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Backup & Disaster Recovery Software

GOLD:   CommVault QiNetix 4.2
Judges gave their highest marks to CommVault Systems Inc.'s QiNetix in the areas of functionality, value and innovation. In describing the QiNetix suite, one judge said it was a "good implementation with complex functions [that] integrated well."

Another judge agreed that QiNetix is a "competitive solution in an already crowded landscape." He added that he thought CommVault's product effectively met the expectations of enterprise-class IT organizations with its combined quality of support, service and functionality. A special nod was given by one of the judges to many of CommVault's built-in backup and recovery features.

The QiNetix platform is based on a single management console and underlying policy-driven framework that allows users to deploy one or several QiNetix modules into their environments. With this offering, users will notice CommVault has married several intelligent, policy-driven features with its more traditional backup functionality. The result is a sophisticated approach to backup and disaster recovery (DR).

CommVault Galaxy is the cornerstone of CommVault's backup and recovery software offerings within the QiNetix platform. Its

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most notable features include its media management functionality, ability to perform high-speed backups, reporting tools and support for multiple application environments and operating systems.

Other QiNetix modules include the QiNetix DataMigrator, which works with Microsoft Exchange to automatically migrate e-mail messages and attachments to secondary storage, based on predefined policy settings.

The QiNetix Quick Recovery module allows users to create snapshots for rapid recovery of applications. Features found in QiNetix Quick Recovery include easy tracking and administration of point-in-time snapshots; policy-driven, automatic snapshot aging; and snapshot cataloging functionality that captures snapshot details such as current mount point, last mount point, time of snap and size of volume.

Finally, management tools under the software label of QNet complete the QiNetix suite. QNet provides virtualization or storage "pooling" functionality and supports better storage resource management and asset utilization. It offers a single view of storage assets across the enterprise and provides reporting on a site's primary, secondary and archive storage. It also offers centralized monitoring and management of all other QiNetix software modules and services.

CommVault has since released a new version, Version 5.0, of its QiNetix storage management suite. Based on the submission requirements for our Products of the Year awards program, the company chose to submit its earlier product, Version 4.2, for the judges' consideration.

SILVER:   FalconStor IPStor 4.0
FalconStor Software Inc.'s IPStor 4.0 took our silver medal for backup and recovery software and services based on the extensiveness of the DR functionality found in its myriad software options, such as advanced replication and snapshot services, bare metal recovery, backup acceleration, real-time data migration functionality and IPStor's ability to perform continuous online and nearline backups.

One judge said that the product was "useful as a DR solution in many environments." Another judge chimed in with the insight that IPStor was a "well-engineered product with all of the functionality you'd expect for enterprise-class IT."

All was not coming up roses for IPStor from the judges, however. Some areas questioned by our panel included IPStor's high price tag and its lack of consistency groups, or write-ordering, that one judge said was essential for a full-blown DR solution. Additionally, in-band virtualization is not everyone's cup of tea, but IPStor does it as well as anyone.

Overall, the IPStor product scored high on the judge's list in terms of its functionality, all-around performance and innovation.

BRONZE:   CA BrightStor Enterprise Backup 10.5
Computer Associates International's (CA) BrightStor Enterprise Backup version 10.5 took our bronze medal for backup and recovery as a robust, pure-play backup solution for the enterprise. Judges seemed to be most impressed with BrightStor's backup/recovery performance, followed by its overall functionality and ease of integration into the environment.

The judges took special notice of BrightStor's record-setting performance to back up and recover multiterabyte databases. Performance numbers submitted by CA in high transaction-processing environments included a sustained throughput rate of 2.21TB/hr to recover a 2.5TB database. Likewise, backup performance numbers were clocked at a sustained throughput rate of 2.66TB/hr on a database loaded with 983 transactions per second.

The product shines as well in its integration options, including full integration with other BrightStor products. It's also built to be integrated into CA's overall storage management platform, CA BrightStor Portal. The product is able to manage, monitor and report on competing solutions (IBM Tivoli, Legato and Veritas). Customers have also been favorably impressed by the fact that the product's backup agents can be upgraded in phases, and are backward compatible to prior versions.

While judges deemed BrightStor Enterprise Backup a definite enterprisewide backup contender, some expressed concerns about the price. One judge had reservations about the product's lack of support for various operating system environments, claiming it was only equipped to work well in Solaris, HP-UX and AIX-based data centers. The product is also available for Windows environments--including NT 4.0, Windows 2000 and Windows XP--and those running the HP/Compaq Tru64 operating system.

This was first published in January 2004

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