BackupAssist Licensing Guidelines
Some of the most frequently asked questions fielded by the BackupAssist Helpdesk Team are about licensing for BackupAssist and its add-on products. Some customers experience a bit of confusion about the licenses they need to purchase to continue running the backup jobs they want at the end of their 30-day free trial period of the product.
To clear up the confusion, this Tips & Tricks article provides a quick outline of what is included in the BackupAssist base license and what is covered by each of the BackupAssist add-on products. (Many people are confused because the free trials of BackupAssist are fully functional, meaning that both the BackupAssist base license and all of the BackupAssist add-on products are available for you to use.)
During the free trial, you can activate and enjoy unlimited use of all the backup engines - including those provided by the BackupAssist base license and by the BackupAssist add-on products. But it should be noted that not all of the add-on products actually require you to purchase a BackupAssist base license - BackupAssist for Rsync can also be purchased as Standalone product and run independently in order to save you money.
Problem: Some customers purchase the BackupAssist base license before the end of the free trial period, but still continue to run backup jobs provided by the add-on products. These will only continue to run until the end of the free trial period, and won't run after that unless you purchase the appropriate add-on product. At the end of the free trial period, you will receive a licensing error message when the job is executed if you do not purchase the add-on license you need to continue running that particular job.
An explanation of the BackupAssist licensing model
The BackupAssist licensing model is designed to be simple and cost-effective. Unlike other backup software packages, BackupAssist is designed so you only have to pay for what you need. This table shows how the BackupAssist licensing model works.
|Function||BackupAssist license/s required|
|Basic system protection||BackupAssist base license*|
|Basic file-level protection|
|Exchange Server - complete database (basic)
Backup & Restore entire Information Stores
|Exchange Server - brick-level (advanced)
Backup & Restore individual mailboxes and public folders. Granular restore specific items like calendar, emails, notes, etc.
|BackupAssist base license plus the BackupAssist Exchange Mailbox Add-on|
|SQL Server - advanced protection
Backup & Restore, including daily backups or near-continuous backups (every 15 minutes), and backing up specific databases or complete servers.
|BackupAssist base license plus the BackupAssist SQL Server Add-on|
|Internet/offsite backups.||BackupAssist for Rsync Add-on^|
|Hyper-V Guest VM restore
Easy restore of Guest Virtual Machines/Individual files for Windows Hyper-V Servers ( from backups made using BackupAssist only).
|BackupAssist base license plus the BackupAssist VM Granular Restore Console Add-on.|
|Tape drive support
For Windows Server 2008 and Windows operating systems that do not include NTBackup facilities.
|BackupAssist base license plus the BackupAssist Zip-To-Tape Add-on.|
|Open files snapshot manager
For Windows 2000 systems only.
|BackupAssist base license plus the BackupAssist Open Files Add-on.|
*Note: one BackupAssist base license will manage all of the BackupAssist add-on products, making them all compatible with each other if you need to use more than one add-on. You can purchase the add-on products if/when you require them and easily incorporate them into your system using your original BackupAssist base license.
^Note: the product denoted by this symbol ^ is also available in a Standalone version, which means it may be purchased separately and used without a BackupAssist base license installed if required. However, when a Standalone license is purchased it may not be used with any other BackupAssist backup engine besides the one associated with the add-on, providing you with very limited functionality. Attempting to run a backup using any unlicensed backup engine will result in a failed backup due to a licensing error.
Q: What is covered by the BackupAssist base license, exactly?
The BackupAssist base license provides the following backup engines:
- NTBackup Engine on Server 2003, Server 2000 and Windows XP
- Drive Imaging Engine on Server 2008 and business editions of Visa and Windows 7, (which also performs backups for your Windows Hyper-V Servers)
- The BackupAssist File Protection Engine
- The BackupAssist File Archiving (which runs backups to every type of data storage hardware device except tape drives).
The BackupAssist base license will also provide the following functions:
- Backup the system state and local files on a local machine.
- Backup remote shares, but not remote open files or remote system states. (If you want to backup the system state, then a BackupAssist base license is required on every Server for which system state backups are required. Note: the Imaging Engine cannot be used to backup remote files.)
- The BackupAssist base license can also backup an Exchange Information store without additional licensing. However, you cannot backup a remote information store from a 2008, Vista or Windows 7 system as the NTBackup Engine must be used to backup remote information stores and NTBackup facilities are not provided for in these Windows operating systems.
More questions and answers about BackupAssist's optional add-on products
Q: Why do I need a BackupAssist Exchange Mailbox Add-on?
If you want to backup individual mailboxes to PST files, you will need to purchase the BackupAssist Exchange Mailbox Add-on. This add-on can backup any number of mailboxes or Exchange Servers. For more details on our Exchange backup solutions we recommend taking the Exchange Backup product tour.
Q: Do I really need a BackupAssist SQL Add-on?
If a BackupAssist base license is installed on the SQL Server, it is possible to backup the SQL databases using the NTBackup, Imaging, File Replication, or ZIP Engines included in the BackupAssist base license. This is accomplished by selecting the appropriate directories where the Microsoft SQL databases are located. When backing up the SQL databases using this method, the BackupAssist SQL Add-on is not strictly required. However, the BackupAssist SQL Add-on makes it much easier and provides the following additional benefits:
- You can backup remote Microsoft SQL databases
- Transactional Log backups can be scheduled throughout the day. The benefit of a Transaction Log backup is that you can perform a restore of your SQL Server to a specific point in time during the day (within a 15 minute window), reducing the amount of data or transaction loss you would incur if your system should fail.
- Provides a second backup method to fully protect your SQL databases in case the primary backup file of your SQL database cannot be restored.
For more details on the BackupAssist SQL Solution, please refer to our SQL Whitepaper.
Q: What is the BackupAssist Zip-To-Tape Add-on used for?
If you wish to use the Zip Engine to backup to a tape drive, both a BackupAssist base license and the BackupAssist Zip-To-Tape Add-on will be required. This add-on is particularly useful for those needing to support backup to tape on Windows Server 2008 and recent Windows operating systems where NTBackup facilities have not been included by Microsoft, however it can also be used to create automatic backups to tape easier on earlier Windows operating systems
Q: Do I need a BackupAssist Open Files Add-on?
This add-on is only required on Windows 2000 systems that lack an open files snapshot manager. BackupAssist uses the Microsoft VSS service as the open files manager on later releases of Windows. The Open Files Add-on is only compatible on 32 bit platforms.
Q: What is BackupAssist for Rsync used for?
This product provides an easy, cost-effective method of performing Internet or offsite backups using the popular Rsync protocol. It is available as an add-on to be used in conjunction with a BackupAssist base license (giving you the capacity to perform both local and offsite backups) or as a Standalone product. The Standalone version is useful if you only want to operate offsite/internet backups and don't need any of BackupAssist's other facilities or add-on products as well.
(When purchased as a Standalone product, BackupAssist for Rsync will not allow you to use the NTBackup, Imaging, Zip or File Replication Engines included in the BackupAssist base license and attempts to use them will result in a licensing error message and a failed backup).
Q: Who will need the BackupAssist VM Granular Restore
If you have a Windows Hyper-V Server, we recommend that you purchase both the BackupAssist base license and the BackupAssist VM Granular Restore Console Add-on. Together they make it possible to perform a fast, one-pass image backup of the Host and restore anything you need from the Guest VMs in minutes! The add-on allows you to mount a Guest's VHD file and easily restore individual files and folders from within. For more details on the “BackupAssist Hyper-V Solution” please take our Hyper-V Backup product tour.