Disk Image Backup and Restore – Modern Technology Opens Up New Possibilities

Businesses handling large server setups have always looked for ways to back up their machines in order to minimize the amount of time taken to launch or their replacement in the event of a system crash. You have probably heard or read about image based backup a lot. You most likely have even used it. But how fresh is your knowledge? We looked at most recent updates in disk image cloud based backup and found out what benefits besides an excellent capability users can get today. IT managers can now not only automate their backups very reliably without having to worry about free space, they can also restore to other locations at will.
Here are some of the hottest features of contemporary disk image based cloud backup.
Direct Backup to Cloud – New backup solutions allow image backups to be written to the cloud on the fly. There is no requirement to write the backup locally and then upload to the cloud. This frees administrators from having to monitor local disk space. As a result, better automation of backup activity is possible.
Adding Disk Volumes – Disk image based backup has extended the definition of a disk image to include any disk volumes the user designates. Using a simple explorer like interface, users can select the files and folders they wish to include in the backup. This effectively means that a complete operating environment can now be backed up as an image.
With these new features available for backups, it’s only to be expected that the recovery options are as user friendly as well.
Restore to USB – Modern cloud based backup systems allow users to restore their backups to a USB drive thereby creating a bootable device. With this, users can restore the OS in case of a system crash.  Such a USB drive can be the first level of defense against a system crash because it would get the system up and going the fastest.
Restore to Dissimilar Machines – Restores have become intelligent and cloud based disk image backup now no longer requires that the restore should be to a device identical to one that was backed up. Users can even restore their backups to a system that is dissimilar.  If this feature is available in your backup solution, it makes restore much easier and gives it a whole new range of capabilities. You want to transfer a configuration to a different office? You no longer have to insist that they have the same hardware as you do. Just backup here and restore there!
Virtual Machines – A corollary to the previous point is restore to virtual machines. With modern images backup systems, disk images can be restored directly to Hyper-V or VMWare to give a physical to virtual restore.  This allows you to experiment with a physical system, fine tune it and then ‘restore’ the system to virtual machines. One can only imagine the enormous scalability such a feature gives to businesses. Used imaginatively this can mean significant capability and speed up reaction times tremendously.
While all of the above may sound too good to be true, most systems have some restrictions as well. To begin with, disk image backup cannot be performed to cloud storage that has high latency. Amazon Glacier is a typical example. However, one would imagine that no sys admin would ever want to keep their backup in such cloud media. This is meant for a very different kind of application. FTP and SFTP are also unlikely to be able to accommodate disk image backups, but that is primarily due to the way these protocols are designed.
CloudBerry Lab is a well established solution provider in cloud based file management and backup solutions tailored specifically to the small and midsized business. It now offers CloudBerry Backup 4.2 that is a powerful cloud based backup solution that goes way beyond the usual backup and restore capabilities and offers very powerful disk image and restore features.  Using CloudBerry Backup 4.2, businesses can leverage the cloud to get a range of capabilities that go beyond traditional backup and restore.
Disclaimer: This article was written by a guest contributor in his/her personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of CloudWedge.com.