backup utility (BU)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: The expert guide to enterprise backup software
Contributor(s): Andrew Burton

A backup utility is a program that is designed to create a copy of data in a secondary location for safekeeping. 

In the complex computing environments typical of many organizations today, it is common for IT teams to rely on a variety of different backup utilities to create copies of data on different systems. One utility might be used specifically to backup desktops and laptops, while another may be used to protect data on physical servers and a yet another for virtual servers. A backup utility may be specific to a backup target or may be designed to work with a variety of targets, backing up data from many devices to disk, tape or the cloud.

There are many backup utilities available today, serving different needs at a wide variety of price points. At its simplest, a backup utility might be a program designed to back up one laptop to an external drive or be built into an operating system or software product.  A more complex utility, on the other hand, may be designed to centrally back up a full range of systems across an organization. 

Many backup utilities offer functionalitys such as incremental backups, deduplication and compression to streamline the backup process and reduce the amount of data stored on secondary devices. Some backup utilities also offer security features.

See also: cloud backup



This was last updated in February 2014

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