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BackupExec alternatives

Posted on 2004-04-09
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We currently use BackupExec software to manage our nightly backups using tape drives for storage.  Lately it seems like we have to troubleshoot a lot of proplems and for a backup system I don't want to have to worry about it.  On a Windows 2000 machine, are there other software packages that we could use other than BackupExec that may be better?  Or is BackupExec the best?  If I just need to troubleshoot and clear all the errors I will, but if there is a better alternative I would like to know.

Any alternative should be able to backup from several directories on different servers and needs to be able to use tape drives.  If the brand / model of tape drives makes a difference just let me know and I will post the specs.

Thanks for your input.
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Question by:mgcIT
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dovidmichel earned 35 total points
ID: 10793912
Well Backup Exec and CA's BrightStor ARCserve are the best. They both have the most features and support the most number of tape drives and libraries. As to which one is best that is really for you to decide, because I firmly believe the best one is the one you like the most.

As for myself I prefer ARCserve, and have been using it for years. I can not tell you that you will not have any problems because no matter which backup product you look at there are always users who have problems. It does not matter if it's the media, drive/library, bus, controller, OS, or even the data itself, it is the backup program that reports the error and so gets blamed for it.

Bottom line advise is get a live trial of BrightStor ARCserve 11 and test it out. It is recommended to has a test system so that you do not have to interfear with your regular backup. That said I have run both on the same system. To do so set all the Backup Exec services to Manual so they will not start, then in the OS Device Manager Disable the tape drive and library. After that restart the system and install ARCserve. To go back to Backup Exec set the ARCserve services to manual and then enable the devices and restart. As long as services from both are not running at the same time it works. I did it to test reading Backup Exec tapes with ARCserve, yes ARCserve will read Backup Exec tapes.

I'm a hardware guy and so one of my favorite parts of ARCserve is the tape log. When enabled it records all the SCSI commands ARCserve sends to the tape device, and the devices response back. There is nothing better for troubleshooting tape problems.

To give fare time, my second favorite choice is Yosemite. It's at the lower end but a very nice product. Either way best to get a live trial and try it out.  
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by:mgcIT
ID: 10794890
Thanks for the suggestion.  I will check out ARCserve.

If anybody has any other comments, please post.

Thanks
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by:Glowingdark
Glowingdark earned 35 total points
ID: 10795263

I have used BackupExec, and ArcServe, they both have their strong and weak points.  Another product is TapeWare ( http://www.tapeware.com/ ).  We currently use this to backup a windows 2000 server and an Exchange server.  

On BackupExec vs. ArcServe:

I agree with the previous poster that ArcServe has better hardware level reporting, but job level reporting is better in BackupExec.  We don't to really creative tape rotation cycles, but both systems let you get creative.  I personally think that BackupExec is a bit easier to use.  ArcServe may have some more advanced backup options, but setting them up is difficult.  BackupExec has more restore options.  

There are a few other companies producing backup software:

Retrospect by Dantz (http://www.dantz.com/) has an interesting concept of incremental backups, and offers support for Macs.  We use this in our art department.  

Legato software (http://www.legato.com/) is supposed to be very good, high end (more expensive) backup software.  They have plugins to backup many database servers and application servers.

Novaback by Novastore (http://www.novastor.com/) sells desktop and server based backup software.  

Hope this helps

Kevin
 
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 30 total points
ID: 10796834
NetBackup is far superior to Arcserve or Backup Exec but that is reflected in the price.
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by:mgcIT
ID: 10807074
Thanks for the recommendations... I will check these products out and get back to you.  If anybody has any other comments, please post.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:stanriner
ID: 14839423
    I'm looking at the same decision that you had to make.  I will have 3 Windows Server 2k3 with XP and 2k clients.  Using SQL Server and no exchange server.  I currently have both (one on each server) and I want to get all of my servers backing up on one tape.
     I'm also looking at backing up all of my clients periodically and ARCserve told me that I can do that with their product without purchasing anything more than the Server Product.  With Veritas, I have to purchase the clients.

Which did you end up choosing and how is it working out for you?
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