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My Love Affair With Macrium

Updated: Jan 10, 2019

When I launched Marari Network Solutions back on March 1, 2007, "backup" was a conversation that most business owners that I spoke with had little time for. For the most part, they assumed that their tech team or IT Guru took care of that critical piece for them by waving some magic wand, uttering some guttural incantation of acronyms, and 'voila!', data was backed up. Imagine the horrific surprise that some of these owners experienced when I showed them that their precious data backup existed but was unverified, incomplete, non-functioning, or non-existent. This, of course, started an important conversation about the backup process, which over the years has turned into conversation about business continuity.

Around the same time in Manchester England, a gentleman by the name of Nick Sills had just suffered a catastrophic data loss and realized the shortcomings of backup software available at that time. As a programmer, Nick and his team set out to create Macrium Reflect in answer to this identified deficiency where the focus was image-based backup that allowed for ultra-fast recovery time.

Over the past decade, Macrium has grown from its humble beginnings into a well-matured, important piece of the business continuity plan. Business continuity planning allows for a company to recover from an emergency or disaster in a relatively short period of time. This requires a bit of thought and planning with a focus on resilience, recovery and contingency planning.

The latest version of Macrium Site Manager - their free tool to deploy and manage backup - added the ability to synchronize your on-site repository to an off-site location via SFTP, or to the cloud via Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services for added data redundancy and fault tolerance. Resilience - check.

Macrium uses Changed Block Tracking (CBT) to greatly reduce the time it takes to do differential and incremental backups. In my environment, I backup a complete Microsoft Hyper-V server (including the VMs) in about 6 minutes on an incremental, and about 20 minutes on a differential backup. And because it uses VSS to do the backups, the impact on a live system is minimal and brief.

With Rapid Delta Restore (RDR), Macrium quickly recovers data from single or multiple backups and can cut restore time by up to 90%. Macrium's ViBoot takes things even one step further and, if you're running a Microsoft Hyper-V server, you can directly convert a Macrium Image file into a running VM. This provides instant boot of failed systems for business continuity. Recovery - check.

Macrium Image Guardian provides protection for locally attached disks (USB, iSCSI, local media) by allowing only the Macrium Reflect process to access the image files. If you consider the prevalence of ransomware in the new threat landscape, this is a critical component in ensuring your data remains safe should you or your company suffer an infection. Contingency - check.

I know this sounds like an infomercial for an awesome product. It's really hard to not get excited when you understand that all of this technology and protection comes at a fraction of the price of some of the leading solutions in the marketplace. And it scales from small business (like mine) to enterprise customers like Ford, Dyson, Proctor & Gamble, and Disney to name a few.

Macrium is small company doing big business. The mentality of the company is to foster strong relationships with channel partners and clients, and let creative IT professionals find ways to use the product without being sand-boxed. (For example, backing up to OneDrive or Google Drive as a repository.)

It's scalable. Macrium Reflect at the small business level is exactly the same as Macrium Reflect at the enterprise level. The enterprise level just uses more licenses.

You have support options from (standard) email support to available (premium) 24/7 phone support with support agents located in North America and the UK.

But the biggest reason I am in love with this company and their product is because they are big enough to compete with the major market players, but small enough to still care about every single one of their customers and partners.

Want to take a trial run with Macrium? Call or email me and I'll be happy to help!


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