Backup Solution : Open Source or other software

We currently use Veritas Backup Exec 9.1 as our backup software solution, this was fine a few years ago but as our web farm has grown so has the costs of the Software, so much so that to fully license Veritas across our network would cost £10k+ and we're not in a position to pay this out.

now for my question, does anyone know or has anyone any experience of any other backup software, open source or otherwise ?
pbgormleyAsked:
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-Leo-Commented:
My customers using embedded W2003 server backup at no cost....It is not so flexible as Veritas but you should define your goals first...

How many servers you have? How many tapedevices/libraries? How much disk space in total?

Also, try to configure Tapeware and see if it will be acceptable: http://www.yosemitetech.com/TapeWareCommerce2002/store/productbuilder.aspx
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pbgormleyAuthor Commented:
hi Leo, thax for the reply.

We have 8 servers and we've a DELL 122T Powervault backup solution, total disk space would be in the region of 500gb-1Tb possibly.

Does W2k3 allow remote backup from the host server ?
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-Leo-Commented:
You can run scheduled backups on one server and backup others through shares.
Also - do you have MS Echange, MS SQL, Oracle or other server applications? It will be hard to back them up remotely with embedded backup...it should be running on the local machine. But if designed properly - embedded W2k3 backup can do its job just fine.
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pbgormleyAuthor Commented:
We have one Exchange Server and two SQL Servers, also in the farm is Sharepoint.

Do Veritas/Symantec have no major rival in the backup software field ?
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Jeff BeckhamEngineerCommented:
The only significant enterprise-level backup competition is CAs ArcServe/BrightStor.  There are some other smaller vendor's out there like Yosemite's TapeWare and Dantz's Restrospect which would likely provide adequate backup

Given you current environment with several web servers, Exchange, SQL and Sharepoint, you're going to feel the pain of the intgrated Windows Server backup product pretty quickly (such as not being able to backup registry information remotely, managing backup jobs on every server, etc.).  I've used the included software before by running local, scheduled backup jobs to file on the server with the tape drive and then backing up those files to tape.  Downsides to this are lengthier restore processes and high disk space requirements.

In my opinion, you'll be better off with a 3rd-party backup solution.  I'd also strongly recommend Veritas/Symantec BackupExec over BrightStor.  My experience with TapeWare and Restrospect are limited.
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-Leo-Commented:
We are using TapeWare to backup Exchange, MsSQL and Oracle and it is performing fine with 6 servers and about 1Tb of disk space. Veritas and Arcserve can do this fine as well but at the higher cost...You can calculate Tapeware price at the website I posted before.
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
http://www.bacula.org/ is free

You'd have to build a backup server that runs Linux. http://www.bacula.org/dev-manual/System_Requirements.html

Windows is supported via an agent.

Seems to work quite well.
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rindiCommented:
There probably won't be any big difference in price whether you use tapeware, arcserve or backupexec. Are you sure the price really is as high as you say? If you are using a dedicated server for backing up and are using one tape library, you only need the backup software one server, and the correct agents on the others. The agents shouldn't be that dear to get.

Otherwise I agree with meyersd, you should get a linux backup solution, but this may be slower than using backupexec, also it should work OK.
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pbgormleyAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys, im gonna have a look at all your suggestions.

Rindi - yeah thats what i thought as well but the remote agents for veritas (sql/exchange inc) where a lot more expensive than i thought, example : 1 SQL Remote Agent License is £450+VAT !!!
The prices have certainly increased since last year - Symantec at it again !!!
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rindiCommented:
Maybe you can get the agents cheaper via a distributor rather than directly through symantec?
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pbgormleyAuthor Commented:
The pricing was via a reseller (Phoenix Software) even with discounts.
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Jeff BeckhamEngineerCommented:
Most of the Veritas agents will run $400-$500 USD.  The remote agents are cheaper though.

Bacula doesn't seem to support online backups of SQL or Exchange, or anything else other than vanilla file backups.  It seems far to immature to rest your company's data protection needs on without thorough testing including bare-metal restores.
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rindiCommented:
SQL you wouldn't necessarily have to backup online though. You can get it to create dumps and then you just backup those. For exchange you could use ntbackup localy on the exchange server to backup to a file on the server first and then you can backup that file to your tape using veritas or bacula. the same would apply for systemstates of the servers. Such a system will of course make it harder to restore data as you need to first restore the files from the tape and then use ntbackup to actually restore the data.
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juanferminCommented:
I've generally found it usefull to present management with a solution, along with the number of hours a year that I believe the solution will save.  This way, if I can go to managment and let them know that this Exchange Agent, for example, can backup Exchange, without me needing to shut down Exchange, it basically saves me an hour a week, or 50Hrs a year.  Compare the cost of 50Hrs a year at your rate of pay, vs spending $500.00.  I can tell you this much, I charge my clients a HECK of a lot more than 10 bucks an hour.
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