is pricey, but you won't find an easier way to implement local and cloud backup. Deployment is quick, and ongoing management is simplicity itself it really is a complete data-protection solution in a box.
This review first appeared in PC Pro magazine issue 251
With only 250GB of raw backup space, the Backup 190 is pricey, but you won’t find an easier way to implement local and cloud backup.
500GB SATA hard disk
Includes 3yr Energize Updates and Instant Replacement subscriptions
optional cloud storage: 200GB/yr, £385; unlimited/3yr, £1,099 (both exc VAT)
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