SUMMARY: Soliciting info/opinions on UNIX Backup Software

From: Brown Bob (
Date: Tue Oct 05 1999 - 13:18:04 CDT

I certainly received a terrific response and have included each message
below. Thank you very much. Hopefully this summary will help
others...Original Question is at the bottom.

Budtool has been acquired by Legato and is being end-of-lifed 12/99.
Legato (OEMed by Sun as Solstice Backup) is either loved or hated. It is
overkill and way too expensive for my needs.
Veritas Netbackup came highly recommended and is where I will concentrate my
efforts for now.
Amanda (Not commercial s/w) came highly recommended as well.


Veritas Netbackup
>From wmd []
Veritas NetBackup is the best of the best
>From Roger B.A. Klorese []
Consider VERITAS NetBackup as well.
>From Aaron Browne []
We have recently installed Veritas Netbackup at this university. We have
50+ solaris servers, along with some NT boxes. We currently run a Storagetek
9710 on our main campus. Netbackup has been a dream since we first installed
it.. backups have never been more reliable. Netbackup is very flexible and
the support is fantastic. Netbackup supports DLT etc. Try it out..
We are using NETBACKUP(Segate - also BackupExec) for the enterprise.
Solstice Backup = Sun-branded Legato Networker
The "Single Server Backup" that bundle with Solaris 2.6 is a nice way to
play with Legato and understand how it works.
Networker does a great job with autoloaders; and the multiplexing of backups
to maximize tape/disk throughput is terrific.
>From Matt Reynolds []
I use Legato (which is the same as Solstice Backup). It does all the things
need, span tapes, clones tapes (for offsite storage - AKA disaster backup),
track of the indices of what files backed up when are on which tapes, etc.
Yes, it is expensive, but works quite well. For instance, I had 4gb of
project space die (hard drive failure),and had a new drive built and
restored before the project folks got out of a meeting - in about 3 hours
time. Legato has never let me down. Tech support is slow, but they
eventually provide a good answer. Their training is excellent. I back up 80
pc's with about 100gb, 20 nt's w/ about 40 gb, and 10 unix boxes and a
NetApp filer which has 45 gb. I run monthly fulls (first Friday evening of
the month) anddaily
incrementals. I use a 1.3tb 8mm juke box w/ 30 tapes. My backup server is
Sun ultra 5, but a sparc 10 would suffice. It is mostly I/O. Be sure to
have a
great deal of space for the indices - at least 8gb!
I am currently using Legato. Even though it is very expensive it is
fast and does it's job. I am running it on an Enterprise 5500 with an
ADIC Scalar 2/18 jukebox. I backup ten systems with this combo and I
can do them all in one day (which was what I wanted to do).
The good thing with Legato is that there are many clients available and
that there are a lot of plugins for things like databases, in my
opinion this is really good, I run a very wide environment as far as
applications is concerned so doing backups of different databases was a
must as well.
Anyway, performance is good and I'm still a very happy person :)
>From Damon LaCaille []
My only real experience besides ufsdump/restore is with Legato/Networker.
Legato and Solstice backup are the same thing, Sun just licenses it.
  I can say though that client restores, after you get the hang of it, are
very easy, even after a complete system crash - no need to load the OS, just
a CD and do some command line magic beforehand.
  I think Legato is pretty much the defacto standard for Unix backup on
Solaris, good luck though in your search!
>From F.M. Taylor []
We are currently using Solstace Backup 5.1 and are very happy with it. It
is indeed very expensive, but will do everything you ask.
We back up a few dozen multi-gig sun servers to DLT7000 drives. I am not
sure what resources it takes since the machine we run it on is a E5000 :)
And just in case nobody else tells you, solstace backup is legatto
distributed by sun.
>From Michael Pins []
Solstice Backup *is* Legato Networker.
If you like nice GUI interfaces, Legato is hard to beat. It works well and
supports nearly everything (if you're willing to spend the money, it'll
backup everything from Oracle databases to NT servers to Exchange databases,
all from your Sun/HP/whatever).
The other software I've used extensively is amanda. No GUI, doesn't
support near what Legato does, but it's free.
>From Tim Evans []
>BudTool (new version)
Now owned by Legato. (See below)
>Legato (very expensive)
>Solstice Backup 5.1
Rebranded Legato (see above)
The fact is, managing tape jukeboxes, with random access to tapes,
indexing backups, enabling users to browse for files to restore, and
the like is expensive stuff. They charge way too much for it, but
they have you by the short hairs. Just how much is your data worth?
Conversely, how much work are you willing to do (that costs money, too)
to do your own backups, index them, maintain and rotate tapes, etc., etc.,
>From Chan Cao []I haven't used either Veritas backup or
ADSM but I checked out the specs for ADSM and it looks good. We're using
budtool as well but we're moving away from it. I heard good things about
Veritas Netbackup.
I used Legato a while back. Up to version 5 Unix. I disklike the annual
subscription to get bug fixes. The software was buggy. Support was really
bad. They bought up Intelliguard and now support for budtool isn't good
anymore. I'm using budtool 4.6's the last supported release.
I personally would not look at anything from Legato from now on.
>From Hal Miller []
Bob, I've ripped Legato out of every site I've had it at. I'm just
plain tired of fighting it for months, with vendor support, then finding
out that not only will it not do what I want, but all those backups are
really to /dev/null--never once got a successful restore.
I use amanda. Free, well supported, works. I drive well over a TB on
it right now. The only commercial one I've tried that seems OK is
NetBackup from Veritas. Pretty expensive for just a backup system as
I think you need to buy the filesystem to go with it, but it's pretty good.
>From Matthew Fansher []
Dunno about commercial packages, but we've been using a free package from
University of Maryland called amanda for several years. With compression (we

