Backup & Disaster Recovery Software

GOLD:   CommVault Galaxy 4.1
When we looked at the entries in this category, we expected our winner to go beyond the hype in its marketing brochures and deliver the goods: namely, drastic reductions in backup/recovery time. CommVault Galaxy didn't disappoint, rising quickly to the top of our judges' list of favorites.

The Galaxy received high praise from judges for its innovation, ease of use, ease of integration into existing IT environments and its inherent value.

Galaxy is one of the first serverless backup/recovery solutions for Microsoft Windows and Unix environments. But it goes beyond that. Commvault Galaxy takes an application-centric and logical view of a company's mixed media storage resources. This top-down approach allows for faster, volume-level backup with minimal impact on either the production host or application performance.

CommVault Galaxy 4.1 also claims faster restores than its competitors. By writing backups to disk via random access, Galaxy exploits disk's inherent strengths. According to CommVault, most competing products write to disk sequentially, requiring a sequential and lengthier restore process.

This approach requires fewer manual steps for an administrator

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to follow in order to restore data rapidly at the application level, such as a rapid restore of an Oracle database.

Offering block-level incremental backup of Oracle databases, the product provides what the company claims is a "consistent, recoverable image of the data to be protected." The product also has built-in support for third-party snapshot and third-party copy applications, giving administrators a single browser-based interface for scheduling, managing or cataloguing snapshots and for viewing their global storage resources.

CommVault Galaxy shines in heterogeneous, mixed storage media environments (disk, tape or optical media). The product views all backup media from an abstract, logical layer as universal storage resources, as opposed to viewing it from just the physical storage or device layer, as does many of its competitors.

The CommVault Galaxy 4.1 has policy-based management features that allow administrators centrally manage and apply policies to each media resource. This also lets them manage data movement for each resource in a similar way, regardless of the media type.

CommVault Galaxy 4.1 supports heterogeneous operating systems, applications and storage platforms, including Unix, Linux, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft .NET, Novell, Oracle, several other Microsoft products, Lotus Notes/Domino and some EMC and Network Appliance products. Of special note to our judges was the fact that it also supports all network storage environments - whether DAS, SAN, LAN or WAN. Base pricing for CommVault Galaxy 4.1 starts at $2,000 per server.

SILVER:   This tool by Bellevue, WA-based Bocada, Inc., won a special place in our judge's hearts. After checking out Bocada's BackupReport, it became clear why this product received more glowing accolades from analysts, reviewers and customers than virtually any other storage software we've seen.

One judge even proclaimed, "Products such as these are desperately needed in the field." BackupReport does just what its name implies: It reports on the relative success or failure of your organization's backup processes. Using an intuitive GUI, it offers visual cues to identify how well your backups succeeded, often within moments of initial install. Surprisingly to most administrators, the final reports can quickly identify up to several hundred gigabytes that haven't been backed up successfully.

The product uses an agentless architecture that supports multiple operating systems and all major backup software products, including Veritas, Legato, IBM Tivoli, products by HP, Computer Associates, and Microsoft.

Pricing starts at $4,300 for a perpetual license to a single backup server in a homogeneous network environment.

BRONZE:   Veritas NetBackup 4.5
It should come as no surprise that Veritas NetBackup 4.5, released in April 2002, also made our list as a solid contender across all areas, including innovation, ease of use, functionality, value and performance.

After all, Veritas NetBackup has had a history of innovation in the market. This includes being one of the first to support serverless backup, via its E-Copy functionality. With its latest product version, Veritas has added some much-needed backup functionality, such as calendar-based scheduling. Customers will also see more robust backup and disaster recovery features, such as Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) and integrated vaulting with Veritas NetBackup Vault, which enables automated rotation of tapes to an off-site backup facility.

Perhaps more important to data managers who handle Oracle database backups are the automated backup/recovery wizards that now mask the complexity of Oracle's underlying RMAN commands. Now following a few simple steps in plain English, DBAs or administrators can be trained quickly to back up their Oracle databases.

Pricing starts at $5,000 for Windows and $10,000 for Unix. Pricing for NetBackup BusinessServer 4.5 starts at $1,995 for Windows and $3,995 for Unix.

This was first published in January 2003

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