The free edition of Unitrends Enterprise Backup provides backup and disaster recovery services for up to four concurrent Hyper-V or VMware virtual machines.
Unitrends Enterprise Backup already supports Windows Server 2012 which is what I used to review the software.
Install and setup
Installation was extremely easy. The installer creates a virtual machine on your Hyper-V server with appropriate hard drive and memory allocation to get started. After that, you simply need to specify some network configuration to make the web interface available. From that point on, all administration can be done from the web interface.
Setup at the web interface is streamlined when you are prompted by an initial setup wizard. Most importantly, the wizard helps you get your host added to the navigation pane so you can quickly get to scheduling backups. Although the wizard has several options for client types, the free version can only be used to backup VMs so make sure you select either Hyper-V or VMware. With all the options available, this may be a bit confusing.
Unitrends Enterprise Backup – Client add options
The status screen shows some valuable information to help you monitor the status of the client showing the size and numbers of files as well as others. Deeper insight can be gained by accessing the Reports. Unitrends Enterprise Backup comes with a lot of nice pre-built reports to help you keep track of your backup strategy.
Status screen and available reports
Performing a 1-Time Backup or scheduling ongoing backups is done with what I found to be a very simple to use interface. Bells and whistles are nice but sometimes it’s refreshing to use an interface that is organized simply and logically.
When setting up scheduled backups, you have a few choices to choose from that should meet your needs. Incremental Forever does a full backup and then incremental from then on. Full with Incrementals does the traditional Full backup at specified periods with incremental in between. There is also a Custom mode.
1-Time and Scheduled Backups
Scheduled backups also include retention settings on the same screen.
Archiving and tape
Archiving allows you to move VM backups to iSCSI, NAS, or disk. As with scheduled backups, archives can be done ad hoc or on a schedule.
Provisioning disks for archiving and is done by getting into Settings to add storage. For example, if you already have a working server with iSCSI targets and disks, simply punch in the IP address and then check Get List of Available Targets. This will retrieve a list iSCSI targets to choose from. Next you can check Get List of Available LUNs and select the appropriate LUN for your Archive.
Adding and confirming iSCSI storage
Again, the restore interface is simple and logical. Simply select the date, VM, and backup time and proceed. On the second and final screen, you can restore to the original location. You can also restore to an alternate path or alternate location to test the validity of your backups.
Restoring to multiple locations
Accessing the Settings in Unitrends Enterprise Backup provides access to a large number of other settings such as the configuration of iSCSI and NAS devices and System Monitoring.
In conclusion, I found Unitrends Enterprise Backup Free Edition to be much more robust than I would expect from a free product. For a comparison with the other editions please check out this feature table.