We've been in the process of completely revamping our backup strategy for several months as our backup needs greatly outgrew our capacity last year. The goal was to create a sweet disk-to-disk-to-tape solution first and then look at better off site replication second. To meet our objectives we needed to buy lots of disk space and a tape autoloader. We've given our uber volunteer Tom Templin the new title of "technology purchasing agent" as Tom seems to find us amazing deals on gear.
Tom got us a special bid direct from IBM on this sweet TS3100 22 tape autoloader which also had a $1500 rebate ... nice!
Another question we had is should we continue to use Veritas Backup Exec as our backup software. Backup Exec works ok, but setting up more sophisticated D2D2Tape schedules, retention policies, etc is a lengthy complicated process. So it was time to see what else was out there that might be better.
I tasked our uber volunteer Dustin with finding us the best solution given our needs and budget ... and after downloading and testing about every backup software known to man, we have our winner: CommVault Galaxy Express
I should note that Dustin has lots of familiarity with CommVault's Enterprise backup software ... you get that from dealing with 200 some servers you are responsible for ;-)
I called CommVault back in December to see what options they had for a smaller shop like GCC. I was told no charity pricing and they sent me over to a channel partner to actually get a quote. We described what we were looking to do and soon got a quote for $8000-10,000 ... let's just say my budget is WAY under that. The other frustrating part is that we could not get an eval copy no matter how many times I tried ... which is just stupid. So no eval and huge $$ ... but Dustin really liked CommVault which carries a TON of weight in my book.
So it was looking like we'd end up sticking with Backup Exec due to budget and not finding anything else any better ... bummer. Then we stumbled upon the Express version of CommVault listed on Dell's website ... somehow we missed seeing the express version earlier since it's only sold through a few select partners like Dell. Of course we weren't too hopeful about it given it's "express" name ... figuring it must be pretty lame given it's entry price of $999 list. But an option is an option so I called our Dell Storage Specialist to get some info. Turns out he didn't know much about it either so he conferenced in a CommVault engineer. Turns out the express version is identical to the enterprise version ... just has some options locked out. I explained what we were trying to accomplish and sure enough the express version is a great match and the price is oh so nice.
Would you believe they don't give out evals of the express version either! GRRR. I mentioned that was a deal breaker for me and eventually they did find a copy to snail mail me ... again, it shouldn't be this hard to get eval software. Dustin came to church the past 2 Saturday mornings and got it installed with initial configs ... he said it's identical to the big daddy enterprise version except some features are greyed out. He gave Ed and I a tutorial on job setups/schedules/etc and I must say it IS soo much easier that Backup Exec. Ladies and gentlemen we have our winner! The biggest limitation of the express version is a max protection of 15 servers. We're over that, but we have a number that aren't production level that NTBackup will work just fine to back up.
So if you're looking for backup software check out CommVault's Galaxy Express ... the features are top tier and the great pricing make it our top pick ... and no, you don't need to have Dell gear to use it or get it.
So long Backup Exec ... hello CommVault!