Third-party endpoint backup vs. traditional backup software

How do third-party endpoint backup products differ from enterprise vendors' endpoint backup options?

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The "bring your own device" (BYOD) movement has raised a new concern with backup administrators and their managers: how to protect and provide value to the users who are bringing multiple devices to work. Enterprise backup applications are typically only providing support for one type of endpoint, the laptop, and not to the increasingly prevalent smartphones and tablets.

Third-party endpoint backup applications are filling this gap by providing complete backup and recovery for each of these devices. Typically, this is performed by installing an agent available from the device's "app store". Once installed, the user logs the agent into the backup software hosted in the data center. This usually can be performed without the need for VPN software and gateways, greatly simplifying connectivity.

In addition to basic backup, these device-specific solutions are providing advanced features that are more endpoint-focused. For example, some products offer the ability to "restore" a file to a smartphone or tablet that was previously backed up on the user's laptop. This allows for the device to have access to just about any file that the user has saved.

Some companies are going even further with their endpoint software to include security features like remote wipe (deleting company data without the user's participation if the device is stolen) as well as data search capability, so that information can be audited or analyzed later.

Currently, none of the major legacy backup solutions provide this level of endpoint data protection. Meanwhile, the third-party applications are quickly evolving well beyond simple data protection and into complete endpoint management solutions that include file sharing, endpoint security and endpoint compliance.

This was first published in June 2013

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