I need a good backup solution for bare metal recovery, exchange, SQL and the normal file backup

I need something I can test first. We are currently on Symentec's Backup Exec 12.5 but I'm not impressed with it and it's a small fortune for everything we need. I've tried HP Data Protect and don't really like the interface and it's not very straight forward. We are a medium sized shop that is going to be growing fast in the coming year so I need something good but we don't currently have the big budget so cost is an issue.
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medacRyanAuthor Commented:
We also need Hyper-V integration.
You say that you are not impressed with Backup Exec 12.5, but don't state why.  As a disaster recovery specialist I've used BE in a number of locations to recover and restore servers, including Exchange, I am, therefore, somewhat surprised that this product does not meet your needs?

Could you perhaps outline your problems with it?

I'd recommend ShadowProtect of storagecraft for this. In my opinion it is the best tool available and has features others don't even know exist:


Cheaper, but also not as feature packed would be PAragon's tools:

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Iamthecreator OMIT Admin/EE Solution GuideCommented:
CommVault Simpana is another nice product, initial cost plus licensing cost per host so you'd grow it as you need


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medacRyanAuthor Commented:
Backup Exce is pricy for what I need. It seems like every time we add a server I'm having to buy another license. Plus the quote we got for it is not gonna fly. I'm going to download the trials that are available and test them out. If there are anymore recommendations please let me know.
So let me get this right.  You have at least three servers that need backing up?  I presume you have something like a tape solution on one server and you are backing up using agents on the other servers.

How much data on each server being backed up?  What is the speed of your network?  Are you using a dedicated backup LAN?

I've always told clients that you need to look at the cost of recovering the data if the backup fails, rather than looking at the cost of the backup solution.  The most important factor is that a backup works in its function and that is the ability to demonstrably prove that it can restore your system back to the point you require within the timescales you need.  That will dictate your solution.

Perhaps you'll provide the information and we can work from there.

medacRyanAuthor Commented:
I currently have 2 SQL servers, 1 exchange server, 2 hyper-v servers, and 10 other servers that need to be backed up. The SQL, exchange, hyper-v and 3 others must be able to be recovered from bare metal. All VMs, 26 total, need to backed up. The total amount of data to be backed up is 3 Tarabytes. Our LAN is gigabit but we currently do not have a dedicated backup LAN since not all server are in 1 location.

Trust me what I want to spend on backup is not the final say. I'm at the mercy of Sr. Management.
medacRyanAuthor Commented:
I'm noticing in some of these trials there are no notification options. I need the software to send me an email when the job is finished or if it failed.
I think the problem is that you may be looking at the wrong product.  I would suggest something like Symantec Netbackup to allow you to back up consistently with that many servers.  However, this is by no means a straightforward undertaking as you will probably need to bring in specialist skills.

You mention that some of your servers are not at one location.  Could you expand on that please?

medacRyanAuthor Commented:
We have 2 main offices and one satellite office that is connected via VPN tunnel. The data on the satellite office is on 100GB. The main offices are connected via a 1 Gb fiber connection. I've got a good layout of what I want to do I just need to find the product that will do it. It also has to be somewhat user friendly so my backup can handle any minimal issues that might arise.
Both products I mentioned (shadowprotect and Paragon) can send emails, so those should fit your needs.

Personally, but that is a prejudice of mine, I would never ever buy any Symantec product. That's a company that has the terrible habit of buying other companies with good products (like veritas which made backupexec at that time), and then made bloatware out of the titles or discontinued the software. Also the now Storagecraft (shadowprotect) emerged from the remnants of a company they bought (that was powerquest who made drive-image and partition-manager). Some of the left over programmers then started storagecraft.
The alternative to tape, etc is online backups.  Unfortunately I am on the other side of the Pond, so cannot offer choice of company, but I advised a client to follow this route and it was an outstanding success.

Initially, they delivered a portable server rack to site and took a full backup of the required servers and other machines.  They then returned this to their secure data centre.  All the data is fully encrypted to full government standards.  All further data is hash checked for duplication, compressed and encrypted then uploaded to the offsite servers.  

Power users can get their own restoration of data and there is granular security built into the solution.  If there is a server failure they are contracted to have the data to site within four hours of request.  In case of a major disaster, the data can be delivered to a disaster recovery centre of the clients choosing.

All backups are monitored and, because you are buying a service, you get a phone call if there is any problems with your scheduled backups.

The company I dealt with in the UK was InTechnology. http://www.intechnology.co.uk/ .  They may well have a company in your locale that can perform a similar service.  

When I presented this solution to the board of the client, I compared it to two tape based solutions and found it competitively priced.

medacRyanAuthor Commented:
Looks like we are going to go with CommVault or as much as I hate to say it Backup Exec. Thanks to all that gave suggestions and pointing me in the right way.
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