Asigra runs the system-backup gamut
Televaulting for Enterprises 6.0 offers agentless backup of e-mail and database servers, OSes
Most backup packages are geared toward backing up a server to tape or disk, or at most backing up all the workstations on a LAN. Enterprises that need to back up a variety of servers and clients over a WAN are left to cobble together an assortment of backup software, and then separately manage the various backups.
Asigra’s multitier system, Televaulting for Enterprises, can alleviate some of that pain. It backs up all major server and client operating systems, as well as e-mail and database packages -- and even supports backups of virtual operating systems running on a VMware server. Add a pay-as-you-grow pricing model and Version 6.0’s new data recovery features, and this is a very good solution for enterprises with heterogeneous or distributed environments.
Televaulting for Enterprises 6.0 lives on a central server along with local servers at each remote or branch office, and supports a clustered N+1 architecture for the backup server that maintains availability if a backup server node fails. It also automatically optimizes backups over a WAN link to keep performance levels high. The central server can run on Windows, Linux, or Solaris, and supports a complete list of client operating systems -- Windows, Linux, OS/400, NetWare, Mac OS X, and many flavors of Unix.
The software’s primary focus is backups on disk, and it handles backup and restore of servers, server apps, and workstations from dedicated secondary storage very well. It does support archiving to tape, but those processes are more basic because functions such as single-instance don’t apply to tape.
Televaulting supports e-mail backups at both the database and message levels, and covers Exchange, Domino and GroupWise, MS SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL, DB2, and Oracle systems. The included Web Portal software also supports self-service backups; it’s intended for service providers but is equally serviceable for enterprise clients.
Installation is fairly straightforward, although Asigra’s use of a USB or parallel dongle requires collecting system information for the main backup server, sending it to Asigra, and then waiting for the dongle to arrive. That’s a somewhat frustrating extra step.
Adding to the amount of setup time required, there are several different pieces to be installed -- the Televaulting DS-System central server; DS-Clients at each site; the Web Portal (if desired); and the optional BLM (Backup Lifecycle Management) Archiver, an information lifecycle management application.
The DS-System’s required database can be MSDE (Microsoft Desktop Engine) or MS SQL Server on Windows, or MySQL or PostgreSQL on Linux. The Web Portal component requires a separate MySQL database and the BLM Archiver requires a separate PostgreSQL database. If you use all three pieces, they can’t all use one database server -- you need three separate databases, which adds some unnecessary complexity.
Each backup configuration requires setting an encryption key. There is no way not to set one, which is nice for enforcing security but adds another level of complexity for clients (not to mention another key that can be lost). There is no client installation as such; instead, a central server (or local server in a distributed environment) and rights are configured so that the backup user has access to the necessary files on all systems to be backed up. Backups are controlled from this central Televaulting system, and don’t depend on agents or software installed on each system to be backed up.