There are a lot of good network backup products available. You may be
overwhelmed trying to choose one that best meets your needs.The competitive
advantage Backup Professional has over other similar products in the industry,
in a nutshell are the following:
Each backup profile can be customized and configured to include over
a 100 different features or options. This includes the backup operation
(Master,Incremental, Selective, Image), include and exclude lists, software
compression, double buffering for speed, exclusion of read-only mounted
filesystems, file-locking level to use, nondestructive restore, and many
others. These profiles are in backups, restores, or from within the scheduler.
The profiles can be saved, edited, and named.This gives you ultimate control
of your backups down to the individual machine level even within a group
Configuring Run-time CPU priority
You can configure the run-time CPU priority of the backup process. Thus,
if your system is backing up while you are using it, you will appreciate
the low priority which gives more of the CPU's processing to the applications
you are using.
Backup Professional's licensing policy is based on a point system. This
means that when you purchase the product, you purchase a number of points.
The points are used to determine how many clients you can back up. For
example, if you have a Solaris server, you need 12 points for the server
and 1 point for each Windows 95 machine you have on the network and intend
to backup. You need a certain number of points for each auto-changer based
on the number of slots in the auto-changer. A Windows NT client takes 2
points and most UNIX clients take 4 points.
Thus, if you need to increase the number of machines you are backing
up, you simply purchase more points, and your license is updated accordingly.
Licensing is performed by faxing or e-mailing a license request sheet.
In short order, you receive a return fax or e-mail with your license key.
If you need to purchase more points or it is a first time purchase, the
transaction is handled through VISA or a mutually agreed upon method. You
then enter the license key and Backup Professional is now operational for
a new number of points, new clients or for whatever purpose you needed
to change your license.
The performance of Backup Professional is exceptional. You have the
option of using a technique called double buffering. This technique causes
Backup Professional to split into two process which specialize in the work
they do. One process gathers the data from the hard disk while the other
pumps it out the network channel to Backup Professional Server on the other
side. This minimizes waiting and makes the backups go as fast as your hardware
and network will allow. This is especially fast on systems with dual processors
as each process runs on a different CPU.
The Backup Professional reports all performance data in the backup summary
as well as real-time in the task monitor. The Backup Professional uses
only TCP and does not require NFS (Network File System). This enhances
performance considerably. Additionally, Backup Professional, uses two channels
for each connection, one is for data and is optimized for high-speed reliable
transfer, while the other one is for control such as the server and client
process communicating with one another. This combination makes the performance
phenomenal. In addition, you have control over the performance options
placed on the TCP connection for the data channel. Thus, you are in control
and can get the performance up to the very maximum available with your
Backup Professional has been tested with all the major industry standard
tape drives. We have close working relationships with the major tape manufacturers
such as Overland Data, Quantum, Exabyte, ADIC, Conner, HP, Qualstar, Tandberg,
Sony and more. It runs on all the major types of tape drives ranging from
the low end Travan, QIC, 4mm DDS1,DDS2,DDS3, AIT-1,AIT-2, 8mm, Magnum,
Internal Database Features
The internal database used by Backup Professional is very fast, robust,
and scalable. It is designed for computer networks with millions of files.
The database has its origins when it was used with legacy large scaled
transaction based systems. This means it has withstood the test of time
including legacy Cobol business applications and demands. It is not a Cobol
database, it is the engine that was used by Cobol business applications.
The database is self correcting. This means that if your system crashes
while the database is in use and being updated, when you come up again,
this fact is detected and the database is automatically fixed. This sometimes
requires some minor changes and other times the indexes are rebuilt if
they have been corrupted. The nice thing is that this all happens transparent
to you the user (appropriate status messages are displayed) and you do
not have to be a database expert to use the product.
