Shopping for the right backup software solution for your company can feel like a daunting task, especially if you don’t know what questions to ask. We have compiled a list of the top 10 backup software questions to ask software vendors to help you make the best choice for your specific business environment. Even if you already have a solution in place, it may be worth doing a little research to determine if it is still the right solution for your business. You may want to do some initial research online prior to contacting vendors. Data sheets are a great source of information regarding basic product features, benefits and requirements. Once you are ready to contact a vendor for a sales call, let them know that you have a list of questions you would like their team to answer for you. Feel free to expand upon this list if you have specific needs for your environment that are not mentioned below.

#1 Time Commitment

– Is there a long learning curve to get up and running? How long does it take to install the software and set-up your first backup? Is there any assistance with installation and setup?

#2 Performance

– How fast are your backup speeds? Have you done any benchmark testing?

#3 Scalability

– Will the backup software solution grow with you and adapt to your changing environment? If you need additional licenses or increased functionality, how easy is it to scale to fit my growing environment? Is there a limit to how much data you can back up?

#4 Flexibility

– Can you backup to a range of media devices? Does it backup and recover from geographically dispersed storage? Does it backup physical and virtual environments? Does it offer both local and online backup options?

#5 Total Cost of Ownership

– What is the total cost to protect your environment? Are there hidden costs of ownership? Do application plug-ins and APIs cost extra? Is there an extra fee for technical support? What specifically does the license cover? If you move from physical to virtual servers, do you need to purchase additional software? Is the licensing model based on a per server or a per CPU socket cost?

#6 Application Support

– Is the product optimized for specific applications? Does it natively support your applications, like SQL and Exchange? How fast do they release backup software updates for new application releases?

#7 Operating System Support

– Does the backup solution support the latest operating systems, including the OS’s you are currently using? How quickly do they respond to new operating system releases, so you are not left waiting for OS support?

#8 Technical Support

– Will they be there for you when you need them, or will they leave you hanging? Are the engineers knowledgeable and easy to understand? Is their support outsources overseas or is it handled in-house. How responsive are they to solve or escalate your support requests?

#9 Security and Protection

– Is your data really secure? Does it offer encryption at-rest and in-flight? What level of encryption is available? Is encryption available for both file backups and image backups?

#10 Ease of Management

– Is it easy to deploy and manage or is the backup solution too complex for a non-IT users to run? Is a central management console available and is it user friendly? Can backups be managed remotely? How simple is it to deploy and upgrade?