SUMMARY: Centralized backup solution wanted

From: Borba, Wílter (
Date: Mon Jul 21 1997 - 08:28:37 CDT

My original question was:

Hi managers,
         One more time I'm requesting your help.
We are evaluating different solutions to provide centralized backup
in a multi-plataform environment.
We hope to backup several servers running Novell Netware 4.1, WinNT 4.0,
SCO Unix, AIX and Solaris 2.4 from a server runing Solaris 2.4.
In addition, we have Oracle7 for Solaris and Oracle7 for SCO.
One of the alternatives is to use Solstice Backup on the Solaris server,
and Solstice backup agents in the other servers.
As backup device we are interested in Sun DDS-3 tape drive 12/24 GB or
72/144 GB with autoloader.
Any comments, experiences, recomendations, tips & tricks, other
solutions, etc. about this would be apreciated.

Thanks to those who've responded.

Here is the summary:

There is no easy solution.
Harvey Wamboldt[] and Stephen
Johnston[] recommend to use Amanda ( The Advanced
Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archive ), there is an excellent
solution, but does not support "clients" for Windows NT neither Novell
It works very well in UNIX enviroment.
Amanda can be found at

Ron Phillips[], Steve
Marc[], and Kevin
told me about Legato Networker ( reselled by Sun as Solstice Backup ).
Networker seems to be a full featured package, provide "clients" for all
O.S., but
it saves data in a propietary format, so "You can only restore from the
which did the backups" as Cathy[] said.
Legato can be found at

Caleb Warner[]and Cathy
suggest Budtool from PDC ( ).
It has interesting features like:
                does not rely on proprietary software ( uses ufsdump, tar, cpio)
                the database is not needed to perform a restore
                flexible license scheme
But Budtool does not seems to support Novell Netware (I'm not sure), and
I have
seven Netware servers that claim to be backed up.

Kevin Warren warned me about some problems in Cheyenne ARCserve/open.

Whatever the solution is, I recommend TESTING it in ALL plataforms
BEFORE buying.
Finally, don't trust me, there are the original responses, read them and
judge for


From: Rick von Richter[]
I would not recommend Solstice Backup. There have been a few problems
with it
and one that comes to mind is if your system with Backup on it crashes
no way to do a restore unless you reinstall the software and you can't
do that
if it is backed up. A very good package is Netbackup from Veritas. It
is also
multiplatform. (


  Rick von Richter | Phone: 619-552-6222
  Systems/Network Admin | Fax: 619-552-6221
  Maintenance Warehouse | Email:
     Science is true. Don't be misled by facts.

From: Harvey Wamboldt[]
Have you checked out "Amanda, The Advanced Maryland Automatic Network
Disk Archive?". "The latest version of Amanda is always available via
anonymous ftp from in the directory /pub/amanda".

It works with an autoloader, and can be used to set up a continuous
cycle of "N" days. It's completely automatic with an autoloader (except
when tapes get full, then, it caches the backup on disk and lets you
up the next day).



Harvey M Wamboldt ^ E-Mail:
MDA Inc 1000 Windmill Rd. Suite 60 ^ Fax: (902)468-2278
Dartmouth NS, B3B 1L7, Canada ^ Phone: (902)481-3531

From: Ron Phillips[]

We have similar backup requirements.

We use Legato' Networker 4.2.5 for Solaris on the SS1000 server
running Solaris 2.5.1.

Oracles EBU (Enterprise Backup Utility which is free from Oracle)
to incorporate the hot backups of the databases into Legato.

Of course, you'll need the various clients (NT, AIX, SCO) for
the various platforms.

Another backup utility which you might want to look at
is IBM's ADSM (ADSTAR Distributed Storage Management)
& also requires Oracles EBU for hot backups of the databases.


We currently backup up about 400 GB of data in our level zero dumps.
is on about 300 differnet machines and is backed up across the network.
We currently backup Solaris, SunOS, DEC Unix, Ultrix, DG UX, HP/UX, and
Network Appliance File Servers.

We use a product from PDC called Budtool. I believe Solitice Backup is
essentially Legato. We have shied away from tools like this because it
data up in a proprietary format. If you loose your backup server you can
access the data. Another reason we don't like Solitice Backup is that it
requires installation on every client to be backed up.

We like Budtool because, it uses dump/ufsdump, tar or cpio to backup
This means that we can use any machine with the correct tape drive to
the files. It does not require installation/licensing to be installed on
any client machines (May not be true on NT machines). It supports a wide
variety of machines including (but not limited to) Solaris, SunOS,
IRIX, WindowsNT, NetApp. Finially one of my favorite features is almost
files are flat ascii text files and can be edited using either the GUI
or vi!

As far as hardware goes, we use a Sparc-20 with a 27 tape DLT jukebox.
We also
use a 116 tape 8mm jukebox. We are planning on phasing out the 8mm unit.
DLT has been fast and reliable for us.

Hope this helps,

Caleb Warner
Raytheon Company

OF COURSE ANY OPINIONS ARE MY OWN AND NOT RAYTHEON'S ____________________________________________________

---------- From: Stephen Johnston[]


I can recommend Amanda from the University of Maryland, it can be found here ...

I use it to backup a smaller site than you seem to be talking about but it does provided all the things you need and is free.



-- Stephen Johnston, Systems Manager Tel. +44 131 6679386 Wolfson Microelectronics Ltd. Fax. +44 131 6675176 20 Bernard Terrace Edinburgh Scotland EH8 9NX

---------- From: Steve Boronski[]

I would reccomend without hesitation, Legato Networker, it has proven very reliable and I don't think you will find any better facilities.

