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Replacement options for Backup

Created: 27 Dec 2013 | 6 comments
kahml's picture

Now that Symantec has announced that Backup has only one year left to live, I was wondering what the residents of this forum plan to do to replace it?

Starting in January I plan to search for a similar type of product - one that can back-up locally, as well as to the cloud.

If anyone has any suggestions as to the appropriate product and hardware, I'd appreciate knowing about it.



Operating Systems:

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CraigV's picture

It depends on your environment you backup physical servers, or is it a virtual environment?

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

kahml's picture

I cater to SOHO users and very small (micro) businesses - so, in my case, I have been using for desktops.

I like the idea of backing up to a local USB/NAS unit and also putting the essential files in the cloud.

Most clients that I have signed up for the service are using less than the 10GB in the cloud, but significantly more locally.

They are looking at folder/file backup, not computer backup; for that I'd use SSR.

I wouldn't use this product for physical servers, I'd go with Datto.

kahml's picture

As an update, I am currently investigating KineticD and eFolder as possible alternative solutions.

One of the key issues for SMBs, as well as home-users, is that most back-up products cannot properly handle open files that are changed during the day.  The prime examples are QuickBooks' QBW and Outlook's PST.

If a client turns on their computer first thing in the morning, and immediately launches Outlook, that PST file is locked until Outlook is closed.  Usually Outlook is closed at the end of the day - right before they turn off the computer.  At which point - and certainly depending on the size of the PST file - there is no (or very limited) opportunity for the back-up agent to upload the file to the cloud.

In terms of what Backup can do, here is a quote from a Support Center Analyst:

There are two points I would like to highlight.

- .pst files get corrupted very easily. So we cannot say with surety if the file were corrupt before of after the upload.

- Our backup process did have some issues/hick ups that were recently identified and addressed.

These issues combined with some fragile file types and network / synchronization issues could be responsible for some files that cannot be restored.

(Which gives me a very reassuring feeling about a product I use and was incented to re-sell.)

Similarly, when a QuickBooks user opens a company file, the QBW file is opened for update - as are the two associated files (TLG and ND).  Intuit does not offer an API to most back-up products.  They recommend that a QuickBooks user perform a backup (either manually or automated) and create a QBB file in another folder.  That QBB file could be used for a restore if the company file is updated.  The only down-side is whatever data was entered between a crash or loss and the back-up would need to be recreated.

For my clients that are currently using Carbonite and Norton Online Backup, I have issued the challenge of having them restore a file to a different location and checking to see if it can a) be opened and b) contain the data that they expect to see.  I haven't had any takers...

kahml's picture

Further update regarding KineticD.

There are two offering for this software product:  a desktop version that performs continuous cloud backup, and a server version that permits hybrid backup based on a schedule.

You cannot mix the two on one computer, and so this is not a viable substitue for Backup

kahml's picture

My final update on this, I signed up with CrashPlan for a managed services account.

It supports backing up to a local USB/NAS device as well as the cloud.  The only caveat for the latter is that a large amount of data is going to take several hours of uninterrupted connection time.  Best to set it up at the end of the day and let it run overnight without any throttles in place.

Will be converting existing clients over the next few months.