configured it to gzip everything) and intelligent scheduling of incremental
backups we back up over 100gigs worth of disk from about a dozen file
servers to
a single DLT7000. It's available from
>From Rich Kulawiec []
I strongly recommend using Amanda with ufsdump as the back-end.
Amanda is free, open-source, handles various stackers/jukeboxes
(and is easily extensible to new ones) and utilizes the software
which came with your OS to do what it was designed to do.
Unless you have some very specialized operations going on,
ufsdump is perfectly adequate - despite the claims of certain
commercial vendors that it is not. Try searching the Sun-Manager's
archives for a longish article entitled "backups of multi-user systems"
for exhaustive detail on why. See for the story on Amanda.
And whatever you do: avoid Legato and its rebranded alter-ego,
Solstice Backup, like the plague. I've seen/heard/witnessed more
horror stories about that than just about any other Unix product
since I started doing Unix, many years ago.
It sounds like you may want to talk with Curtis Preston
who is currently writing the O'Reilly book on backups and recovery, and also
the owner of
>From Barry Gamblin []
At a former job I used QuickRestore V2 from Workstation Solutions
( ). I liked it very much. It spanned tapes just
fine. Supports all kinds of tape devices (DLT included). Here at NCAR we
use Solstice Backup (Which is just Legato repackaged). I am not too
with it yet, but it does not seem as flexible. Also it uses its' own tape
format, so if you lose the tape indexes, you are in for a lot of work. On
QuickRestore, they use qtar which is tar compatible, so you can still use
tapes if you lose the indexes.
>From Chris Rouch []
We use veritas netbackup here, and I've used Legato (aka Solstice
backup) in previous jobs. IMO networker is a good solution for large
amounts of data, but is overkill unless you need a tape robot or
multiple media servers. Legato is better for smaller environments, and
is more intuitive to use. The version I used (about 1 year ago) didn't
scale too well, but that was being addressed. Both of these products
have a tendency to hog the network, so you may find you either need more
backup capacity than you thought so that you can fit all the backups
into a quiet time or you need a separate backup network.
Both of these products require a bit of tuning; they're not really out
of the box solutions. I'm told Veritas have a product 'netbackup lite'
which is supposedly aimed at smaller environments, but I've not used it.
The other leading backup product is ADSM, by IBM, but I've never used it
so I can't comment on it.
So in summary, if I had to implement a new backup solution, I'd choose
Legato for a small environment and Veritas for a large one.
Legato is pretty good, but as you say, expensive. It needs diskspace to
keep an online database (I have seen this greo to 2GB).
Unless you need a point-click interface, I would suggest GNU tar (gtar).
At least the price is right! Plus supports compression and so on.
There is also a GPL (I think) product called Amanda, which I have heard good

things about, but haven't tried.
Solaris 2.x has ufsdump which has a interactive option but SunOS dump
handle multi-tapes as well, and both are clumsy to use as a batch process.
>From Vince Taluskie []
What does your growth plan look like? Will your current libraries handle
the expected capacities and backup windows? Since your admins already
have experience with Budtool - I'd say you'd be better staying with it.
Remember they have been bought by Legato - so I dunno how long support
will remain for that product.
We use the REELbackup system from StorageTek. STC has been a leader in
tape/disk arrays/silos for years. The s/w is very "mainframe" looking, ie:
wierd, confusing command strings. Very reliable tho, and does include a
No idea on price, but I'm sure it is not cheap either.
We are in the process of upgrading our UNIX backup/restore software and are
interested in your experience with any of the commercial software packages.
Any constructive input is welcomed.
We are currently using BudTool on Sun OS 4.1.3. It has served our needs
well, but our version of Budtool won't span tapes and therefore we can't
backup partitions larger than about 4GB. In addition, we wish to move to
Solaris 2.6 or later. We backup about 20 UNIX servers/WS. I have had a great
experience with DLT under NT, so the chosen s/w must support a
DLT/autoloader combo.

Potential s/w candidates include:
BudTool (new version)
Legato (very expensive)
Solstice Backup 5.1

If possible I would like this run this from a SPARC 5 or 10. Any comments on
RAM or disc space needed would also be appreciated.

Thanks in advance and of course I will happily summarize.

Bob Brown
Chrystal Software
A Xerox Technology Enterprise Company
                        858.676.7754 Voice
858.676.7710 Fax

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