Product Reviews

Administrators, Start Your Backup Engines...: Legato Networker 6.1

The latest in backup software handles the complexity of Windows 2000.

The newest release of Legato Networker (I looked at a release candidate build) easily backs up the Win2K system state. Restoring the system state is a more complex matter, and appendix B of the Administrator Manual describes a detailed procedure. Networker backs up disk quotas, but doesn’t traverse junction or mount points, so the target needs to be backed up separately. Win2K encrypted file keys aren’t backed up, so you must maintain an alternate copy of each key.

Networker uses a thoroughly distributed architecture, with client nodes that can be backed up and control local backups and restores, storage nodes that control additional SCSI devices, and a server node that manages licensing and overall operations. Non-intuitively, you set up a backup job by filling out fields in Manage Groups and Manage Clients screen. Two kinds of backup jobs may be submitted: a User job, not considered complete, and an Administrator job. You can set many options for a backup job, including compression, priority (some jobs will be processed before others), parallelism (how many streams may go to the server at the same time), and remote access (granting the ability to restore). Another menu choice supports Change Journal, which logs file system changes in NTFS 5.0. Networker can use the log to recognize file changes rather than traversing the name space.

Given its mainframe heritage, Networker has some features (and complexity) not found in the other products reviewed. It doesn’t support Microsoft’s RSM for storage libraries, but does include support for storage silos. Open File Connection (OFC) is Legato’s open file manager, and works with NT 4.0, SP6a or later. For earlier Networker client versions, Legato recommends St. Bernard Software’s Open File Manager. There is a disaster recovery option available at extra cost. Networker includes the ability to clone tapes, create a work list (if some items aren’t backed up because of server failure, you may restart from where you left off), add customized directives (e.g. skip spool or swap files), and manage multiple resources on the same target by creating different groups and pools so that each item is backed up to a different tape or at a different time.

Legato Networker
The Networker Administrator offers a central point for managing backups and restores across your enterprise. (Click image to view larger version.)

The wide range of options in Networker, combined with its support for mixed OS and larger storage devices, makes it an attractive product for enterprise-level backup. System administrators who need lots of control over backup sets and locations, and fine control over every aspect of backup and restore, will be especially pleased with this software.

About the Author

Douglas Mechaber, MCSE, MCNE, CCDA, is a network consultant and dive instructor and is always on the lookout for utilities that make his life easier, or panulirus interruptus, the California spiny lobster.

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Reader Comments:

Fri, Sep 17, 2004 Shenoy Pittsburgh

Good stable Backup software

Sat, Mar 27, 2004 daniels Poland

poor stuff!!

Tue, Nov 18, 2003 M. Oleson ga

I dunno what to think of this. We tried it and it is cumbersome. We've been using UltraBac and are now happy.

Fri, Aug 1, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

It has the worst of two systems - From UNIX it is complicated configuration and WINDOWS' deviousness. It seems to be working but when you try RESTORE...."I can write but can't read" and worst of all with NO WARNINGS. Does not work well with COMPAQ drivers, WIN drivers etc...Loads of patches, real buggy. If you are able to dedicate your whole life and work to NetWorker then OK but I think it's aint worth it. Backup software has to be reliable when installed and not after years of debugging.

Tue, Jul 15, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

totally bugged, poor manuals, and poor support

Thu, Nov 21, 2002 cyberbob germany

Exellent software! But you must know what to configurate. Best backup software for disaster recovery!

Mon, Sep 16, 2002 end user canada

I can not believe how complicated the Networker software is. Configuration is a time consuming nightmare. Try installing a single client and you'll see that EVERY backup sol'n out there is better.

Fri, Apr 5, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

If only they could get rid of the Bootstrap ID for DR

Fri, Mar 15, 2002 chuffer davies uk

I have only been using this software for 12 months but have had loads of problems with storage nodes and wouldn't trust this software to back up my palm let alone our company systems

Wed, Dec 19, 2001 Bert Netherlands

perfect product from an excelent company !!

Tue, Dec 18, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

EXCELLENT PRODUCT

Tue, Dec 18, 2001 Anony SA

The Rolls Royce of all Backup Software Packages. Will recommend it with a clear conscience!!

Mon, Dec 17, 2001 anonymous south africa

excellent product!

Mon, Dec 17, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

Good quality product for good quality restores, that's how I see NetWorker

Fri, Dec 14, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

Great article ! Please provide detailed comparison of Networker 6.1 with low end products like Arcserve and Net Backup. Thank you.

Fri, Dec 14, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

it's saved our company several times

Fri, Dec 14, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

Awesome software

Fri, Dec 14, 2001 Anon UK

Have been using for several years - would trust my business to it!

Fri, Dec 14, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

Best Data Protection Product on the Market

Fri, Dec 14, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

great stuff

Thu, Dec 13, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

Excellent software

Sun, Nov 18, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

poor stuff!

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