The database stores all data in a highly compact form. In fact, it requires
only 22 bytes per file to record all the information such as the name,
parent directory, size, modification times, owner, group, permissions,
etc. Most competing products use 80 to 1024 bytes per file. We will challenge
any competing product as to the efficiency of storage and are confident
that our database is the most storage efficient. The designers spent a
considerable amount of time and effort making sure the storage of this
database information was fast and efficient.
When you recycle a tape (overwrite the contents), all the database information
on the tape is also automatically purged. This keeps the database at a
nearly constant size once you reach an equilibrium point in terms of your
tape rotation schedule. You can manually purge database information for
any given tape if say the tape was destroyed or unusable for some reason.
About once a week, the database automatically recompacts itself. This
is mainly for the indexes, to make sure they are compact and remain efficient.
Any empty space that has accumulated from purged information is reclaimed.
The database is accessible from the clients as well as from the server.
This makes it easy for clients to look up information such as what backups
have been done and what files are on which backups. This database access
is done through Backup Professional server-client connection and does not
require NFS. This makes the client graphical user interface very useful.
From an administrator's point of view, this saves you time since the user
can pick out which version of the file they really want, and will know
which tape number it is on.
Restoring files with Backup Professional could not be easier. You can
restore files either from the client or from the server. In either case,
the process is similar. The user is presented with a calendar showing the
dates of the backups available for the given computer. When one of these
dates is selected all the backups for that day are shown and the user selects
the one they are interested in previewing. Then the actual files or directories
to be restored are selected using a graphical user interface.
Because Backup Professionals database is fast and efficient, there is
essentially no waiting on the database. On other products we have seen
the restore facility take upwards of 10 minutes on starting just to create
a temporary database view of backups and files available. Even on a client,
there is no or very little waiting as the client connects directly to the
server's database and only the items of interest are transported across
the network connection.
Fast File Restore
On systems or tape drives capable of quick seeking, this method is used
to restore files. On 4mm DDS2 and DDS3 tape drives, most files are made
available within 30 seconds. Similar esults are reported on AIT-1 and AIT-2
tape drives. This can take a little longer on DLT tape drives but
is certainly faster than waiting for the tape drive to read the entire
fileset to get through the data.
Backup Professional supports most all of the industry standard SCSI-II
auto-changers. We are in close contact with the major auto-changer library
vendors and perform extensive in-house testing to ensure that auto-changer
support is the most current and up to date available. This section will
describe the auto-changer support and how it works.
Backup Professional supports many different types of auto-changer drivers
which are referred to as Auto-changer Interfaces. The interfaces
available depend on the type of server operating system you are using.
Backup Professional has its own internal interface which talks direct to
the SCSI tape library on operating systems that support SCSI passthru mode.
Other operating systems have native auto-changer drivers and these can
be used by Backup Professional. Also, third-party drivers such as those
available for Exabyte's or the mtx utility from HP can be used.
Each type of driver is considered to be an Auto-changer Interface from
Backup Professional's perspective. When you set up auto-changer support,
you pick the desired Auto-changer Interface from a pick list and
that interface is then used. The interface can be customized further if
Due to the wide variety of needs and ways in which companies want to
use the slots in the auto-changer, we have made the interface fairly easy
to understand and adjustable for your particular site. Backup Professional
uses a configuration file that is created during the setup of a auto-changer
device. This file specifies the auto-changer slot numbers to use for backups
on any given day. Thus, if you do Master backups on Friday, you may need
more slots on this day. Other days need less slots. This allows you to
use other slots for purposes not related to Backup Professional, and also
you can easily change the slot allocation on a temporary basis by editing
the easy to understand configuration file.
Backup Professional issues auto-changer commands before or after a group
schedule backup and before and after an individual backup. The activity
and results of auto-changer commands are displayed real-time by the task
monitor and also appear in the reports if there were problems. Also, if
your auto-changer fails to work properly, it is easy to understand and
change what Backup Professional's idea the current tape in the drive is.
