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We have a medium sized network with both Windows and Linux servers (about 50 of each), and I'm just wondering what the best multi-OS backup solution for this situation is.

Right now we are using bacula with a 23 tape autochanger, which is fabulous, but a bit hard to configure, and lacking some good gui tools.

What other tape backup solutions are people using, what do they cost, and how easy are they to use?

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5 Answers 5

I'd recommend Symantec's NetBackup if you can afford it. BackupExec from Symantec is pretty good until you add the Unix clients. It doesn't do that nearly as well.

NetBackup has an excellent command line interface, as well as a GUI that is good. I will say it has a few pitfalls in the setup phase, but if you follow the documentation and best practices guides, rather than just jumping in blind it's great.

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I use BRU and Zmanda.

BRU has a GUI console that works on most *nix machines as well as OS X. Zmanda has a web based gui. BRU abstracts the idea of tape management away from you, instead you define a pool of tapes you want to backup to for a particular job or jobs and it will put data where it can while following your retention rules. Zmanda is just as configurable.

As far as cost is concerned you can get zmanda for free, but BRU will cost you at least $299 for 30 hosts. Both are simple if you've done backups before.

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In the Windows world, a big player is Backup Exec by Symantec. Licensing is a pain, however, as they want you to buy a license for each server that it touches.

I would have LOVED to have found a replacement for Backup Exec.

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In fact, we switched FROM Backup Exec TO bacula - and have found both pros and cons doing so. The biggest con being that Backup Exec's GUI was excellent. –  Brent May 4 '09 at 23:05

HP Dataprotector scales well in a multi-OS environment. Just check the flavor of Linux you use, they certify some flavors but not all. We use it for HP-UX, and Windows.

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I second the NetBackup recommendation, with a caveat:

While NetBackup is infinitely configurable, (with Multiplexing, Multistreaming, Storage Units, Storage Unit Groups, etc) for an easier life resist the urge to configure it infinitely!

Additionally, good, actually... perfect DNS and reverse DNS and the lack there of, are at the root of a good NetBackup deployment.

JB

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