Screenshot Verification Protects Business

Screenshot Verification: Unique Backup Technology Protects Your Business

Traditional backups are insufficient for most companies doing business in 2015.  Ten years ago, it was a different story; tape-based systems made economical & logistic sense.

But business requirements have caused servers to explode with mountains of new data. And  increased dependence on these servers means that many companies cannot easily tolerate even a few minutes of server downtime.  Old-style backups simply can’t keep up: the time required to completely restore a server to working order from a regular tape- or conventional disk-based backup unit can easily exceed 3-4 days.

We went shopping for Backup & Disaster Recovery (BDR) systems several years ago.  These modern systems are able to take “snapshots” of servers while they’re in production mode, meaning backups don’t impact employee productivity.  They then mirror these backups to offsite datacenters. And in the case of a major server outage (caused by a software failure or even a fire/flood/earthquake) they can quickly restore an image of a server back to normal working order, usually in an hour or two.

Of all of the BDR units on the market, one line stood out because of its advanced technology: SIRIS.  Besides being able to act as a “spare server” in case of a major outage, SIRIS units contain a cutting-edge technology called Screenshot Verification which completely tests backed-up server images “on-the-fly” on a regular basis.  This combination of snapshot technology, virtualization and a host of other technologies puts SIRIS ahead of the rest of the pack, because it eliminates the need to manually test backups for integrity.

Here’s how Screenshot Verification works:

  • Each night (or, more often, depending on your preference) one of the backup snapshots is mounted up as a disk image on the SIRIS unit in a protected area
  • The server image is started up with a virtual machine manager
  • The SIRIS device waits a few minutes for the image to boot, then takes a screenshot of the running virtual machine
  • The SIRIS device compares the screenshot with “known good” screenshots and decides whether or not the operating system booted
  • If the SIRIS device detects a problem, it uses OCR (optical character recognition) software to recognize the text on the screen & e-mails an alert log to the administrator
  • The virtual machine image is then dismounted and everything is cleaned up.


We used to have to run backup competency tests on tape-based systems. These tests were complex and took many man-hours to complete so it was only feasible to run them about once a year. SIRIS runs the equivalent tests on each server every day, meaning you can sleep better (and so can we.)

To learn more about how SIRIS can safeguard your business, contact us!