Recently we released version 5.2 of our Server Backup product. For a point release, it’s chocked full of new features and improvements. There was one overriding theme for this release, however, that inspired us in just about everything we added: Ease of use for the customer.
In speaking with literally hundreds of our customers we came to recognize that whether they are backing up to their own servers, to off-premises backup, or using one of our partners for backup-as-a-service, they take for granted that the storage capacity and ability to copy data from one location to another is pretty much a given in today’s backup products. How fast they can perform a restore is a great way to differentiate one backup product from the next. But ease of use was their single biggest concern.
There are a couple of different ways that ease of use comes into play.
First is ease of setup. How hard is it to install the software and get a server backed up? Do you need to be physically on the server? How much configuration on server is necessary? Remember that for most organizations it is not just one or two servers we’re talking about. If it takes 30 to 45 minutes per server, multiply that by a dozen or more servers and you have a sizeable amount of hours invested. Idera Server Backup 5.2 makes life easier by introducing remote agent deployment, featuring deployment and configuration wizards. This allows you to install, set up, and start backing up in less than five minutes.
Perhaps the biggest ease of use improvement, however, is in the management dashboard. Good GUI design dictates that you are able to see what you need most with the fewest amount of clicks possible. This is exactly what we have done. The current status of your backups, system resource usage, and whether or not you’re meeting your SLAs around backup are all visible right from the dashboard. In addition, drilling down into any particular area of interest is intuitive and accomplished with a minimum number of clicks.
If you are like most IT pros you have used dozens of different user interfaces, with features you like and features you don’t. So your mileage may vary. But the feedback we’ve received so far indicates we have hit the nail on the head with usability.
Other ease of use features are centered on testing your back infrastructure. For instance, are your backup disks safe and free from corruption? Idera Server Backup 5.2 monitors this automatically so you won’t have to run separate tests.
As you can see, a big part of our focus in this release has been on you. How can we make backing up every server in your organization as easy as possible? We think we have come a long way with the release of Idera Server Backup 5.2, but ultimately you will have to be the judge. Take it for a whirl and let us know what you think.