All-in-one backup for SMBs
Breece Hill BizGuardian bridges tape and disk-based data protectionFollow @infoworld
Retrospect agents run on a variety of OSes, including Mac, Linux, Novell, Solaris, and Windows. After installing the agents, I went back to my BizGuardian to register my application servers with Retrospect, which created the virtual paths between my servers and my backup appliance.
Using agents to push the backups is a clean approach that doesn’t require changing your network shares. If installing the Retrospect client is not a convenient option, you can make your application servers’ shares visible to BizGuardian, but using the clients gives you more flexibility. For example, you can choose from among three connectivity options the one that creates minimal disturbance to your network.
The powerful and feature-rich GUI of Retrospect can be intimidating, but its complexity is nicely hidden by wizards that can reach deep inside the directory structure of the clients to select granularly the files to back up, where to direct the data, and how frequently to repeat the job. Retrospect can even encrypt your sensitive data — supporting up to AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) 256 — though I didn’t make that part of my test.
Automation features separate Retrospect from the rest of the backup pack, and make it a perfect complement to the versatile hardware of the BizGuardian appliance. These allow you to put just about any backup-related activity on a schedule, including automatically copying backup files to tape, creating duplicates of source directories and volumes, and cleaning up old backup sets to reuse disk space.
Creating test schedules for my application servers was easy and even fun. In addition to comprehensive scheduling options, Retrospect easily creates separate catalogs to keep backups organized according to your needs, letting you group them by application or business unit, for example.
Taking care of backup business
After setting up my schedule, I sat back and watched BizGuardian create copy after copy of my data. Retrospect keeps track of the various jobs with a monitoring tool that pinpoints successful executions, overdue jobs, and failed backups. Even when I kept my servers powered off, Retrospect was quick to resume all missed backups when they were back on.
Restore operations are also well-supported by wizards. You can reach out to single files, entire directories, or a full backup, and restore to the original location or to a different one. Search and reporting features in Retrospect make it easy to find which backup sets contain the latest version of a file.
I couldn’t find much to point my finger at in my test of Breece Hill BizGuardian. You shouldn’t expect top-notch performance, given the single GigE connection to your servers, but the time you save by automating your backup activities, not to mention the resulting peace of mind, should more than compensate for that.