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Which BESR product is best for me?: Desktop v Management Solution

Created: 18 Aug 2010 • Updated: 19 Sep 2010 | 6 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

We currently run an outdated application for laptop users.
It backs up to a central server (in each location) the user's documents, favourites, .pst files, etc.

We wish to upgrade to BESR.

Our main deciding factor is that we install silently, and without the need for elevated user privileges.
The desktop edition's recovery console is a nice feature for them, but not necessary.

1: What is the best method of distributing the Desktop edition? (GPO, script, application packaging tools?)
    Does the desktop edition have a manual for swtiches or an ini file for options at installation?
2: Will the remote agent be the best option for centralised distribution and management?
3: Is the licensing for the remote agents less than individual licenses for the Desktop Edition?
4: will either of these have issues when users are at remote sites and without access to their normal central backup location?

I've gone through the manuals for each product, but they aren't very clear in this regard.
The Management Solution speaks of deploying the console to desktops but then refers you to the Desktop User guide for that.
The Desktop user guide is quite barren of installation switches and other similar options.

Thanks in advance.

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Chris Riley's picture

The subject (title) suggests that you are trying to compare the desktop edition with the management solution (BESR-MS).

BESR-MS is a centralised solution for managing your entire BESR estate (desktop, server editions, windows and linux clients).

This lists the switches that are available when installing BESR:

I will try to answer some of the other questions...

1. If you are using BESR-MS, use that, otherwise it's purely up to your personal choice
2. see above
3. By 'remote agent' I assume you mean a 'headless' client (no GUI). The answer is no
4. By 'central backup location', I assume you are referring to the backup destination folder? If so, backups wont work and users wont be able to restore their data (of course, this requires the full GUI to be installed anyway)

Hope that helps.

PCalsen's picture

Thanks for that.

1: We haven't decided yet. I've been investigating the two products. They seem to be separate in function, but can also be used together.
Am I getting that right?
Will MS do everything the desktop edition does?

2: I should have asked: Is distributing the remote agent the best way to distribute it, rather than planning on distributing the Desktop Edition?
ie: What does the desktop edition do for me over and above the remote agent?

3: Yes, I meant the headless client.

4: We expect a loss of backup in remote locations. It happens with the current software.
My concern is having users howling down the phone saying they are plagued by reminders/propups telling them to get near a backup destination server.

Thanks once again for a speedy, clear reply.

Chris Riley's picture

BESR-MS on it's own is useless. It's just a management solution to manage all your BESR clients. You cannot do anything with it unless you have some BESR clients (desktop & server).

Let's be clear here; the only difference between the desktop edition and the agent is that the agent does not have a GUI so the end user cannot manage their backups or restores. For GUI-less clients (aka headless clients), the management will need to be done from a machine running the full BESR client or from BESR-MS.

The agent is part of the desktop edition - it just depends on what options you choose during the install that defines whether or not you install the GUI.

If the backup destination is unavailable, you will see a system tray popup alerting you of the fact. This is to be expected because backups wont work if the destination is unavailable.

Hope that helps.

PCalsen's picture

Thanks Chris.
That does make it much clearer. I didn't really see anything on the product pages or the manual to show what level of symbiosis the two products had.

So to summarise, if I want centralised management of policy, easy distribution of the client and little interaction with the end-user in way of interface I'll need both products?

I see the desktop edition trial I'm using allows me to install the remote agent on other machines.
What would the management solution offer that this wouldn't?

Chris Riley's picture

So to summarise, if I want centralised management of policy, easy distribution of the client and little interaction with the end-user in way of interface I'll need both products?


What would the management solution offer that this wouldn't?

There are many advantages to using the management solution. One example is the ability to create a single backup policy and assign this to many clients which reduces admin overhead. There are many others, too many to go into here. However, be aware that BESR-MS is really designed for fairly large environments. If you only have a handful of clients, it's not really for you.