Macrium Software announced on Friday (October 21st, 2016) the release of their latest product Macrium Central Management Console (CMC):
(In case the tweet is not shown:
Let's have a look what CMC is, what it does and how it manages your backups.
First look at Macrium CMC
Quote from http://knowledgebase.macrium.com/dis...ement+Console:
Having tested CMC a few months now I have to say as my personal subjective but very sincere opinion that it is the best that has happened to Windows backup in years. There are still a few small glitches, mostly cosmetic ones to take care of but CMC does what it promises, what it is designed for.
enables backup, restore and monitoring of multiple networked computers running Macrium Reflect using a Web browser user interface. Supported browsers are Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and IE 11.
A Macrium Agent service
is installed on each remote computer which then communicates using Microsoft Message Queueing (MSMQ)
to a single installed instance of the Macrium Server service. This service also exposes an HTTP/HTTPS server service on a configurable port which enables web browser sessions to manage the Macrium Agent
The Macrium Server service can be installed on any single networked PC or Server. Both Domain and Workgroup networks are supported.
(Image: Macrium Software)
According to Macrium, CMC will be available as a free download to all Macrium Reflect customers (excluding the Free Edition). At this point I am not sure how long CMC will remain free as stated by Macrium now, my insecurity coming from this screencap I made from Macrium Webinar on October 11th, week and a half before the release:
Full Webinar, with a CMC demonstration:
Anyway, at the moment every geek can test it, at least at this point you will get a 30 day trial license for one server and up to 5 workstations when installing it:
Download from Macrium, link in tweet on top of this post.
Setting up is easy and fast. First you need to download an automatic agent configuration tool and run it on each PC you want to add to CMC to configure firewall. The tool sets some FPS and WMI rules. When done, click Add computers to add them, install Macrium Agent service on each computer (a barebone Macrium Reflect required even if client has Reflect installed).
Add definitions, schedules and repositories (network share to store backups) and you are done. The CMC server runs as a service in background, using Microsoft Message Queueing (MSMQ) to communicate with clients. In below screenshot you can see how little resources the whole system needs:
A client PC needs even less:
When CMC is set up you can manage all backup and restore operations on all connected computers from your CMC server host, or from any of your networked computers.
Trying to not make a too long post, here's a video I made to show CMC in action. Video is not meant to be a tutorial but it should show you how to work with Macrium CMC:
(Sorry about the audio quality in video, my last microphone left this realm and went to bit heaven. Narration recorded on phone.)
I find CMC to be extremely easy to use, with intuitive user interface and enough features to cater my needs. The dashboard shows all relevant information:
Widgets on dashboard can be moved, added and removed.
One small but really cool feature I really love seeing integrated in CMC is Slack notifications (Slack: Be less busy). I set up a new group, myself as the only member, and set up a channel for CMC. Now when anything happens on my CMC server I get a notification immediately on Slack:
Allowing Windows notifications on Slack sends them directly to my Windows 10 Action Center:I would like to use CMC even if I only had one computer. The user interface is excellent and easy to use, the footprint really small. CMC makes keeping track of backups, maintaining them a peace of cake.
Of course I understand that Macrium's target segment with CMC is small and midsize business, corporate networks and domains, but I can see no reasons why a private user shouldn't use it.
Let's put it this way: if you are one of those Macrium customers who have bought the Family Pack of Macrium Reflect Home to protect your PC and the spouse's and kids laptops, download CMC and see it yourself how easy and fast it is to master your backups without hassle.
Wishlist (things I hope Macrium to fix & add):
Basically the only thing I am missing in CMC is scheduled restore on multiple computers. Restore is now only possible selecting one computer at the time. It is not possible to schedule a restore operation.
Some small details need to be fixed. One is agent installation and update.
Macrium Agent creates a user profile on each computer. When you have to reinstall agent it does not remove the old one. In my case for example I had done last Windows reinstall on this computer I use as CMC server only a few days before the release. My CMC and agents on each computer where automatically updated on Friday after the official release, after what my Users folder looked like this:
The old Agent profile, and the new one. OK, not so big problem you might think but I have this stubborn old desktop which CMC keeps losing from its sight, the only way to get it back, to get it shown in CMC is to reinstall the agent. Before I noticed I had 11 Macrium Agent user profiles on that PC. First one is always simply named MacriumAgent, the second one MacriumAgent.PC-Name, then CMC starts adding numbers to profile names: MacriumAgent.PC-Name1, MacriumAgent.PC-Name2 and so on.
All but last can be manually removed, safe, easy and fast, but although this really is a meaningless small detail, it bothers me. Well coded software cleans up after itself.
That's it geeks