Uniblue WinBackup 2.0 Server is a Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Server backup-and-restore utility for small and mid-sized companies. A robust user guide, online Help, tutorials, and white papers are available to help even the most inexperienced administrator.

The extremely simple UI organizes six backup functions into three categories: jobs, settings, scheduling. After I selected a name for my new backup job, WinBackup automatically discovered my network and displayed my file system in a Windows Explorer style window. From this window, I could manually select what I wanted to back up. Optionally, I could choose from two Win-Backup shortcuts that contain a pre-established selection of files. One shortcut backs up items relevant to Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE); the other shortcut backs up items relevant to a server backup. However, I found the server shortcut inadequate because it doesn't back up certain items commonly associated with a server backup, such as system files.

Deciding where to save my backup files was simplified by the fact that the product estimates backup size on the fly, letting me quickly determine whether my backup media's storage capacity was adequate. Supported media includes CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, FireWire, hard disks, network, RAID, USB, and Zip. The only item missing from the list is tape. WinBackup supports splitting backup files to a selected size (as small as 1MB). Typical backup validation and security features include validation to the bit level, password protection, and 128-bit or 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) data encryption.

I could perform a full restore or quickly search through backup files to restore an individual file or multiple individual files.

Another useful feature is the scripting interface, in which you can create scripts that will execute backup-related actions. The version of WinBackup that I tested doesn't back up open files, but open-file backup will soon be available as an add-on at an additional charge.

WinBackup 2.0 Server's ease of use, excellent documentation, and features offer potential time-savings for a systems administrator. However, the inability to back up open files and to back up to tape are major drawbacks.

Uniblue WinBackup 2.0 Server
PROS: Easy to use; includes robust user guides; can span multiple media sources; includes a scripting interface; provides real-time file-size estimates
CONS: Can't back up to tape; doesn't back up open files; server shortcut doesn't provide the system files needed for a complete server backup
RATING: 3 out of 5
PRICE: $349 for downloadable version; $359 for boxed version
RECOMMENDATION: Although WinBackup 2.0 Server has many useful capabilities, I don't recommend investing in it until open-file backup is available.
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