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 HKCUSoftwareMicrosoft 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.
p class=”MsoNormal”>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.