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Why backup monitoring software is growing in popularity

Brien Posey discusses why backup monitoring software is growing in popularity and how it can help IT admins ensure effective backups.

Are you seeing any increased interest in backup monitoring tools today?

There actually does seem to be a significant amount of interest in backup monitoring products lately. In some ways, the demand for backup monitoring software seems almost counterintuitive. After all, almost every backup application contains some sort of notification engine, so why does an organization need to invest in a dedicated application to monitor backups?

The reason why backup monitoring software is becoming more popular is because it is able to help an administrator to better cope with the complexities of modern backups.

At one time, a backup application's job was merely to facilitate the copying of data from a backup source to a backup target. Today things are far more complex than they once were. In addition to copying data, backup servers commonly perform other tasks such as data deduplication and changed block tracking.

Not only has the backup software become responsible for performing a wide variety of tasks, the backups themselves have also changed. Organizations might perform any combination of server backups, file-level backups, virtual machine backups or application backups. In addition, backup sources and targets might reside on premises, in the cloud, or both.

The bottom line is that backup administrators have a lot more things to keep track of these days. While it is true that some of the better backup applications offer comprehensive reporting engines, backup admins sometimes find themselves using a variety of different backup applications. This is either as a result of corporate mergers, or because the backup application that the organization has long been using is simply inadequate to deal with all of the different backup operations that need to occur.

Backup monitoring software is designed to collect all of the alerts generated by backup applications and then compile those alerts into a meaningful report. That way, instead of having to look at dozens of different status messages, a backup admin can look at a single backup summary.

This was first published in March 2014

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