Products of the Year 2007:

Backup and disaster recovery software and services

Bronze Award:

Acronis Recovery for Microsoft Exchange

For most companies, email systems are communications lifelines linking them with their suppliers, customers and contractors; for many firms, doing business as usual means having fully functional, reliable email service.

Plenty of data protection vendors say they can protect and sustain this valuable corporate asset, but few do it as well and as easily as Acronis Recovery for Microsoft Exchange. Although not widely known in the enterprise realm, Acronis Inc. has established a worldwide presence, based largely on the success of its True Image line of bare-metal recovery apps. With Acronis Recovery for Microsoft Exchange, the company builds on that expertise and incorporates its trademark ease of use.

Acronis Recovery for Microsoft Exchange protects Exchange data stores at the brick or database level with near continuous snapshots of mail transaction logs.

A management console lets you remotely manage all instances of the application running on your network. From the console, you can install agents, set options on Exchange servers, and launch recoveries for any Exchange server running the agent.

Restores are essentially point-and-click affairs, allowing recovery of entire mail databases, or individual mailboxes or messages. You can also easily pick the point from which you want to recover. One of Acronis Recovery for Microsoft Exchange's most impressive features is its ability to bring the email system back up and available to users within minutes while it's busy recovering the email data in the background. Acronis calls this dial-tone service, providing users with at least basic mail service during recovery, rather than making them wait until the operation completes.

A host of wizards makes deploying, configuring and using Acronis Recovery for Microsoft Exchange easy enough for even those businesses strapped for IT resources to deploy it. One judge calls it "a solid SMB backup product." We agree, especially with a price ($999 per server) that puts it within reach of most companies. But we suspect plenty of enterprises will give it a long, hard look, too.

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