We're a site with over 100 servers and we're considering a switch from traditional file-level backups (using Netbackup) to block-level (using Acronis). Of course, with this, we're also considering a switch from the traditional tape based system (using a tape-library) to performing backups to disk.

I would like to know if anyone has done a similar switch (specially between these 2 products) and if so, what are your experiences?

As a final note, I want to mention that what grabbed my attention from Acronis is its ability to perform ONLINE image-backups as well as INCREMENTAL image-backups. I'm a little bit skeptic about performing ONLINE image-backups as I have always performed them on COLD systems in the past. I haven't properly test the product but will be pretty soon.

Thanks !

  • I'd be interested to hear how it plans to accomplish online block-level backups. I guess it could quiesce VSS-aware applications on Windows, for example, but only some apps support that. Sounds like voodoo to me. Call me old-fashioned, but I like simple technologies for backups because they're less prone to failure. How are you planning to handle off-site and offline backups with a disk-based system? – Evan Anderson Aug 4 '09 at 2:44
  • Yes, that's also how I believe it works: only those apps that are VSS-aware may survive a restore. We'll need to test each one... Regarding offsite backups, you're right on: that's another issue as we currently use Netbackup Vault to track our outgoing & incoming media. If we go the b2d route, we're considering performing network backups to a remote location (thru a VPN of course). I'll need to check with the network guys to see how big our pipelines are :( – JFA Aug 4 '09 at 3:45

While I've not switched from Netbackup, I can vouch for the effectiveness of Acronis tools. I've used several of their tools for both file-level and block-level backups, and have done hundreds of backups and restores without issue. I trust my data with it, and it has yet to let me down. It should be noted, though, that this was only done with cold images, not online backups, for what that's worth.

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