Review: Acronis Backup & Recovery 10

Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 software, available in a wide-ranging suite, lets administrators automate disk image backup routines with confidence.

Reliable data backups are a significant source of trouble for information technology professionals. Traditional routines regularly fail, as do many applications' attempts to safeguard open files and active databases. It doesn't have to be that way. Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 software - available in a wide-ranging suite covering everything from desktop workstations to virtualized servers - lets administrators automate disk image backup routines with confidence.


  • Product: Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Server For Windows
  • Supported Windows operating systems: Windows Server SP4+, Windows 2003 Server SP 2+ x32 and x64 Editions, Windows 2008 Server SP2 x32 and x64 Editions
  • Supported File Systems: FAT 16/32, NTFS
  • Supported Storage: Hard disk drives, networked storage devices, CD-RW, DVD-RW, Zip, Rev Disk, other removable media, P-ATA (IDE), S-ATA, SCSI, IEEE1394 and USB devices
  • Price: Server versions start at $853; Workstation licenses start at $74
  • More Info: Acronis Backup & Recovery 10
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Who's it for?

Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 software assists IT professionals responsible for backing up critical Windows data and minimizing downtime when failures occur. Linux editions are also available for Linux users. By providing administrators with a proven and reliable suite of products for not only backing up critical data, but also safeguarding application, system configuration, and system state information, technology professionals can recover failed systems much more quickly.

What problem does it solve?

Reliable data backups are a struggle within even the best organized IT departments. Myriad incompatibilities and failures arise when using traditional backup software that simply copies critical business data. Some programs are unable to properly back up open files or active databases, a common headache. When disks and systems do fail, recovery used to be a laborious process, necessitating the installation and configuration of the operating system, as well as the installation and configuration of antivirus software, critical business applications, office productivity software and more. Further, user accounts have to be re-created, as do network shares. Printers must be reinstalled. The list goes on.

Not so with Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 software, it creates archive files that enable restoring a system and its exact configuration in one fell swoop. Those IT professionals that opt to include Acronis' optional Universal Restore feature don't even need to recover a workstation or server to a box with the same hardware. Instead, systems can be recovered to computers using disparate hardware, a critical factor when older motherboards fail. Additional optional components (Aronis Recovery for Microsoft Exchange and Acronis Recovery for MS SQL Server) ensure critical e-mail and SQL data are properly backed up, too.

Standout features

  • Bare-metal restoration: Using Acronis Backup & Recovery 10, exact workstation and server copies - including user configurations, system state data, applications, printer configurations, network settings, and more - can be restored to a new hard disk. As a result, when failures do occur, Acronis backups drastically reduce downtime.
  • Universal restoration: When recovering from system failures, whether the failures are the cause of broken motherboards, erratic disk controllers, corrupted RAID arrays or catastrophic physical damage (flood, fire, etc.), the optional Universal Restore feature enables recovering the archived backup files to completely new systems possessing completely different hardware configurations. The resulting recovery time improvements more than justify the cost.
  • Customizable backup schemes: Acronis has included prepackaged backup schemes within its software. These schemes meet a wide array of needs. Administrators needing to customize backups to meet specific requirements, however, will find the backup software unusually flexible. Technicians can configure settings down to the most minute of details, including triggering backups based on exact conditions (such as a predetermined time interval, specific systems being powered on or off, a specific user logging on or off, etc.). Further, Acronis handily automates archive maintenance and supports centralized administration, ensuring IT pros' time is freed for other tasks.
  • Outstanding reporting: The reporting tools included within the Acronis 10 suite of backup tools are first rate. From customizable e-mail alert notifications to a centralized dashboard that can display backup status for multiple systems on a single screen, Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 simplifies one of the most critical tasks technology professionals manage, while removing the frustration.

What's wrong?

  • Complexity requires time to learn: Like many powerful products, Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 imaging software requires dedicated effort to learn. As the product assumes responsibility for a critical task (managing backup and recovery processes), and as it possesses infinite configuration and recovery options (including Universal Restore, Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL recovery), administrators must ensure they're properly configuring and monitoring Acronis backup operations. IT pros should not expect to just be able to download the software, follow installation prompts and click on a few default settings. While backup operations may prove that simple on some systems, other environments' specific needs may require that administrators take sufficient time to learn and properly configure the program's, and corresponding optional components', full capabilities.

Competitive Products

Bottom line for business

Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 sets the standard for data backup utilities. With support for universal restoration, e-mail and SQL database protection, bare-metal recovery and even virtualized servers, the software permits administrators to confidently address one of the most troublesome but critical tasks they perform: backup and recovery operations.

User rating

Have you encountered or used Acronis Backup & Recovery 10? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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By Erik Eckel

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...