I've deployed Macrium at several of my clients because of many of the benefits we all love about the software (speed, reliability, licensing, "site manager" central management console etc.). However I always had a hard time getting my head around how the "Site Manager" is organized. I think a general rethink would be appropriate. The "Dashboard" for me is pretty much useless. It might as well not exist - perhaps others find it useful. The "Scheduled Activity" is much more useful.
In this post I would like to open up the debate on this topic, concentrating on one specific feature that I wish Site Manager had: I *wish* that there was a table-like view where I could get a quick overview of the status of all of the backups.
Yes, I can click-around on the "Scheduled Activity" page to get most of this information but then I have to click on each definition. I can also go to the "Computers" page but again I have to open up each item to get an exact picture of whether things have been running OK. So what I'm proposing is nothing new, just putting together functionality that already exists onto one page.
Off the cuff, I would imagine this view to have the following columns (which can be shown or hidden at will, can be sorted etc.):
- Little Red/Yellow/Green icon, Green=last backup was successful, Yellow=last backup was not successful but a successful backup exists, Red=no backup exists at all
- Computer Name
- Last Activity Result
- Last Activity Time
- Last Successful Run (date/time)
- Last Successful Backup Size
- Next planned run (date/time)
Also, it would be nice to be able to "expand" each row (like in the computers page), and the expanded "details" area should include:
- Disks/Volumes included in the backup
- Details of the schedule (i.e. "At 9:00 AM on Monday in the first week of January, starting 09/03/2018")
Also, like the "computers" page we could have a checkbox column and if a row is checked we could have several useful shortcut buttons at the top:
- "Progress" button that brings up the progress-window
- "View Log" button that brings up the log of the given computer
- "Edit Definition" Button that brigns up the backup definition
- "Edit Schedule" button
- "Browse Repository" button
- "Restore" button
Having such a page would serve multiple uses:
- An admin could quickly ascertain if all backups are running fine, and if not, which specific backups have issues, and whether that issue really matters. For example, if the last backup failed for a computer that might not be an issue. If it's a user's laptop and he simply hasn't been in for a week so the last backup failed but we have a successful backup from a week ago, then that's fine I don't have to worry about it. If a server's last backup failed then that is an important issue I must address.
- It would make managing backup definitions/schedules much easier and (for me) more intuitive than how we have to do things now clicking around on various separate pages.
This page could easily be exported/printed to serve as documentation, or even included in a disaster recovery plan document to aid in any recovery efforts if disaster recovery becomes necessary
In general it would make the product more user-friendly and intuitive to use