Coming from the FOSS area, there are few backup solutions which are fit for use in larger environments.
There's an abundance of existing commercial backup software and I'm interested how they measure up when used in the field. Most offerings look quite nice on paper, but they tend to show their ugly side as soon as they're rolled out and used for the first time. Common sources of trouble are important things you forgot in your product evaluation, features which were presented by the marketing people more vividly than they really are or bugs/problems which compromise functionality, data integrity or the product as a whole.
I'd like to know how the backup software you know & use fares in the following categories:
- What platforms are supported on server & client side?
- Is communication between client, server and storage encrypted?
- Does the architecture allow for scalability? Can you easily grow to 100, 500 and 1000 clients? (Split out "controller" and "storage" daemons, no areas with known scalability issues)
- What storage devices are supported?
- Is the configuration revision-safe? (Can you notice accidental/malicious configuration changes easily)
- Does the software have interfaces for monitoring? (e.g. failed backup jobs)
- How about performance data collection? (e.g. used volumes, average job size, days till backup space will be full, etc.)
- Does the product have some sort of data deduplication? (Don't store identical files twice)
- Do incremental backup jobs handle deleted files correctly? (E.g. don't restore files which were deleted between backup runs when restoring from an incremental backup)
- Are there any tools/features which aid in Bare Metal Recovery? (Think Live-CD, automatic setup of block devices & filesystems, restoring of the bootloader, etc.)
- How does job scheduling work? Are there any features which help in balancing backup jobs over a given timeframe?
- Are there plugins/helpers for databases and other daemons which need to be put in a consistent state first? Is there a proper Pre/Post-Backup script execution framework?
- Is job migration supported? (E.g. Move a Backup Job from Disk to Tape or from Tape to an external/offsite archive)
Please mention any kinks, issues, problems, etc. which are affecting you in daily use as well as features which are unique/set it apart from the rest.
I know this is a lengthy question, but I think it'll help the whole community to flesh this out as thorough as possible so that an informed decision can be made without much trial & error ;). Feel free to comment on things I forgot in my list.