Editor's Choice: Backup

<b>Winner: </b>CommVault Systems Galaxy<br> <br> <b>Honorable Mention: </b><a href="#ultrabac">Ultrabac Software UltraBac 7</a>

Galaxy $1,895 single server  CommVault Systems; 732-870-4000;

Let’s say you had all the money in the world and had to pick the best backup software. What would it be? For me, it’s CommVault’s Galaxy. My reasons are simple: The interface is easy to work with, and the support and training teams behind the product are first rate. Also, I like Galaxy’s approach to enterprise storage: It views backup data logically instead of physically. This means that to do a restore, I just have to tell Galaxy the time to bring a system back to. Galaxy figures out the media that’s needed.

You start, quite simply, with a system that manages all your other systems, called the CommServe. The CommServe keeps track of your MediaAgents (which are the systems that control your standalone drives, RAID arrays, libraries and so on). In addition, you install agents (called iDataAgents) on all the servers you need to manage. So, your file server would get a File Server iDA, while your Exchange server might get an iDA for the database backup or, if you want a more granular approach, an iDA for individual mailbox backups. Keep in mind that the mailbox iDA takes quite a bit longer to accomplish than its database counterpart, but it allows single-message restores for those times when the senior partner calls and says, “I need a message I deleted three weeks ago. Your job depends on it!” All of these portions of the architecture (the CommServe, MediaAgents and iDataAgents) make up what’s been termed the CommCell. This entire structure can be managed through a single console, which can run through a Java-enabled Web browser or through an MMC console.

CommVault Systems Galaxy
CommVault Galaxy lets you view and manage the CommCell structure via a Java applet window. (Click image to view larger version.)

Galaxy integrates well with the key players in the SAN/NAS industry such as Brocade, EMC, Compaq and Network Appliance. LAN-free backups (for both SAN and NAS environments) and server-free and serverless backup are available within a SAN environment.

Honorable Mention

UltraBac 7
$495 (Single Server Edition) and $1,095 (Enterprise Edition)
UltraBac Software, 425-644-6000

But there’s another mid-level data management software you may decide to ponder. UltraBac is easy to install, configure and manage. It offers a subset of comparable features, like a SQL agent and an Exchange 5.5/2000 agents (although it doesn’t provide the same level of abilities as high-end enterprise solutions). UltraBac does support some cool things like active cluster backups. It also has a new FTP device that allows an administrator to perform backup and restore operations to any FTP server connected to the Internet by simply entering the FTP server’s address as the backup path. UltraBac then “pushes” a compressed data stream to the designated FTP server. This new feature allows organizations easily to store data offsite or centralize data from remote-site backups.

About the Author

J. Peter Bruzzese (Triple-MCSE, MCT, MCITP: Messaging) is a longtime contributor to Redmond, an InfoWorld journalist and the Exchange 2010 instructor for Train Signal. You can reach him at

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Reader Comments:

Sun, Aug 31, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous

Amazine site
Thanks, webmaster.

Wed, Dec 4, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

This product rocks! We have been doing LAN-free backups and restores with Galaxy and our Xiotech Magnitude for over a year. Great support too.

Wed, Nov 27, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Has no interface for online Sybase backups using BMC's SQL-Backtrack therefore this is not a solution for our enterprise.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

It's nice to see a reviewer not seduced by Veritas and their ghastly Backup Exec program, which I'm saddled with.

Fri, Nov 15, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous


Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Galaxy has saved our bacon a number of times just in the past two months we've owned it. We were running two other well-known backup products in our heterogenous environment and continued to have failed backups. After the Galaxy install we found our backup times were about the same as before, but our restore times were 20-40% faster than before. Calls to support were answered quickly and they even sent a developer out to fix a particularly vexing issue early on.

Thu, Nov 14, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I could not agree more. We have been running Galaxy for over 14 months, and love its easy to use interface and policy-based approach. During our pilot, we were up and running in 1 1/2 hours! Some of the other products took days before they were able to integrate with our SAN.

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