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NetBackup, Avamar emerge as top backup apps

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Ongoing app support

The difference between a software bug and user error may be tough to define at times, but when help is needed with backup software, it’s usually an emergency situation. All vendors in our survey are doing a good job of providing technical support and advice, as exemplified by the highest-ever scores in both the midrange and enterprise groups.

STORAGE/SEARCHSTORAGE.COM BACKUP & RECOVERY SOFTWARE QUALITY AWARDS VI: MIDRANGE RANKINGS

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Enlarge STORAGE/SEARCHSTORAGE.COM BACKUP & RECOVERY SOFTWARE QUALITY AWARDS VI: MIDRANGE RANKINGS diagram.

The enterprise leader for technical support was NetBackup, which led the field for all seven support statements for a very solid category average of 6.52. NetBackup scored high marks for delivering support per contractual agreements and providing good training and support documentation. IBM TSM was a strong second at 6.38, followed by EMC Networker (6.17).

There was no suspense in the midrange group as EMC Avamar scored another impressive category win. Avamar’s 6.78 average was buoyed by a 7.10 for providing support as agreed and a 6.95 for training. Second-place Symantec Backup Exec (5.90) had three 6.00-plus statement scores, led by a 6.17 for providing support as contractually specified.

With 20/20 hindsight

Asked if they would buy the same product again now that they have some experience with it, most respondents showed loyalty to their backup apps. But sometimes we see a disconnect between these “buy again” sentiments and the other product ratings. In the enterprise group, IBM’s buy-again percentage was slightly higher than that of overall winner Symantec NetBackup -- 82% to 80%, respectively, with the other three products in the group ranging from 70% to 79%.

Among midrange products, Avamar netted an unprecedented 100% of users who said they would buy the product again today -- not surprising given the consistently high marks the product received across all categories. Seventy-five percent of Symantec Backup Exec users said they would buy it again; for the remaining products, the range was 61% to 66%.

BIO: Rich Castagna is editorial director of the Storage Media Group.

This was first published in June 2011

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