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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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