Feature

CommVault Galaxy, EMC Retrospect best of the backup apps

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"The licensing scheme for [HP] Data Protector makes it extraordinarily attractive for us," says Mark Stewart, a storage administrator for the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph AFB in San Antonio, "because we can add hosts and clients on the fly without being forced to procure additional licenses." That kind of flexibility gives Stewart some latitude in overseeing data protection for more than 350TB of mostly HP storage. "I can do whatever I want to in the environment and not be held hostage to 'Do I have licenses to activate this?'" adds Stewart.

Still, licensing received the greatest number of complaints in this survey, especially regarding prices and administration--Symantec's Veritas NetBackup was particularly singled out--and little has changed since our 2005 survey. In that year's article, we quoted Karl Lewis of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor as saying Veritas' licensing was his "No. 1 complaint." Symantec seems to have been unable to develop a formula that users like. NetBackup received the lowest score of any product in this regard with a 4.11. EMC Retrospect had the highest score (5.20) for this statement among SMB products.

Like CommVault Galaxy, EMC Retrospect received its highest score (5.45) in the sales-force category for the statement "My sales support team is knowledgeable." This compares to Backup Exec's 4.88 on the same statement, which was also its highest score. Backup Exec didn't score 5.0 or above on any statement

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in this category.

Product features
Whether in enterprise or SMB firms, B/R software needs to address a variety of situations, including file system, database and NAS backup done locally and remotely. Therefore, we asked respondents to rate the products on the statement "This product is a complete solution." CommVault led the field regarding this statement with a 6.83 followed by HP with a 6.14. CommVault, which won the category with a 6.51 (see the "Product features" section of the "Rankings of enterprise backup and recovery software," PDF), had its highest rating (6.85) for "This product's file-system backup features meet my needs," while HP received a 6.62.

Interoperability has always been an issue, and is becoming more of a factor as companies add more data protection capabilities to buttress their backup apps. The statement "This product is interoperable with other vendor's products" typically garners some of the lowest ratings in this category, and this year is no exception. "Interoperability becomes challenging because you don't want to put all of your eggs into one basket," says Catholic Health East's Daniels. He likes how EMC NetWorker works with other EMC products, but is leery of lock-in. "It seems that once you get into one EMC product it's very difficult to get interoperability with anything else," he notes.

This was first published in September 2007

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