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The right backup solution

We are a UNIX/GatesOS (NT/2000) shop. With a tape SAN infrastructure on the UNIX side with StorageTek tape Libraries. We are embarking on a private 1000-btx private backup LAN for both NT/2000 and UNIX servers so NT servers can push backup data to our UNIX backup servers.

What is the best solution that you would recommend? We are currently using Networker/SmartMedia. We are looking at NetBackup, BrightStor and TSM.


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Your question is impossible to answer without knowing more about your environment. The first thing I would want to know is what you don't like about your current solution. I know that SmartMedia had issues but you can now do dynamic drive sharing in NetWorker without SmartMedia. Once I knew what your issues are with your current solution, I would look to see if they can be solved without changing software packages.

In my experience, if someone is running one of the top five backup products, their problems can often be solved simply by reconfiguring the backup product or by changing procedures. If their problems can be solved that way, then I would recommend staying with your current solution. If you have irreconcilable differences with Legato or the problems with NetWorker cannot be solved by reconfiguration, then it's time to look at another product.

As to which product is appropriate for you, that would also depend highly on your environment and what you expect out of your backup solution. With enough work, a good backup specialist could probably make any one of the three products you listed work in your environment. But one of the products probably comes closest to what YOU want than the others. That's the product you should pick.

I would recommend using an outside consultant (not provided by any of the vendors) to analyze your environment and requirements and then follow his or her recommendations.

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This was first published in May 2002

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