There are a lot of backup apps out there. Which ones are best? That really is a matter of opinion. And here are a few opinions about some of the better backup apps around, and in no particular order.
1. Symantec Backup Exec and NetBackup
Dave Simpson, an analyst with 451 Group said you must include the big boys in any list of top backup applications.
"By sheer virtue of their installed bases, you'd have to start with Symantec, IBM, EMC, CA Technologies, HP and CommVault," he said. "Symantec is No. 1 in terms of market share."
Symantec offers two well known backup products. Backup Exec can be used for Windows, Linux, Mac and various virtualization platforms and has integrated deduplication and archiving technology.
"Symantec BackupExec works well for homogenous Windows server-centric environment," said Michael Lapetino, a CDW solution architect. "It is generally aimed at small to medium enterprises where tape and disk-based backup strategies are fairly commonplace. Customers appreciate the robust feature set of BackupExec and the relatively affordable acquisition cost to manage and deploy it in traditional computing environments."
NetBackup is another well-used backup product that falls under the Symantec umbrella. The latest version of NetBackup includes Symantec V-Ray for visibility into virtual file systems and applications.
2. EMC Networker
EMC Networker is a top-tier backup application in its own right. However, the company is carving out a large slice of the pie in the rapidly growing backup appliance market. IDC reports that backup appliances represent the fastest expanding area in backup. Backup/data protection appliances are now a $1.6 billion market, with EMC owning 64 percent of the total.
As well as software, then, EMC is doing well by packaging backup with deduplication and other features. By combining dedupe from its Data Domain and Avamar acquisitions along with NetWorker and Disk Library backup software, EMC is becoming a growing force in the world of backup.
"Networker and Avamar are coming together over time," said BJ Jenkins, President of EMC's Backup and Recovery Systems (BRS) division. "And both use features taken from Data Domain."
3. IBM TSM
IBM Tivoli Storage Manager has been around for a while and has a loyal customer base. Over the years, it has continued to add features and now has a comprehensive feature set for modern backup environments. Deduplication, archiving, hierarchical storage management and fast backup are part of the latest iteration.
4. CA Technologies ARCserve
CA Technologies (formerly CA, Inc. and Computer Associates) has been a long-term backup provider via its ARCserve product line. Like most backup products these days, it includes dedupe, reporting and virtual server backup features.
"Traditionally, we recommend CA's ARCserve Backup to value-conscious small to medium sized environments that are looking for ways to bridge the gap between backup and business continuity," said Lapetinox. "The ARCserve suite is feature-laden and also offers flexibility in a mixed operating system environment. It has several optional related components that allow customers to leverage host-based replication with a single interface."
5. HP Data Protector
HP is another OEM that has jumped on the dedupe bandwagon. HP Data Protector provides disk and tape data protection, snapshots, dedupe and a lot more in one integrated package.