Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More Practical Backup Solutions

Many of you have tried to master NTBackup.EXE the built in Backup tool by MS. I have already stated my point that NTBACKUP is great in theory but flawed in execution. So what do we use in the industry ?

Small / Medium Scale networks :
Arconis True Image
NTI Backup Now !
Norton Ghost ( it does a lot more than just disk imaging )

Large Scale / Enterprise Networks :
EMC Legato
CA ArcServ ( You can try out the demo to understand how powerful this product is here )
IBM Tivoli

So what IS the biggest problem with NTBackup ?
* Support for only Network Shares and Tape Drives as Backup Stores ( tapes are long dead )
* Not intuitive for making custom Backup Scripts

There are some solutions for these problems though.
A third-party addon known as Firestreamer-RM [10] extends the Removable Storage component in Microsoft Windows to support modern storage media such as external hard disks, flash memory, optical media such as CD, DVD and Blu-Ray and network file systems exposing the pieces of media as virtual tape to NTBackup which is based on Removable Storage.

An alternative to scripting is GUI software such as BackupAssist, which automates NTBackup and can perform automatic, scheduled backups of Windows-based servers and PCs using NTBackup.

In Windows Vista and later operating systems, NTBackup was replaced by Windows Backup and Restore Center, which uses the Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) file format, supports backup to modern media such as DVDs and image-based full system backups.

Windows Bashing !? or does really deserve some credit ?

Before we even start, let me make my stand clear on the ever contentious matter of Windows. Do I hate Windows ? NO. I just think there are a lot of things that can be done better. I do think Windows as a products deserves credit for being able to support almost any combination of hardware in the market and still run .. albeit crashing every now and then.

That being said, the biggest issue with Windows is not the product itself, but that there is n0 real competition to force MS to get better at its act. Scott has suggested this great article that outlines the best and worst moments of our beloved Windows' and MS History ! Thanx Scott