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All licenses can be acquired for one, three, or five computers, as desired. A free edition is not offered. The manufacturer does, however, allow a day trial period for interested parties, where you can download and install the software without registration.
Backups can be divided among multiple backup media if needed. To save data backups in the Acronis cloud, you need an annual subscription Saving in the cloud is only natively supported in the subscription model standard or premium. Those accessing Acronis True Image with a permanent license need an additional cloud add-on.
Tip Data security in the cloud enables a physical separation of the backups form the original data. Users can better protect themselves against data loss in the case of burglaries or disasters.
Another advantage: But outsourcing to the internet does have its risks. Users of cloud backup services should be aware that the integrity of their data in the cloud is strongly dependent on the data protection regulations of individual providers When combined with Acronis Cloud Storage, the backup tool enables: Data backups in the Acronis Cloud Cloud-based synchronization and data archiving Search function for backups in the cloud Mobile device backup in the cloud Central control of backup tools via a touchscreen-optimized web portal Incremental backups of Facebook data Tip An Acronis account is a requirement for the use of cloud functions.
This offers registered users access to a web-based user account, over which Acronis products, user licenses, or cloud storage quotas can be purchased and managed online. All backup data is automatically compressed. The image tool makes up for a somewhat lengthy installation process with a clear, self-explanatory user interface.
The program offers the possibility to create multilayered backup plans. For example, users can choose a weekly complete backup, or choose select data to be backed up daily in parallel. Automated backups thanks to the calendar function The backup can be set incrementally, differentially, or to user-defined parameters. An integrated search function makes it possible to search through images and only back up single files or folders as needed. Define a custom backup scheme The confidentiality of the backup data especially on cloud-based backups is secured using password-protected bit AES end-to-end encryption.
The premium subscription of the imaging software with Acronis Active Protection contains integrated anti-ransomware. These make it possible to check the authenticity and integrity of your backups and provide images with an electronic signature when needed. The remote function of the image tool provides a touchscreen-optimized web portal. This enables centralized management of all PCs, Macs, and mobile devices connected to your Acronis account. An internet connection is required to do this, as well as having Acronis True Image installed on the device in question.
Eric B. Rux May 26, Executive Summary: In this comparative review, we examine three disk-imaging solutions: Acronis Snap Deploy 2. Our findings will help you determine which of these products would be best suited to helping you deploy, for example, Windows Vista in your environment.
Windows Vista has been available for over a year now, and as this article goes to print, Vista SP1 is just hitting TechNet. If your company has only a few computers, the notion of physically visiting each one is probably reasonable. Instead of scurrying around to find a copy of the OS, the license key, and someone to babysit an installation, you can use a disk-imaging product to quickly lay down a master image of a hard disk to one or more computers.
Of course, to justify the overhead of creating and maintaining that master image, you need to consider how many computers you have in your environment and how many you deploy per year.
In this comparative review, I examine three disk-imaging solutions: To test each product, I used built-in feature sets for deploying a new OS. Each network had a dedicated server running a management console, from which I could manage remote machines, and one other Vista and Windows XP client to test remote management.
Each product uses a similar process of copying an entire hard disk to an image file or files. All three products can utilize a multicast technology with which multiple PCs can receive the master image simultaneously. I narrowed down to Acronis Snap Deploy for the purposes of this comparative review.
On the Acronis. The fifth component is the Management Agent, which you can install on remote clients to permit remote management. Installing the Management Console and License Server is straightforward. Applying the licenses to the server is a relatively simple process of typing one or more serial numbers.
Fortunately, I was able to save time by copying the serial numbers into a simple text file and importing them. Installing the OS Deploy application requires a reboot. If you plan to use a production server to host this portion of Acronis Snap Deploy, be sure to take this necessity into account. The PXE Server element—the final installation piece—installs very quickly and is further configured in the Management Console through a simple wizard.
New OS deployment. Like most imaging products, Acronis Snap Deploy recommends that you use Sysprep on the master PC before creating a master image.
To create the master image, you can use the Management Agent, but the manual advises against doing so. You use the wizard to choose the hard drive to be imaged, select a location to store the image file, select the compression level, and insert any comments you want to add to the image.
After you create the master image, you can deploy it to other computers. You can also use the Remote Management Console to deploy images. To do so, the target PCs must already have an OS installed and running, and the management agent must be installed.
Figure 1 shows remote clients standing by, ready to accept the new master image. Additional features. Uniquely, Acronis Snap Deploy allows automatic transfer of files to PCs after the image has been applied. Acronis Snap Deploy also offers remotemanagement capabilities: After you install the Snap Deploy Management Agent on the target PC, you can manage files, execute applications remotely, and even schedule tasks through the Management Console.
