Networker or Netbackup?

Hello EE,
I am evaluating Netbackup and Networker.  Looking for feedback from anyone using or familiar with both pros/cons
Does it provide:
1. Easy Administration
2. Backup and deduplication
3. Quick Restore
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Duncan MeyersCommented:
They're both good products but NetBackup is the market leader for good reason - it's easier to use but you won't be let down by either. NetBackup has Operations Manager - a single view for operations and reporting. It's also got the distinct advantage that it writes tapes in the standard tar format so any Linux or Unix host can read a backup tape created by Netbackup. Symantec's NetBackup appliances integrate really well with the software and lets you implement storage life-cycle policies really easily, but at the cost of pretty ordinary dedupe ratios. You can get around this by using Data Domain, Quantum or one of a bunch of other appliances. The Symantec appliance allows you to connect a tape drive directly to the appliance for ease of writing tapes.  A Symantec appliance is also a media server, so you can reduce your hardware footprint significantly

Networker, on the other hand, has a less sophisticated GUI and isn't as intuitive to use. It integrates well with Data Domain (as you'd expect given that they're both EMC products). The VMware integration is also really good. Data Domain has by far the best dedupe efficiency of all the appliances and you can use DDBoost which gives you partial client-side deduplication, reducing network bandwidth requirements and significantly improving performance. Media migration from old tapes to new is the easiest I've ever used, so when it's time to upgrade from LTO-6 to LTO-7 or 8, it's a simple process with Networker. Buying optional DPS licensing gets you access to Avamar, the best source dedupe product on the market, so if you're backing up remote sites or dsktops/laptops, then that could be enough to swing you over to the EMC side.

Both backup products support everything you'd expect in terms of host operating systems and backup devices, so there's nothing to split them there. I have a pretty low opinion of backup GUIs in general - they all come from a Unix background way back in the depths of time, and ease of use wasn't a priority when they were being developed, and people have come to accept the status quo. Either product is easy enough to use once you've done the training and you're used to it although NetBackup is definitely a simpler one to learn from scratch.

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What are you trying to do with your backup product? Depending on data volume, operating systems, staff time, etc. other products may be better for you, such as Commvault Simpana, EMC Avamar, Unitrends, etc.
Thomas RushCommented:
How much data are you backing up?
How complex is your environment?  (number of sites, different operating systems, virtualization, types of storage and backup targets, etc)

Netbackup is the market leader, but it (and CommVault) tend to be expensive.
Networker was acquired by EMC some years ago, but from what I understand they've not put a lot of money into it, and its market share does seem to be slipping.
Commvault does have the advantage of being dedicated to backup.
Also consider HP Data Protector, which has great functionality, and a single dedupe code implemented across the backup engine and HP's StoreOnce appliances, giving you the best flexibility.  Also works well with Data Domain -- either StoreOnce or Data Domain will give you great deduplication, and allow you to replicate backup data efficiently to other sites.

All of the products will (I believe) have a 30- or 60-day free eval, and you might be able to get pre-sales support for that eval as well, depending on the size and complexity of your environment.  Having somebody who knows what they are doing set up your initial environment can be key to you getting the most out of an evaluation.
Duncan MeyersCommented:
I didn't cover off your last question in my post. Quick restore time is easy! Either backup product will do single-item/single file restore which is quick if you're restoring from a de-dupe appliance. Restoration of a whole VM or system will obviously take longer simply because there is more data to move, so speed of the de-dupe appliance and ancillary hardware is important.

 While you are planning for your backup software, you also need to plan your overall backup environment architecture so that you keep backup windows to a minimum and get the best possible data protection. Consider using either multiple 1Gb Ethernet uplinks for each device that backup data traverses or use 10Gb Ethernet. My experience with Data Domain systems is that they will ingest data as fast as you can throw it at them so they will show up weak links in the backup environment - such as in networking or media servers.
operationsITAuthor Commented:
Great feedback thanks
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