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Performing iPhone and iPad backup using third-party software

George Crump of Storage Switzerland discusses iPhone and iPad backup using third-party software in this Expert Answer.

How do third-party backup software products handle iPhone and iPad backup? How do they access and back up data?

Smartphones and tablet computers, such as iPhones and iPads, as well as Android-based devices, are quickly becoming the bring your own device products of choice for many users. While originally intended as "consumption" devices, thanks to the continuous flow of new applications and innovative hardware such as mobile keyboards, these devices are now being used to create as much data as they consume. Much of that data may be corporate property, and for a period of time the device may have the only copy in existence. In fact, this Expert Response is being written on an iPad Mini at a storage conference.

Because unique corporate data is at risk on these devices, IT needs to consider providing a service that will protect them as well. The good news is that an increasing number of data center backup applications are now adding support for iPhones and iPads. This is accomplished by installing an agent, typically through the iTunes App Store. After the application is authorized through the device, backups can begin. Most of the apps have an option of enabling backup only when connected to a high-speed connection so that expensive bandwidth is not used. Most also provide the ability for a complete recovery of the device if it's lost or broken.

Beyond providing a base level of data protection, some of these solutions have also added the capability to access both laptop and file-sharing backups so that the data can be accessed and edited on their mobile device. Some have also added mobile security so that data on a lost device can be wiped.

This was first published in May 2013

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