The backup suites of today offer much more than just a backup and include snapshot as well as replication management, cloud integration, virtual server protection and its likes. The enterprise-class backup application has evolved from a simple backup and restore utility program to a comprehensive data management as well as protection suite.


Most major vendors have begun using snapshots as a mechanism in order to permit faster recovery of file data and in some cases, the complete virtual machines. Though there are many vendors offering snapshot integration for years, snapshot support is fast becoming standard capability for multiple vendors.

Symantec NetBackup: Works with an Array of Software and Hardware Based Snapshot Method

This is designed to work with a wide variety of software and hardware based snapshot method. This also makes a provision for a component that maintains control over the replication process and allows the individual files to be recovered from snapshot.

Hewlett - Packard Supports Snapshot Integration

Just like Symantec, this supports snapshot integration as well as instant recovery. This company supported array-based snapshot management for quite some time though its latest offering chiefly focus upon data and applications.

IBM offers a Wide Variety of Snapshot Related Capabilities

IBM has launched a range of snapshot related capabilities. FlashCopy Manager 4.1 supports the hardware-based snapshots while FlashCopy Manager facilitates creation of application backup of storage pools and servers. As a part of TSM 7.1, IBM has launched HTTPS support for the NetApp snapshot assisted progressive backup processing.

Enhanced Virtualization Support

The major enterprise-class backup applications support server virtualization on different levels. Even then, most major application vendors go on introducing various VM backup features. Latest enhancement to existing virtualization support of Symantec now offers unified protection for both virtual as well as physical machines. Symantec NetBackup now offers a standard view of virtual and physical resources. It claims to make management easier through elimination of redundant storage pools.

HP opts for a similar approach to this strategy. HP Data Protector allows users to manage both physical as well as virtual server backup. IBM TSM 7.1 focuses upon instant recovery for the VMware Virtual Machines. The users can create various copies of VM and perform object level restoration within Exchange Server as well as SQL Server. In addition to this, there is also a provision for TSM instant recovery.

Cloud Support

The fact that most big backup vendors are adding cloud functionality to products does not come in as surprising at the least.  However, the actual procedures and capabilities that are introduced vary from one vendor to the next.

Centralized Management

Since the distributed and replicated backup systems have acquired significant popularity, there is a pressing need for centralized control over backup procedure. Most renowned backup vendors have launched management console that is designed for simplification of backup and recovery procedure. In certain cases, consoles facilitate virtual and physical resources management uniformly.

It is now clear that the backup suites of today are much better than just a backup since it comes with multiple other functionalities.