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In the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) category, EMC Retrospect returned to the top spot after a one-year hiatus. While Symantec's Veritas Backup Exec edged out Retrospect a year ago in a near-dead heat, Retrospect had a bit more breathing room this year; its 5.29 score topped Backup Exec's 4.93 handily (see the "Overall ranking" section of the "Rankings of SMB backup and recovery software," below).
Retrospect garnered many positive comments, especially regarding its support for Apple Inc. Mac systems. "It supports Mac clients, Linux clients and Windows; it's very unusual to get that range of support," says Maurice Volaski, systems administrator at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, NY. Volaski has used Retrospect for more than 15 years and is a big fan of the product. "In terms of features, it's the best you can possibly imagine," he says.
Product scores improved this year vs. 2006. Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. OpenView Storage Data Protector scored a solid second place among enterprise products with a 6.07, the only other product to have an overall rating that exceeded 6.0. Syncsort Inc. Backup Express, which scored a below-neutral 4.37 in 2005 and was unrated last year, jumped to a fourth-place finish this year with a respectable 5.23.
In the SMB category, CA ARCserve Backup (formerly BrightStor ARCserve Backup) finished third for the second year in a row, but improved significantly from a 3.93 in 2006 to a 4.25 this year.
In the sales-force competence category, CommVault and HP shared the enterprise top spot with each receiving a score of 6.07 (see the "Sales-force competence" section of the "Rankings of enterprise backup and recovery software," PDF). CommVault received its best score (6.35) in this category for the statement "My sales support team is knowledgeable." HP's best score (6.29) was for "My sales rep is easy to negotiate with." Both vendors received their lowest scores (a 5.75 for CommVault and a 5.94 for HP) for the statement "The vendor's licensing formula offers good value."
This was first published in September 2007