Watch out though for some of the OEM versions, we have a mainframe based one that is very dodgy, Sun platform is stable and secure though.

Steve Boronski

-- ^^^ ^^^ _/_/_/ _/_/_/ _/_/_/ email: O O _/ _/ _/ _/ _/ Tele : (01782) 404875 V _/_/_/ _/_/_/ _/_/_/ Fax : (01782) 404872 \___/ _/ _/ _/ _/ Addr : Swift House, Glebe Street _/_/_/ _/ _/_/_/ Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 1HP

---------- From: Kevin Warren[]

Sorry for not replying the first time. Here are my comments:

My backup requirements are:

1 Solaris file server, including ORACLE 1 HP-UX file server 2 NT file servers 1 NT workstation, including ORACLE

I have attempted to evaluate Cheyenne's ARCserve/Open, but it didn't work. I can give you a list of problems I experienced if needs be.

I am currently evaluating Legato's NetWorker. It does the job and seems okay. The technical support is much better than for Cheyenne. I am however having trouble with notifications at the moment, and won't be making a purchase until it's resolved.

Because I have an HP-UX file server I will soon be looking into OmniBack (This only runs on HP-UX or NT though). I can't say anything about it other than it should do all what NetWorker does at a similar price. ARCserve/Open is much cheaper, but doesn't work as I said.

I ruled out CommVault's ABARS and dbVault packages due to price. The same was true for OpenVision's (Veritas) Solstice.


ARCserve - NetWorker - ABARS - Solstice - OmniBack II - (Click on products)


Kevin. -- Kevin Warren [] [Tel: 01473-646551]

Disclaimer: These views are mine and do not represent the opinions of BT.

---------- From:[]

I would definitely recommend looking into Networker from Legato, which Sun resells as Solstice Backup. Just be sure you do a full evaluation on all of the platforms you want to cover as I have seen problems listed for some, though I do not run them, and thus don't know if there are good resolutions to those problems. HP a while back had something called Omniback, but I haven't seen it around much (though I also haven't used HP systems for a while). It WAS very competitive with Networker.


Marc S. Gibian Telos Comsys phone: (617) 377-6350 PRISM/TFS email: or is it: well, maybe: and if all else fails:

---------- From:[]

Check out PDC's BudTool.

Also, there is a very good article in the June copy of Sunexpert on backup strategies.

We use BudTool because: (1) it does not rely on proprietary software (2) the database is not needed to perform a restore (3) unlimited number of clients (4) it will backup everything we have - sun, hp, nt, sco, sgi, auspex, nac - actually anything you can rsh to

I've used both BudTool and Networker. I've worked at large (500+ machines), multiplatform sites where backups more than a year old have to be available. At my current job, we back over 400 Gby using 2 Auspex servers and 2 DLT-4700 jukeboxes. for local data, we see peak transfer rates of 6000 Kb/sec. average transfer rates depend on the size of the file system, how full it is, and whether or not the backup is local or over the network. I've used Networker at a small site, less than 30 Gby to backup, and at a medium site production environment, about 18 Gby where no down time allowed. Backups there were not on an NFS file server, and rates were very dependent upon the client and the network. On some clients, running backups severely impacted the client's performance.

Budtool has the capablity of backing up with Unix backup up commands: dump, ufdump, cpio, tar, etc. that's a plus because you don't need any special software to restore from the tape, and you can pop the tape into any tape drive to do the restore. if you can rsh into a machine, you can backup it up with bt which is good in a multiplatform environment. BT uses less disk space than Networker for it's file history, and you can restore without the file history present. BT licenses by host managing the tape drive, not by client. so you don't need a license everytime you add a machine to your backup schedule. BT's technical support is execellant and their documentaion is good. BT Turbo provides a fast file system backup based on a smart version of dd. it's a nice package. BT requires minimal resources on the client to run. no software is installed on the clients. BT is available for all Unix platforms and NT.

BT has more flexiblity than Networker so it might seem more complex, confusing to the novice sys admin type.

Both products have a good gui front-end, and pretty much provide the same functionality.

Networker is proprietary software, and is licensed by client. You can only restore from the machine which did the backups. You must have the file history in order to restore. This can run into a lot of space if the backup is old. Networker does it's data compression on the local client before transferring it back to the host. That will affect the total time it takes to complete the backup. It can also, depending on the os and platform, require a lot of resources on the client. Networker software must be installed on each client. I don't have any recent experience with Legato's tech support or technical documentaion. 3 years ago, it was the pits.

If you lose a system disk or something else that causes a client to not be able to talk to the Networker host, you must first boot it from cd to the point where it can talk on the network. then you can restore from Networker. this can take a lot longer than the system files from a dump/ufdump tape on a local tape drive.

At one site, with Sparc 20's running Solaris and PC's running SCO, using Networker, we had such limited disk resources that we could keep less than 1 week's file history on-line. one backup for multiple files, months back took more than 100 man-hours to complete. We were not able to use Networker to backup the SCO PC's.

I don't care for proprietary software because of the hassels of restoring a critical server root drive that is a backup client. In a production environment that didn't allow for any down time, we did 2 sets of backups, the proprietary, and a local. That meant additional work.

cathy -- Cathy L. Hargrave Smith phone: (972) 466-7599 SGS-Thomson Microelectronics, Inc. fax: (972) 466-7279 1310 Electronics Drive - MS 600 e-mail: Carrollton, TX 75006

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