NT Backup vs. Veritas, ArcServer, etc..

This may be a stupid question, but backups are not usually something I configure at recently someone asked me about why people use programs like Veritas and Arcserve over the Windows NT backup?

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QuetzalConnect With a Mentor Commented:
1. Simpler configuration of backup jobs, particularly tape rotations.  It can be done with NTBackup, but other backup programs have wizards.

2. Data compression.  If your tape drive doesn't have hardware compression, NTBackup doesn't compress.  Typically see 1.2-1.5 compression with other backup software.

3. Agents for other computers to speed up backups.

4. Agents for Exchange and SQL Server so that these can be backed up while running.  Veritas has an agent to backup up individual mailboxes.

5. Opens to backup open files.  Only WinXP and Win 2003 have a built-in shadow copy service which can be used with NTBackup; but NTBackup must be running on the same machine.  Other backups have open file agents for other computers.

6. Integrated virus scanning.
adamdrayerAuthor Commented:
Awesome!  Thanks!
I'm gonna leave it open for a day for anyone else to add something.

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because they are specialized softwares designs only to take backups, they had tried to include all ease of use and advance options to compete free buitin backup utilities which comes with operating systems.
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Also with a program like Veritas there is the option to purchase the SQL and other specialized modules.  In the case of SQL this allows the SQL backup to be run along with the regular backup as SQL is very particular and uses its own backup system.  This allows the admin to run one backup instead of two.

I've never used the NT backup, but Veritas will resume if the power goes out, you can set notices to be sent on backup completion - via email, page or net send.  Veritas is a very powerful tool also allowing you to see a list of tapes which can be overwritten, the days left before a tape can be overwritten and facilites to circumvent the overwrite protection if needed.  They also have an extensive online knowledgebase to answer your queries if you encounter problems inluding information which allows you to determine if it a tape drive problem or a program problem.

WRT to both Exchange and SQL Server.  It is possible to back up both using NTBackup.  The issue is that the Exchange and SQL Server services must be stopped before doing so.  The Agents provided by programs like Veritas permit the backups to be made while the services are running.  This eliminates the hassle of having to shut and restart the services and users being without them while the backup runs.

In theory, the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) should enable snapshots to be taken of Exchange and SQL Server (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/storage/technologies/vss/default.mspx) and allow NTBackup to perform consistent backups.  But I cannot speak from experience wrt doing this.
adamdrayerAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your input everyone.  I'm givin' full credit to Quetzal.
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