What is endpoint backup and why is it required
Endpoints refers to the physical devices connected to a computer network, such as laptops, desktops, servers and virtual machines. Take an enterprise environment as example, the computer used by each employee is an endpoint, and the process of copying data from these network endpoints is known as endpoint backup.
Nowadays, enterprise data backup is extremely important to the survival of a business. Whether it is a virus attack, ransomware, hardware & system failure or human error, the loss of critical data can result in serious financial and reputational damage - statistics show that 94% of companies having experienced severe data loss did not recover.
In this case, endpoint backup is an efficient solution to protect all the devices in the network and safeguard your business from all these threats. More specifically, you can enjoy the peace of mind from these aspects:
◆ Automatically secure critical data and reduces downtime in the event of a disaster.
◇ Easily recover endpoint devices and retrieve all the data during a system breakdown.
◆ Backup and restore all network endpoints from one central console to reduce IT burden.
◇ Segment enterprise endpoints into different groups and enforce different protection policies.
◆ Real-time monitor endpoint device conditions and backup task execution status...
So, how exactly do you implement endpoint backup solutions, and what to considerate about it?
The most common operating system in enterprise is Windows. Both Windows client OS and Server OS come with some backup solutions such as File History, System Image Backup, Windows Server Backup, etc. However, if you rely on each employee to perform backups on their own, it will be very inefficient and may cause more human errors.
A more efficient way is for administrators to centrally back up and manage all enterprise devices using professional endpoint backup solutions. Here I’d like to introduce you AOMEI Centralized Backupper, which can back up all the enterprise endpoints (laptops, desktops, servers) on the network efficiently.
This software could be installed on any computer running Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP or Windows Server 2022, 2019, 2016, 2012(R2), 2008(R2), etc as the central console, from where you can gain control over client PCs or servers in the LAN for backup and monitor.
👉With it, you can enjoy comprehensive and centralized backup features:
Download this 30-day free trial to experience the all-in-one endpoint protection:
*For more detailed guide, please refer to the Help Documents.
Here I will show you how to implement end point backup solution with this centralized backup software. Before anything, you need to download and install AOMEI Centralized Backupper on any of your endpoint as the management console, then follow the steps below to build the endpoint backup system.
How to install and set up endpoint backup software
Launch AOMEI Centralized Backupper and go Computer > Uncontrolled Computers > Install client program. You’ll see two options as follows:
- Manual Client Installation: Manually copy the setup file to client computers, run it as administrator and follow the wizard to install it one by one.
- Remote Client Installation: Choose the client computers that you’d like to backup, input username and password of each computer and click “Install All”.
If you choose the remote installation way, these computers will be added to your control automatically afterward; If you installed client programs manually, you still need to Request Control for them to obtain control permissions.
When all your endpoints are listed under Controlled Computers, you can then back up and manage them as you need. Here I will take centralized system backup as an example to show you how it works.
How to create system backup for all the endpoints
1. Click Tasks -> New Task -> System Backup. It will back up all the boot-related partitions automatically. If you want to back up everything on the hard drive, choose Disk Backup instead.
2. In Step 1, click + Add Computers to select all the controlled endpoints you want to backup.
3. Move to Step 2, and click Add Storage to specify the destination share or NAS. The added path will be saved for your direct use.
4. Then you can customize the backup as you need and click Start Backup -> Create and execute tasks.
👉Schedule: Set up a backup schedule to auto execute the task Once, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly. You can even specify different schedules for different clients, and full/incremental/differential backup are all supported.
👉Settings: You can manage the backup encryption, email notification, compression level, image splitting, and choose intelligent-sector or exact backup here.
👉Scheme: Create a retention policy to auto delete older backup and therefore save your storage space.
The created tasks will be listed under Tasks tab. You can choose to edit, clone, delete the task, check its status, or restore from it as you like.
When you Restore the system image, besides in-place recovery, you can also restore it to another controlled endpoint with dissimilar hardware. The Universal Restore feature can ensure the secure boot after restoration.
