In a previous post,
I mentioned my amazing problem with Veritas Backup Exec 8.6 disabling
my fully legal working copy because I had upgraded the OS it was
running on to Server 2003. The email exchange with Veritas support
showed that it wasn't a bug in their product, but that they were an evil company.
They purposely wrote the code to revert legally purchased copies of
their product to a timed out evaluation version if it was running on an
OS they didn't want you to run on. There is absolutely nothing
in their licensing agreement that said anything about those
restrictions. They've lost me as a customer (duh!) and hope that others
will see the light and avoid companies, like Veritas, that
intentionally screw over their customers.
In the feedback to the original post, Brendan Tompkins mentioned his
experience with a software company that shall remain nameless. The chart he used to illustrate the problems he was having is priceless. We should all keep his chart in mind when doing software!
In the feedback and in mail folks asked why I didn't use NTBackup or one of those one touch hard disk backup utilities. It's all because I'm paranoid! My wife and I have four laptops and two desktops that need backing up. Our lives and business is all in those magnetic electrons on those hard disks. I
want to be able to back everything to a large tape drive so I can do
the good disaster recovery practice of offsite storage just in case
that once in a lifetime meteor slams into our offices and destroys all
the machines. Additionally, I feel a lot better about having the
ability to recover files/systems in case I do something really stupid
like delete the HKCU\Software\Microsoft key. (Which I have done and it is not pretty to see what happens next.)
Right now, I'm evaluating Dantz Retrospect and it's looking like I'll buy it. I
called their sales office with my tale of Veritas suckage and they were
very kind enough to offer a competitive upgrade quote which was far
cheaper than the Veritas upgrade price. At first I was confused by Retrospect and how it worked, but after a week of backups, I think I finally got it all figured out. They
desperately need to get some more examples of scripting and selector
scenarios in the manual, but once you get use to their way of life and
thinking, you can see how powerful the software really is.
For bare metal recovery, I bought a copy of the Acronis True Image software to play around with. It's a really slick piece of software! I'm also looking at using the Dantz Disaster Recovery option. For just client machines, the Acronis software will work great. It was fun to take an Acronis snapshot, destroy the registry, boot from the recovery CD, and restore the entire machine. However,
if I need to, god forbid, bare metal restore my server, the Acronis
server version is $1,000 USD alone so that makes it more expensive than
the complete Dantz solution. [Wintellog]