Commerical Backup Solutions

Hey folks.

I'm hoping for some input from operational folks on backup solutions for
servers. We are looking for a commercial backup solution with a nice
reporting dashboard etc.

It must support full/incremental backups on Windows and various flavors of
Linux. We would also be looking for bare metal image/recovery abilities.

To date, we've been fond of Acronis until we got the quote for it ..
Initially we would be looking at 50-80 servers and growing it up from there
to probably 150-200 boxes. Some of these servers are geographically

At the moment we have been using Bacula but it lacks bare metal options and
doesn't have any nice reporting options (Executive Dashboard etc)

Thanks for any input,


We used Acronis and it was a nightmare as was their off-shored support
model. Never again... Wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole.

Switched to Iron Mountain LiveVault which backs everything up over the
wire. It has basic reporting functions but not extremely granular.

Barracuda also seems to have a nice product. Though, i've never used it:


Recently finished developing a product around Commvault Simpana. Fairly happy with their API and reporting capabilities. Application specific plugins (MySQL, mssql, exchange, etc) are pretty solid so far as well.

We were considering Acronis for backing up our internal infrastructure,
we use R1Soft for our customers.

What were the issues with Acronis? I'd be interested in getting some
real-world feedback. You can hit me off list if you like.


We use Barracuda Yosemite backup with about 10 locations all over the
world, using disk to disk (single disks via esata and to SANs) and disk to
tape (both libraries and single drives). Very rarely do we have issues.
Barracuda support isn't as good as Yosemite's (Barracuda bought them) but
still not bad. Also, the site wide license is a steal! Get a demo, it might
fit the bill.

--Thomas York

We have used Symantec's BackupExec (Veritas) in several locations but
have standardized on IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM). Not a fan of
IBM, but it works, and it works well. Be prepared to drop some
serious coin, though. We currently use it to do tape backups for over
800+ servers (Linux, AIX, Windows).


First, I work for a managed service provider. We support a large number of traditional and over the wire backup solutions. We have used Symantec Backup Exec, eVault, Acronis, Intronis, Asigra, Heroware (newer solution more DR focused) and many more I've purged from my memory.

I have been using BE since it was Veritas starting in about 2003. Backup Exec is GREAT if you have a premise Disk server with Tape archive, or even a remote over fast WAN. Acronis is nice, but not easy to manage historically. Intronis get not only a no, but a "hell no please die now". Asigra is probably one of my favorites. You spend the cash for it, but it works right, it integrates with everything, depending on if you get it from a reseller or run your own vault, you get good reporting options and BMR is easy as pie. Heroware has great DR and versioning options but its still growing. Small datacenter platform, I like it a lot.

Aiming at Asigra a little more there are many vendors that offer over the wire backup using this. Most of them price by the gig, but based on what you are doing you could probably do a peer replication where you run your own "vault" locally to back up to, and then integrate that to one of many providers to get your off site. Asigra offers decent compression and integration into Windows and nix tools for open file and such. We have used Asigra to backup up anything from nt4 to 2008r2, nix, bsd, as400, esx and esxi. All the backup stuff is included. You get the base software you get the ability to back up everything it can, with the exception of Message Level backup and restore in Exchange, and file level within SharePoint which require another service to be enabled. The UI has its moments of clunky, but it has gotten WAY better over the past few years. Reporting options are great, as is file growth trending. Restores are tricky the first time, but its just a learning curve like any other app.

As far as BMR restores on above products I've pretty much done them all. We do a lot of SMB work so many times single server, often SBS. I have done single DC, Exchange servers, mysql servers, file and print servers and many more. By far the trickiest ones are the Windows Small Business Servers based solely on the fact they can be complicated to work with as they have Windows, AD, Exchange, SQL, RWW and SharePoint on 1 box. If you have ever done a BMR of an SBS server 2000/2003/2008/2011 if everything isn't perfect you might as well rebuild. All of these assume you have a well managed backup solution which is getting all the data needed for a full restore of course.

Backup Exec its possible and its not that hard. EVault in theory, but the process can be difficult. Acronis does a very nice job of it. Intronis don't bother, spend the time working on a resume because a BMR from this is probably a career changing event. I had to attempt it for one customer, I got the data I needed gave it the proverbial finger and built a new server to move it onto.

Asigra makes it really easy. I have done about 5 (about 18 in our company total) SBS full restores. You have to jump through a few hoops, but we fully restored a failed SBS 2003 server onto a VM while replacement hardware came in in 12 hours, including line of business SQL app, Exchange, AD and about 200gb of data.

Heroware is very similar in theory. It works off a replication technology (DoubleTake backend) which does snapshots within the replication. Heroware is designed to have an "appliance" per 10-50 servers depending on size and load so it might not scale to the size you are looking.

Dollars to doughnuts if I had the option, I would do Asigra every time if I had the budget from the customer for the offsite. Why? Many of the resellers out there even guarantee they can do a 24 or 48 hour RTO of a full environment assuming they have the correct backed up date. It just works that well. I have done 2 5+ server environments restore the whole thing from backups with no problems in 24 hours or less onto mismatched hardware as well. Keep in mind we are working with customers with user counts between 10 and 150 in most cases and usually about $1 per gig because they are lower size. I've heard rumors of people getting as low as 25 cents a gig, but I cant speak to that.

Yes, I resell many of these products at my day job, however I also implement and support them and work with the various support teams from each vendor. I favor Asigra because of personal preference and ease of use.


BackupExec was a Seagate product Symantec bought prior to their purchase of Veritas. I've been using NetBackup for over a decade now (originally in Irix and Solaris heavy environments, but these days on Windows and Linux for the most part). Symantec are a pain the ass to deal with, but the core NetBackup functionality is still stable and reliable (and BackupExec has been brought into parity in many ways with NetBackup over the years, but still lacks some features and functions its bigger brother handles). The master server role can be anywhere in your topology and the media server role is separated out and can exist across multiple hosts and locations. Management can be done from any approved host running the management console software. Tivoli and Legato are pretty similar feature, functionality, and being expensive, though I wouldn't wish Legato on anyone.

Add Seagate's Evault to your list:

Has the support for BMR, Windows (including agents for Exchange and MSSQL),
Linux, encryption, vault replication, VADP, etc.

They also have a partner program for service providers (my employer happens
to be one).

I've personally used the product across multiple companies all the way back
to before Seagate bought them out, and I view it as one of the most mature
offerings on the market, and support has always been great.

Good luck!


I wanted to add that I've had some recent experience with Asigra (and
specifically pitting it against Evault), and they are currently a little
behind in VADP and other VMWare related feature sets, and their Linux
distribution support is very limited (basically no support for anything but
RedHat). They also charge extra for the web console.

Overall for our needs, Evault beat out Asigra, but there isn't anything
horribly wrong with Asigra's product either.


Does Iron Mountain LiveVault allow for bare metal restorations? I didn't see it after gleaning the site.

In my new job, we're using BackupExec pulling the data from ~100 servers to a SAN and then to tape. Iron Mountain comes in every day to to replace our tapes for offsite storage.

For the few boxes we have that aren't configured in HA pairs or clusters, we periodically do a snapshot with Acronis specifically for the bare metal restoration ability.


I dont think the livevault solution offers for bare metal backups.
Tthey may if you have their appliance but not sure.