The above sections provide an endpoint backup solution that you can easily use, along with specific steps to follow. But there are actually many factors to consider in actual endpoint protection. I've compiled some of the relevant information here.
Tip 1. On-site backup vs off-site backup
Onsite backup refers to storing data on local devices such as internal/external drives, CDs, tapes, etc. Off-site backup refers to storing data on off-site servers that can be accessed via the Internet. Both of the two have their advantages & disadvantages and are more recommended to be used in combination according to 3-2-1 backup strategy.
The endpoint backup software introduced in this article enables you to back up endpoint data to NAS or a remote server (via network share). For example, you can either create a shared folder on an external hard drive or another computer on the network as backup destination. With offline files enabled, these backup files can be accessed even when the server is slow, not connected or unavailable.
Meanwhile, if you want to perform off-site backup to cloud as well, you can combine other backup freeware that can utilize cloud storage, such as AOMEI Backupper Standard.
Tip 2. Proper choice of backup types
When we talk about backup types in a general sense, we usually mean full, incremental and differential backup. Sometimes mirror backup is also counted as the 4th type.
The way these types work is completely different, simply put:
- Full backup will create a complete backup of all data in the specified directory. Every time you execute it, you will repeat this backup progress indiscriminately.
- Incremental backup will create a full backup at the first time, and back up only changed data compared to the last backup in every subsequent backup.
- Differential backup is similar to incremental, but it will back up all the changed data since the last full backup.
Here is a table that visually compares the performance of the three:
Any full backup
Last full backup and all linked incremental backup.
Last full backup and or one of differential backup
- Mirror backup is a little more different from these three as it is strictly a synchronization. It will synchronize the files added and modified in the source directory to the target directory so that the files in the target directory are always identical to those in the source directory. Files in the target directory that do not match the source directory will be deleted or overwritten.
AOMEI Centralized Backupper supports all these backup types and you can choose according to your needs.
Tip 3. Reasonable backup schedule
There are many different types of data in an enterprise and different business may be loaded on different endpoints. Therefore, creating only one schedule for all devices may not work very well. You can arrange the backup task more flexibly based on the following rules.
- Create more versions of backups for critical data
It is best to create different backup plans based on the importance of the data and how often it is changed, so that critical data can be restored on demand in the event of a disaster.
- Schedule backups wisely
It is best not to schedule full backups of large data during work hours. If you must back up during the workday, choose to perform incremental backups during the day and run full backups at night.
Tip 4. Hot backup and cold backup
A hot backup is a backup performed while users are still logged into the system, while a cold backup is performed while all users are offline. Obviously, performing a hot backup minimizes daily downtime, which is especially useful for endpoints that require 24/7 operation.
AOMEI Centralized Backupper enables you to backup any open files and running programs without termination, and the backed-up endpoints will not be interrupted.
However, hot backups are not flawless. If any data changes during the course of a hot backup, then it may result in inconsistencies where the files being backed up are not up to date. In addition, backups are bound to take up computer resources, so the performance of the machine and server may be affected during the backup.
That said, if the endpoints you are backing up have extremely high requirements for data consistency and system performance, then it is best to perform backup during non-working hours.
Tip 5. Agent-based and agentless VM backup
With AOMEI Centralized Backupper, you can perform endpoint backup on virtual machines (with Windows guest OS) just as physical machines by installing client program on it.
At this point, you are performing guest-level backup based on Agent, this means you can select what to back up and restore flexibly, but accordingly, when you have a large number of VM to protect, the agent-based backup and restore are not as convenient.
From the perspective of batch management of VMs and fast disaster recovery, perhaps you could consider an agentless VM backup solution for host-level backup and recovery.
This article introduces what is endpoint backup, why is it important, and what endpoint backup solutions you can adopt to protect Windows laptops, desktops, servers and even VMs on the network.
In addition to this, you should customize your enterprise backup solution more in line with the actual situation. For example, if your backup needs are heavily weighted towards virtual environments, then you might consider a more specialized virtual machine backup solution – AOMEI Cyber Backup.