GFI Offers SMBs Affordable Traditional Backup

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Looking for a new backup solution for your company, but apprehensive about plunging into a hosted solution at this point? Well, GFI Software has just launched GFI Backup 2010 - Business Edition, a traditional backup product that the company says is specifically geared toward small and mid-sized businesses.


It used to be that backup solutions created for SMBs automatically meant getting a stripped-down or less-powerful version. A quick glance down the feature list of GFI Backup 2010, however, assured me that the SMB moniker refers more to its affordability and not a reduction in functionality.


The product is available at a package $288 for one server and five workstations, with other price combinations available:: $480 for one server and 25 workstations, or $1,060 for two servers and 75 workstations. SMBs also can opt to mix and match the licenses; individual licenses for servers start at $240 each and $20 per workstation. Full price details are available here.


There are a number of features that caught my eye:


  • Ability to do 256-bit AES encryption to protect data.
  • Centralized Web-based administrative interface accessed via HTTPS.
  • Support for wide range of backup targets ranging from internal or external hard disks, CD/DVD/Blu-ray optical media, tape drives, NAS or remote locations using FTP.
  • Support for Microsoft Volume Shadow Service (VSS) for backup of open files.
  • Runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms.
  • E-mail notifications can be configured to send out error or warning notifications when predefined events occur.
  • Uses Zip64 file format to compress and archive; this allows data to be restored even without GFI Backup software installed to recover data from backups.
  • Ability to perform only new file and incremental file updates, with a built-in version-control mechanism that allows storing multiple versions of a file.


GFI Backup revolves around the concept of individual agents running on server and workstation nodes that require data protection. For user-friendliness, GFI Backup 2010 allows the system administrator or IT manager to assign pertinent tasks via the Web management console. The relevant provisioning and scheduling details are then automatically communicated from the management console to the various agents for execution.


It might be argued that GFI Backup 2010 does not come with any special support for messaging software (Exchange), SQL servers or other collaboration or enterprise resource planning software. Still, I find the prices and extensive feature set for basic backup extremely attractive. The inherent configurability of the software also lends itself to all kinds of deployment scenarios, which SMBs can tailor to their unique business requirements for either LAN or off-site backup.


While I have not been able to do extensive testing to determine its stability and performance over a long period of use, GFI Software has been providing on-premise and hosted solutions for years now, and it would be worthwhile to at least give the free trial a spin.