This content is part of the Essential Guide: The expert guide to enterprise backup software

What additional functions should users expect from their backup app?

Should your backup app do more than just backup data?

Well, that's increasingly common among backup applications today. There are a few examples that stand out. For example, many VM-specific applications can be used as an alternative to replication because they offer recovery in place or "instant recovery."

Another example is copy data management -- which aims to reduce the number of copies of data an organization must maintain by using a single copy for different uses such as backup, archive and test/dev.

Also, many a backup app can reduce the amount of data stored and/or transferred over a network. Deduplication, compression and Changed Block Tracking are examples of this type of functionality.

Finally, in many cases, today's backup app has greater integration with storage systems. So in a recovery, the software can identify whether a snapshot, a copy on disk or a copy on tape, has the most frequent and readily accessible dataset. Users get a single view into protected copies instead of having three to four different interfaces.

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