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  1. #1
    Gold Lounger
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    Criteria for selecting backup software

    I would like to find backup software that meets the following criteria:

    1. It does not rely on ghosting/imaging of drives?

    2. Perhaps I'm dreaming, but I'd like to find a company that really cares
    about support and does not avoid answering questions in online support
    forums. Ouch, I just pinched myself, woke up and realized I must be
    dreaming.

    3. Allows the creation of a disaster recovery CD from which one can boot
    and restore a system.

    4. Does a true backup, i.e., assures that a file's attributes are correctly
    backed up even if the file's content has not changed and the attributes have
    been changed.

    5. An intelligent backup that does not rely on the Archive bit.

  2. #2
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Criteria for selecting backup software

    Howard

    Are you including the boot sector / registry / system files and so on for a bootable operating system disk? Or will you recreate these by a reinstall of <whichever operating system>?

    Since CDs are so tiny in comparison to the amount of data on most systems, and DVDs are not even an order of magnitude more capacious, are you considering one of the tape-based backup systems (like BackupExec's "Intelligent Restore" (ha-ha-ha-ha!!) feature)? DDS? DLT? SDLT? (etc) I suspect whatever solution you find will critically depend on the amount of data you have/want restored.

    I don't really have a solution for you. We use Legato Networker, without much enthusiasm and considerable frustration, on our Cluster Servers/SDLT tape library; smaller servers (that's up to about 800 GB) have Veritas NetBackup and BackupExec to SDLT and DLT, and for fairly small servers of less than around 20 GB we have DDS4 DAT tapes (but if you get the option, avoid them like the plague).

    Oh, and your point 2 -- show me a company that satisfies these criteria and I'll show you the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow... <img src=/S/igiveup.gif border=0 alt=igiveup width=31 height=23>
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  3. #3
    Gold Lounger
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    Re: Criteria for selecting backup software

    Nope, a CD that installs a temporary OS and allows restoration from the backup media.

    I have become disenchanted with Dantz Retrospect due to items 2 and 4.
    I ran an experiment that indicates that Retrospect fails item 4, even tho Dantz asserts in teir forums that they do satify item 4, and they have refused to post step by step instructions backing up their assertion.

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    I'd like to find someone with Dantz Retrospect who can replicate the experiment I describe below.

    I, and I expect most people, consider a backup to be no more than a snaphot of the files, and the attributes of the files, in a system at a point in time.

    Say you do a full backup, say, on Monday and, using Dantz's terminology, progressive backups on, say, Tuesday and Wednesday, then have an immediate disk crash, or other disaster, requiring restoration of the files with their attributes as of the latest progressive backup.

    It is unclear whether this can be done with Retrospect.

    Would somebody try replicating the following experiment, and let us know the result?
    -------------
    I have a file that was created on 12 September 2003 and it has the Archive bit set. Retrospect had already backed up the file. File was not read-only.

    I then made the file read-only and did not alter the dates or file content or Archive bit.

    Ran Normal backup using a script that backs up all internal hard drives.

    Examining the session contents, there was no record of the file having been again backed up.

    I then used Find and the file was listed only once.

    I then Restored the found file.

    File had the Archive bit set, but the read-only bit was not set, so Retrospect appears to not be updating attributes if the file itself, or certain other attributes, have not changed.

    If so, then Retrospect does not make a true backup of a file system. Users need to be forewarned of this.
    Saving ALL file attributes is required to be a true backup.

    I suppose that the same problem would occur with the Hidden attrribute or if I forced the Archive attribute to clear.

    Note that somebody at Dantz has asserted that Retrospect does update the attributes, however, even tho I posted the results of my experimement, Dantz has refused to post step by step instructions on how to achive the desired result, so I'd like to get confirmation of my experiment's results.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Criteria for selecting backup software

    Good luck - I won't even ask why! (your criteria) Here's the one I'm using, but not for complete system backup: http://www.ntius.com/default.asp?p=backupnow/bun_main

    A selected FEW items from their web site:

    # Extensive Backup Device Support* - CD-R/RW, DVD-R/-RW/-RAM, DVD+R/+RW, Internal/External/Networked Hard Drives, MO, Zip & Jazz, USB pen drives, and more!
    # Drive Spanning* - Use multiple CD/DVD drives for unattended backup jobs.
    # Bootable CD and Floppy Creator - Create a bootable disc to ensure recovery in case of a system crash.
    # Automatic Backup Scheduler - You don't even have to be home! You can start your backup jobs anytime you like <snip> - ANYTIME! Just set the scheduler and leave your computer on!
    # Incremental and Differential Backup - <snip>With NTI Backup NOW!, you make your first backup of your entire system, then the next time you can choose to only backup New or Changed files.
    # Backup in-use system files, hidden files, and even the Windows Registry<snip> you can make an exact duplicate of your system and restore it to its prior state!

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