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Seeking Recommendations for a Backup Solution

Posted on 2013-01-16
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I work in the IT dept. of a small local government agency.  Although we're not a large organization, we do have a fairly complex infrustructure.  We are a Microsoft shop with Server 2K3 & 2K8 and XP & Win7 clients.  We also have a number of MS SQL DBs, etc.  And, there is one client/server app that is Oracle and a MySQL DB on a Win2K8 web server.

We have a Dell PowerVault LT2000 tape library, as well as some Scale SANS.

For the past several years UltraBac has been the backup/restore solution.  Our support contract is up soon and we're looking to explore other solutions.  UltraBac works, but if you have experience with it you know how clunky the interface is.  And, our support has suffered since one of their analyst left the company about year ago.

I'm looking for suggestions which do not include Backup Exec.  We feel it's too expensive and can't justify the cost vs. other robust solutions from smaller vendors.

Let me know if more clarification of our environment is needed.  And by the way, we don't do client level backups, only servers.
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Question by:Demersus
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Assisted Solution

by:wolfcamel
wolfcamel earned 225 total points
ID: 38784888
I love storage craft shadow protect - full image backup, and changes every 15 minutes,
easily mountable backups for quick file restores, and easy to do full server restores to different hardware.

typically I have a "backup server" that the other servers backup to, it then runs the image manager software that consolidates the 15 minute interval updates into daily and weeklys, and then backups of the backups to tape - with one backup exec license.
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Author Comment

by:Demersus
ID: 38794060
I've only taken a cursory look at Shadowcraft, but it doesn't seem to have the level of sophistication required for our environment.  For example, in my experience enterprise level backup solutions use "agents" to back up things like SQL databases and so forth.  It's not clear to me how Shadowcraft performs DB backups, other than at the file level using VSS.  If that is indeed the case, it probably is not a robust enough solution for us.  To then need to use Backup Exec to run backups to tape just further complicates the process, whereas UltraBac, even with its idiosyncracies, can perform all of these tasks.
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noxcho earned 975 total points
ID: 38804979
Check with AppAssure: http://www.appassure.com/server-backup-replication-and-recovery/
Seems like it has been swallowed by Dell now.
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Author Comment

by:Demersus
ID: 38806920
noxcho,

Appassure looks promising, especially since we are a Dell shop.  I've done some cursory reading about the features, but I was wondering if you know whether it can be used in conjunction with an LTO tape library.

In our environment we run a number of different types of backups on a daily, weekly & monthly bases.  Some are full backups to remote SAN over fiber, others go directly to LTO in a Powervault library.  And some are incremental to tape, SAN or NAS, etc.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 38807420
Demersus, I never had a chance to test it with tapes because I do not have them. But if I remember it well it has an option to backp to tape.
Best to give a short call to Dell and get their assurance that it will work with LTOs.
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Author Comment

by:Demersus
ID: 38807448
Thanks noxcho,

I've also done a bit more reading and I do believe you're correct.  I'm going to leave this question open just a bit longer because I'm seeking recommendations, not necessarily an absolute correct response.  Yours is the best so far, however.  But to be fair, I'll award partial points to every responder in some abritrary weighted manner.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 38807542
No problem. The best award is you who found an answer.
Take care
noxcho
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Author Closing Comment

by:Demersus
ID: 38831791
I was a bit disappointed that I didn't receive more response as I know there are at least a half dozen other enterprise level backup an DR recovery solutions on the market that I've heard of.   But, the Appassure suggestion does at least look promising.
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