Feature

CommVault Galaxy, EMC Retrospect best of the backup apps

Ezine

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Backup reporting is also growing in importance as capacities grow and environments become more complex. Although advanced reporting tools are available from third parties, there's a fair amount of frustration regarding those capabilities in core backup apps. The Air Force Personnel Center's Stewart, who's otherwise very pleased with HP Data Protector, notes its reporting deficiencies. "I have no way of trending media utilization, errors within libraries," he says. "I would really like to have some hard, fast numbers to provide to management and something that I can look [at] to think about what's next."

SMB products, as a group, rated much lower than their enterprise counterparts. One would expect such products to have fewer features, but our survey normalizes for that discrepancy by asking how well a product meets the user's needs, not a line-item comparison of features. We speculate that some users are hoping to get enterprise-class capabilities at an SMB price and are ultimately less satisfied with a less-capable product.

Regardless of the reasons, Veritas Backup Exec received a 5.07 as a complete solution, best among SMB products vs. Retrospect's 5.00 and ARCserve's 4.26. Retrospect edged out Veritas Backup Exec to win the category with 4.93 vs. a 4.91 (see the "Product features" section of the "

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Rankings of SMB backup and recovery software," PDF). While users apparently like Backup Exec's file-system backup capability best, giving it a 5.38, it still placed second to Retrospect (5.48).

"In terms of getting the backup done, getting the restores done, Retrospect definitely comes through, no question," says Volaski at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Initial product quality
B/R is the single most labor-intensive task in storage management. Failed jobs, missed backups and the like require almost daily intervention by administrators. We asked respondents to rate the products on the statement "This product requires little daily intervention." CommVault was tops among all products with a 6.21, followed by HP with a 6.11. Retrospect and Backup Exec tied with a rating of 5.05 each.

Initial product quality, however, was the one category where HP Data Protector surpassed CommVault Galaxy. HP did so convincingly, with a 6.30 vs. a 6.09 for CommVault (see the "Initial product quality" section of the "Rankings of enterprise backup and recovery software," PDF). Aspects that HP users liked most included "This product uses tape efficiently," (6.69) and "This product delivers good value for the money" (6.68). CommVault users gave it a 6.32 for the "value" statement, while the SMB product delivering the best value was Retrospect (5.73).

This was first published in September 2007

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