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Easeus ToDo Backup Server 2.0 review

The Easeus ToDo Backup Server 2.0 is a software package released by Chinese software vendor Chengdu Yiwo Tech Development Company, which trades under the Easeus brand name. Launched in late January, the ToDo Backup Server 2.0 adds new features to the original package, making it a stronger product in the standalone backup server software market. However, some crucial features are missing – the ability to deal natively with virtual machines being notable among those.

There are also two business versions of the Easeus backup software: Backup Workstation and Backup Technician. Backup Server is $199 (£125) and Backup Technician is four times as much at $799 (£490), but the latter is licenced for 10 systems rather than just for one.

We set up ToDo Backup 2.0 on a Dell Optiplex 980 desktop running Windows 7 Ultimate, and our Labs SuperMicro system running Windows Server 2008 R2. The install took less than five minutes.

New features
ToDo Backup 2.0 has an improved user interface and it comes with the ability to back up specific files and folders, either incrementally or using a user-definable schedule. It is also able to create a snapshot of server environments and a Windows pre-installation environment (WinPE) bootable disk.

Using Backup Server 2.0
The user interface has a neat uncluttered feel with the main options tabbed across the top of the opening screen. Clicking the home tab gives access to the quick start menu. The main option is backup, and users can opt to create a system image backup, back up a partition, or just back up data directories and files.

We tested the backup option by imaging a Windows XP Professional OS on a Dell M50 Precision mobile workstation. The original OS size was 9.12GB and we chose to use the highest compression available to store the image, which yielded a .PBD file size of 4.70GB.

The software gave us a range of choices when imaging the operating system. You can choose to verify the integrity of the backed up OS image, password-protect it, and encrypt it to a maximum strength of 256-bit advanced encryption standard (AES). Users can also opt to have an email sent through standard SMTP to notify whether the backup has succeeded or failed.

Other options include the ability to limit the bandwidth used to transfer the image across the network, split it across DVDs if an optical disc backup is required, or execute Windows user commands before or after the backup starts.

One problem we found when creating a system OS image was that there was no option to calculate the space required to store the image. However, we did have this option when we were backing up normal files and directories, but the calculation specifies that the storage space required is for a straight copy and it doesn’t update the calculation if one of the compression options is chosen.

Recovering OS images is simple and, unlike the native Windows backup system, doesn’t need the original system disc to recover OS images. All the OS image recoveries we tried proceeded without problems.

Full OS image backups occupy a relatively large amount of disk space with any backup software, unless a high degree of compression is deployed, so it’s preferable to snapshot the OS at specific points: for example, before patch deployment so the OS can be rolled back to the point in time before the patch was applied if the patch starts giving problems or making the OS unstable.

Tools options
There are four main tool options: one to check for image integrity; a bootable media builder to create emergency recover disks; a small suite of disk and partition clone and wipe tools; and a tool to view image backups through Windows Explorer [see picture].

Easeus ToDo Backup Server 2 tools screen shot











The facility to set up iSCSI initiators is another less obvious features in Easeus ToDo Backup Server. An iSCI initiator emulates SCSI capabilities by allowing SCSI commands to go over IP networks, so users can send backups or snapshots over WAN links to remote SCSI devices, such as tape drives.

The backup management feature also includes the option to convert the Easeus image file format .PDB to VMware or Microsoft virtual machine formats. We found it was possible to convert to both formats, but the VMware format users will have to download and install the VMware Virtual Disk Development Kit 1.1.1 before the conversion – otherwise the following error occurs [see picture].

Easeus TDBU2 VM conversion problem












Easeus ToDo Backup Server 2.0 is a decent backup software system, and it is a realistic competitor for other market-leading offerings from vendors such as Acronis.

But it does not, for example, have options to deduplicate data to save storage space and also deal natively with virtual machine backup, and Easeus will have to add more features like that if it is to keep pace with its competitors.