SUMMARY: Backup Software under Sun OS

Date: Wed Mar 30 1994 - 06:07:26 CST

Many thanks to all who responded.

Original Question:

        We are a large heterogenous Unix site with 450 workstations
        and servers, mostly Suns, HPs and DECs. We are currently doing
        our backups using tape stackers technology from Exabyte. We
        have 3 EXB10i's and 1 EXB120 and all backups are controlled by
        a series of shell scripts which we developed ourselves. This has
        worked okay up till now, but we are now backing up 300 GB and the
        amount is threatening to increase drastically in the future.
        Our goal is to find a good software package to manage our entire
        backup scheme. We have looked carefully at:

                1) Epoch Backup
                2) Alexandria
                3) Networker

        Can anyone offer us advice on which backup software products have
        produced good results with large scale Unix networks, running under
        SunOS 4.1.2 or 4.1.3?

Here is a break down of responses I received:

38% Networker by Legato Phone #:(415) 812-6124
28% Budtool by Delta Microsystems Phone#:(510) 449-6881
9% AMANDA(Advanced Maryland Automatic Networked Disk Archiver) from
5% Flashback II by Pinnacle Micro
5% Backupedge by Microlite Phone#:(800)992-2827
5% Backup.unet by Raxco
5% Aria BackupPlus by Control Data
5% RAID 5 system from Clariion

Here is a summary of the responses. I am not able to inculde all the responses
I have received otherwise this email will be about 15 pages(forgive me, it is
already very long). However, I would like to acknowledge all the emails.


You might consider Amanda (Advanced Maryland Automatic Networked Disk Archiver),
available on
You will probably get other comments on this excellent product. We've been using
is for almost a year now and it's great, free and very well supported!


We are using Networker, on IBM RS/6000s, SUNs, HP-UX, DECstations, and
SGIs, with impressive results over our own home-grown backup scripts using

We are having very good luck with Budtool...
We currently backup about 160GB, using five Exabyte
compression drives in two 120 jukeboxes. We expect to scale up to about
1 Terabyte within the next 18 months.
        Standard dump format: Minimal vendor dependency over time. Some of our
        data needs to be retained to meet legal requirements. 5-10 years from
        now we must be able to retrieve it.
        Scalability: Budtool's file history database grows in a linear fashion.
        The database will be twice as big, and searches will take twice as long,
        when the amount of backup data doubles. This was certainly not the case
        with Legato.
        Customizability. Budtool easily allowed us to write our own version of
        tar to backup the optical platters which are not mounted as standard
        Unix filesystems.
        Ease of use. Budtool got the nod over Epoch, significantly better than
        Legato. We are putting a lot of the day-to-day responsibilities for this
        in our operations group, which has other complicated tasks and a varied
        skill set.


We are very happy with Legato's Networker.
        Some of the advantages:
        1. Compression is done locally. The client software compresses
        the data locally before sending it to the server. This reduces
        network traffic and takes advantage of the local cpu.

        2. Easy to restore files. Networker has a gui interface and
        on-line indexes. It is easy to used a mouse to select specific
        files and specific versions of those files you want restored.

        3. Easy to use with the Exabyte 10i stacker.


        1. You are very dependent on the indexes. If you lose the indexes,
        you cannot restore data. These indexes are backed up automatically
        with your data so under normal circumstances this is not a problem.
        We did lose our indexes one time and had to restore them from tape.
        (It was not Networker's fault that the indexes were lost. User

        We have three 10i stackers with 5G tape drives. Each stacker backs
        up 4.5 - 5G per night in about 6.5 hours.

We currently use BACKUP.UNET from RAXCO for our heterogenous network,
including Sun, HP and SGI. Works very well for the most part.


Forget the backup systems and get RAID disk subsystems for your servers.
RAID 5 with mirroring removes the need for tapes. I saw it demonstrated
at UNIFORM San Francisco. Clariion series 2300 Disk Arrays could mirror
up to 40 gigbytes (these units come with 3 redundant power supplies and
2 redundant i/o processors RISC and a Wabi/windows monitor interface).
Got to be the slickest thing I've seen in technology yet!.


I would like to thank the following people: (Stephane Hamel) (Dan A. Zambon) (Amy Hollander) (Tom Chitty)
Paul Bellan-Boyer <> (Timothy P. Henrion)
<> (Mike Frizzell 0128171)
wolfe!bar (Bret A. Robinson) (Linda Cygan)
<> (Dave Haut)
Stefan Hosa <HOSAST1@VM.AKH-WIEN.AC.AT> (Janet Ulrich)
<> (John Turner) (Joseph Anderson) (Mike Daley)

ESRI| | Houman Safai
 ___|___| Systems Administrator
    | | 380 New York Street Email :
 ___|___| Redlands, CA 92373 Telephone: (909) 793-2853

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