Still, remote management is a nice addition. Help and support. Acronis has a limited support Web site with only a few Knowledge Base articles relating to Snap Deploy. If your budget is tight, I recommend this inexpensive solution for simple OS deployments Contact: The very clean Paragon Deployment Manager installation routine installs five components: You can install all the components on the same machine or individually onto separate machines if you want to distribute the workload. Continue to page 2 New OS deployment.
To create the master image, you use the supplied Hard Disk Manager Professional software on the PC that has the finalized OS setup that you want to deploy. I poked around the interface and found a Create an image of the entire disk icon. After I clicked the icon, the tool walked me through a wizard, and I soon had a master image suitable for deployment.
Deployment of the image occurs from the server or management workstation on which Paragon Deployment Manager installed. The first step is to create a New Session. You can also create a template that you can use repeatedly. Here, you select the image to be deployed, the target hard drive if the PC has two or more drives , and the partition. You can also set the maximum number of PCs to deploy to and perform any post-imaging tasks.
At this point, I had trouble determining what the Maximum number of active targets field was for. My first thought was that it would let me set a limit to ease the server load, but it actually configures the server to wait until the last PC connects before starting the multicast. Finally, you can set a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule. This kind of scheduling can be particularly useful for classroom or Quality Assurance QA lab environments. Paragon Deployment Manager offers a selection of templates, with which you can deploy unique images to specific hardware simultaneously.
And the included Network Boot Disk Creator has multifaceted value: For example, if you always multicast the images to the PCs and never unicast , you can use the Network Boot Disk Creator to set the PXE client to always multicast and bypass the unnecessary second countdown that normally lets you choose multicast or unicast. Paragon Deployment Manager also offers the ability to utilize multiple multicast sessions and session IDs.
If you have multiple hardware configurations, you can set up the software to have unique images ready and standing by, as you see in Figure 2. You simply boot the PC with the boot media that corresponds to the image that you want to deploy. When I called telephone support to get setup assistance, my call ended at an answering machine, which told me to leave a message. Paragon Deployment Manager 8. Scheduled deployments are ideal for classrooms and QA labs; built-in DHCP and PXE servers are easy to set up; included Hard Disk Manager lets you perform backups, create new partitions, merge partitions, and even undelete partitions Cons: If you build systems or need to deploy different images to multiple machines simultaneously, Paragon Deployment Manager is worth your consideration.
Norton Ghost owned by Symantec is a consumer backup application built on the success of Backup Exec, and is targeted at deployment to a single PC. I review the latter product here.
You begin by double- clicking the Symantec Ghost. Doing so not only installs the client but also installs the Ghost Console, which lets you remotely deploy disk images to machines on the network. Instead, you can install the necessary files manually or through your usual application-distribution mechanism e. I chose to simply manually install the agent by double-clicking the Client.
The wizard explained, If you leave this field empty, the client will connect to the first server it finds. I had only one server the first XP machine that I installed the Ghost console on , so I chose to just leave the field blank. With the agent installed on the remote machines, I started the Ghost Console application. I noticed first that all new machines end up in the Default Machine Group.
For example, suppose you want to use Ghost to deploy a new Vista image to all your XP machines. Ghost really shines in its OS-deployment functionality; the entire Ghost Console seems devoted to helping you prepare and deploy a new OS.
Essentially, the system copies a physical disk in its entirety to a file on another disk. This newest version of Ghost adds new features atop the basics. When I worked through a few deployments, I found the product to be packed full of useful features that simplify new OS deployment. Another timesaver is the ability to save program settings and user data when laying down a new image on top of an existing OS.
You can alter or add new filters as you need them. Another cool feature is Network Groups, which help you deploy to specific networks, see how your machines are distributed on the network, and set network data throughput limits.
Simply run through the wizard, point it to the drivers that you download from the network card vendor, and Ghost will create the boot disk for you. During my testing, I was able to locate everything I needed when a question arose.
Also, the Help screens are built-in requiring no online access , with an easy-to-use search function. Symantec Ghost Solution Suite Pros: Price Rating: Of those two, Acronis Snap Deploy is the better choice thanks to its more attractive price point. However, when it comes to large deployments of a new OS on top of an existing OS e. This product's ability to filter on specific hardware, sofware, and even Microsoft hotfixes gives you the deployment flexibility you need for even the most complex projects.
I enjoyed working with each product, but this impressive toolset sets Symantec's product apart from the competition, earning it our Editor's Choice designation.