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Windows Thread, URGENT: Disk Imaging Vendor Solutions for Backup & Recovery in Technical; Hi guys, I really need your help! My boss wants me to write a report to compare and make recommendation ...
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    URGENT: Disk Imaging Vendor Solutions for Backup & Recovery

    Hi guys,
    I really need your help! My boss wants me to write a report to compare and make recommendation on which, or which combination of the 4 disk imaging backup solutions is the best solution. Please see below for details.

    What am I looking for?
    Pros and cons of the following vendor products:
    1) Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery (Servers and Workstations) 7.0
    2) Symantec Ghost Suite 2.0
    3) Acronis True Image (Server and Workstations) 9.1
    4) Paragon Drive Backup 8.51

    The environment roughly consists of:
    Applications built in C++ and Visual Basic
    Window 2000, 2003, NT servers
    MS SQL Database Servers at the backend

    I am interested in knowing:
    1) If anybody has already performed a study/comparison on these products

    2) Any information on the pros and cons, strengths and weakness, technical challenges experienced in implementing/using these products

    3) The challenges faced by these products in restoring on dissimilar hardware

    4) Information on backup and recovery based on disk imaging, disk cloning under Window environment (eg. Technical challenges, pros and cons)

    Please help if you can. Thanks a million!!!!

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    m25man's Avatar
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    System Recovery is good, it does what it says on the tin can be used for DR as well as a solid and fast backup solution its failing as many image based backup/recovery tools is the storage of the Images.
    You have to work hard at managing the repositories.
    Other products are better at managing this using de-dupe and compression systems eg. Veeam walks all over System Recovery for recovery image sizes.
    The most important factors with all is RPO/RTO

    What does your management team expect? Nowadays they assume you will have zero downtime in the even of a major failure!
    With disk/image based backups it could be several hours before you have managed to restore to dis-similar hardware or virtual machine unless you have a Hot Standby system ready to accept one of your images.

    Example, one school I know came in one morning to find the entire 500GB volume of user data missing from their NAS. Before anyone could login the volume had to be chkdsk'd
    This took 9 hours...
    During which time there was panic and mayhem. Do I restore from backup? Get a server ready, how do I restore? Image to VHD sounds like a good idea how long 15hrs?
    New hardware? 4 Hrs + delivery time...
    The NM spent all day preparing the replacement system restoring backups sorting out IP's connectivity and how to's.
    At the end of the CHKDSK the server rebooted and came back on line all data present and correct and service resumed and never occured again!

    What ever you choose set your RPO/RTO in your DR Plan, agree this with SLT make them aware that Disasters take longer to recover from than a deleted email and make sure that all of the resources you promised yourself are going to be available.

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    i suspect youre going to get a lot of personal opinions on this one

    Symantec: for me the last really usable product Symantec made was Ghost 8...everything since will have you chained to a management console doing a lot of maintenance

    Acronis: when it works, its fine. especially for restoring an image to dissimilar hardware. what worries any user of acronis products is that the company will issue an update, because inevitably, over the years, when theyve targeted one bug and conquered it, theyve introduced one (sometimes more) new bugs. ive got a standard image that will only restore with the exact version of acronis ti it was created with, even one update along and it wont restore successfully....

    Paragon: never got round to even testing it, so no help from me there.

    It depends on whether you want recovery and backup covered in one product, or by one vendor

    For me i would seperate backup (of data) from recovery and imaging

    Ive used Clonezilla an FOG, both open source and free, with some success for classroom, small business scenarios as far as imaging goes, and used various commercial backup software for data backup on the server. Clients usually go commercial fo rbackup software, as while they are happy to let me Clonezilla or FOG their desktops, they still dont trust open source for data backup...i keep trying...

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    Quote Originally Posted by m25man View Post
    System Recovery is good, it does what it says on the tin can be used for DR as well as a solid and fast backup solution its failing as many image based backup/recovery tools is the storage of the Images.
    You have to work hard at managing the repositories.
    Other products are better at managing this using de-dupe and compression systems eg. Veeam walks all over System Recovery for recovery image sizes.
    The most important factors with all is RPO/RTO

    What does your management team expect? Nowadays they assume you will have zero downtime in the even of a major failure!
    With disk/image based backups it could be several hours before you have managed to restore to dis-similar hardware or virtual machine unless you have a Hot Standby system ready to accept one of your images.

    Example, one school I know came in one morning to find the entire 500GB volume of user data missing from their NAS. Before anyone could login the volume had to be chkdsk'd
    This took 9 hours...
    During which time there was panic and mayhem. Do I restore from backup? Get a server ready, how do I restore? Image to VHD sounds like a good idea how long 15hrs?
    New hardware? 4 Hrs + delivery time...
    The NM spent all day preparing the replacement system restoring backups sorting out IP's connectivity and how to's.
    At the end of the CHKDSK the server rebooted and came back on line all data present and correct and service resumed and never occured again!

    What ever you choose set your RPO/RTO in your DR Plan, agree this with SLT make them aware that Disasters take longer to recover from than a deleted email and make sure that all of the resources you promised yourself are going to be available.
    The words NAS and school give me The Fear.

    I used to remotely admin 43 school servers with NAS's...after the first two failures (when will people stop thinking of NAS's as bulletproof, just as they do RAID), we managed to get across the concept of having a redundant backup of the NAS, and a nightly sync

    Of course we didnt have 500Gb of data, that will keep from me sleeping soundly tonight, just thinking about the scenario you described

    To give you some horror back, when i joined this company who had the support contract for the schools, it didnt take me long to see i was going to considered a genius there...

    It took me just provisioning my first server and following their guide. One of the steps was to open up a script and replace the static hostname (location based) and replace it with the static hsotname of the site i was provisioning for. These people had never heard apparently of environment variables Needless to say i rewrote the scripts and the guides...and automated a lot of manual steps and saved a LOT of time
    Last edited by stylemessiah; 1st March 2013 at 01:23 PM.

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    The OP was made on 9th September 2007 - I imagine he's way past due getting this report to his boss now

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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    The OP was made on 9th September 2007 - I imagine he's way past due getting this report to his boss now
    Well sometimes you dont look at the OP posting date, and follow other misguided people who make the mistake first

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    Quote Originally Posted by stylemessiah View Post
    Well sometimes you dont look at the OP posting date, and follow other misguided people who make the mistake first
    I'm just kidding, I'm sure somebody else will find this useful even if it is too late for the OP

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