Carbonite Server technical guide

One product to protect physical, virtual, and legacy systems

Carbonite Server is a single-vendor solution with the capabilities necessary to meet a wide variety of data protection needs.

Features and Functionality

Incremental-forever backups

Carbonite Server runs as a physical or virtual server on Windows or Linux hardware and takes  forever-incremental backups of physical and virtual machines.  It offers a straightforward console to manage backups and recoveries. 

Configurable backup and retention scheduling

Backup and retention schedules can be configured per server, so you can tailor the appropriate protection level to each workload. The software maintains historic recovery points as often as every 15 minutes allowing you to restore data and operations to a point before data loss or corruption occurred. Retention scheduling is customizable to meet your organization’s needs.

Agentless virtual machine backup

Efficient agentless backup of VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines (all supported guest OSes). For VMware, Carbonite Server utilizes all three transport modes for backups: storage area network (SAN) snapshots, hot-add, and network block device (NBD). It features native intelligence to automatically select the most efficient mode available.

Automated verification reports for VM backups

To test that backups are successful, the software first performs a checksum verification, then mounts protected volumes and boots a backup instance of each virtual machine without copying data.  It occurs daily in the background with no manual intervention necessary,  continuously validating your ability to restore without the need for time-consuming testing.

Expansive platform support

Operating systems

  • Windows
  • Linux
  • IBM iSeries
  • Solaris
  • HP-UX

Application-aware agents

  • Microsoft SQL
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • Oracle DB
  • System State


  • VMware
  • Hyper-V


Carbonite Server’s user interface allows you to create and monitor backup jobs, check backup status and capacity usage, and view backup verification reports. It shows backup success, failures, capacity usage, and job history in an easily scannable format.

Carbonite server backup management dashboard

Scale-out architecture

Horizontal scale-out architecture allows users to add additional volumes locally on the backup server or on DAS, NAS, or SAN networked storage as capacity needs grow.

Local backup + cloud

Local backups are incrementally copied to cloud storage for disaster recovery. Carbonite Server features a multi-threaded architecture and native compression, and AES 256-bit encryption is applied to data at rest and transfer is protected with TCP/TLS 1.2 over port 443.

Carbonite server local and cloud backup

Flexible restores

Carbonite Server offers a wide range of restore types to address different recovery scenarios.

Restore types

  • Bare metal image
  • File system
  • System state
  • Granular restore
  • Optional cloud failover

Application awareness

  • Active Directory
  • Exchange
  • SharePoint
  • SQL Server

VM restore options

  • Local VM failover
  • Full VM restore to host
  • Granular file, folder, or application restore
  • Mount or download virtual disks
  • Cross-hypervisor restore

Bare metal restore allows you to restore a full server image to a new server in the event of hardware failure or a disaster. Of course, not every restore scenario requires a full system recovery. That’s why Carbonite Server also offers application aware, file level recovery and granular object level restore for common business applications. To accomplish this, Carbonite mounts the backup, so it appears to be a drive on the backup server. Folder structures are maintained in backups, so locating and recovering lost files is easy.

Carbonite Server also offers restore options that take advantage of capabilities inherent to virtual servers. The solution backs up VM images to a local backup server. In the event of a primary server failure or outage, operations can be manually failed over to the backup VM directly on the backup server. This allows you to continue normal business activities while the primary server is restored. A cloud failover option is also available for disaster recovery.

Carbonite server cloud failover for disaster recovery

VMs can also be restored directly to the host or across hypervisors. With cross-hypervisor restore, you can copy VMware workloads to Hyper-V to reduce VMware licensing costs in your disaster recovery environment. File, folder and application aware restores are available for virtual servers, giving you the ability to recover lost or corrupted items without the need to perform a full VM restore. Additionally, you can download virtual machine disks (VHD, VMDK, RAW). This can be useful for sandboxing or archiving.

For more information about Carbonite Server’s backup capabilities check out our Knowledge Base.

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