Backup Professional shines when there is a problem with the changer. It
is easy to get the tape library and Backup Professional in sync again and
it does not require an extensive auto-changer reinventory of the entire
tape library. On a tape library with 80 slots, this can take a very long
time and is very frustrating to see when all you may have done was open
the library door and remove some dust or adjust a label.
Backup Professional works smoothly with your auto-changer and does not
force you into a rigid way of using it. The methodology is simple, easy
to understand, and easily configured and changed. Backup Professional keeps
tracks of tapes inside the auto-changer and if you need to restore a file
residing on a tape housed in the auto-changer, Backup Professional automatically
retrieves the tape from the proper slot, loads it in the tape drive, restores
the data and puts the tape back into its previous slot.
Backup Professional works fine with libraries containing multiple tape
drives. In fact, you can be backing up on 3 drives simultaneously, while
doing a restore from the fourth drive. All auto-changer motions are coordinated
so that no conflict occurs. You can also use multiple auto-changers if
desired. There are no restrictions since each auto-changer has a name (used
by Backup Professional) and its own individual configuration file.
Auto-changer support is licensed using the point system described previously.
If your version of Backup Professional is not specifically licensed for
auto-changer support, the menu options for auto-changer are grayed out.
You must have a license feature string that says: j=xxx, where xxx
is the number of slots available in your auto-changer. When the autochanger
module is purchased, the purchase price will depend on the number of slots
in the auto-changer unit. Some auto-changers have the capability to increase
their slot capacity with purchase of an additional media spindle or slot-pack.
The increased number of slots can be accommodated by reissue of a new license
for the additional slots. This allows you to license and use only the slots
Crash Recovery - Introduction
Pioneering the first fully automated crash recovery using bootable
floppies in 1989 for XENIX systems, the technology was extended
to Unix systems in the early 90's. Then later to SCO OpenServer 5 in 1995.
Solaris was added in 1988, and finally UnixWare 7 in 1999.
Also pioneered was the ParaChute technology which allows Crash
Recovery for every PC on the network (PC ParaChute) as well as crash recovery
for RISC based servers (Server ParaChute). A little bit of explanation
is needed to understand the difference between the different types of Crash
Recovery modalities available.
- Air-Bag modality -
File-by-file restore of Master and Incremental backups to freshly prepared
filesystems. This does not require reinstallation of the operating system.
- PC ParaChute modality -
Partition-by-partition image restore of PC ParaChute backups. Works for Intel
based operating systems that use a partition table on the front of the root
hard disk. This does not require reinstallation of the operating system.
- ParaChute modality - similar to the above except it avoids partitions
since it is used on RISC based computers that do not have a partition table
at the front of the root hard disk. It does a direct image backup of the
root hard disk and any other desired hard disks.
The ParaChute technology is an imaging technology. This technology allows
bit-level-verification, after-the-fact verification (e.g. 1 year later),
integrity checking on restore, on-the-fly compression and is ideally suited
for streaming mode through the network or onto a tape drive. ParaChute
backups eliminate backing up dead or unused space on the hard disk and
is generally mush smaller in size than the total capacity of the hard disk.
This format has no knowledge of the underlying filesystem structures or
files. Its advantages are simplicity, speed, portability.
Crash Recovery - Servers
SCO Unix, SCO OpenServer 5, UnixWare 7
These systems use a two volume floppy disk boot set called the A1
and A2 diskettes. When the server crashes, a reinstall of the operating
system is not required. Instead, you boot from the A1 and A2
diskettes and are presented with a comprehensive menu.
You can perform a totally automated restore or a step-by-step rebuild.
There are also many options for custom reconfigurations, such as installing
a larger or different type of hard disk. Other options include repairing
a damaged superblock, restoring your CMOS settings, comprehensive diagnostics
and a make your disk bootable option.
This product is referred to in our literature as the System Crash Air-bag
(TM) and is one of our most popular products. VARS love the product becuase
it allows them to move from one type of hard disk controller to another
without a reinstall of the operating system. Or they can move to a system
with a larger hard disk. This product usually saves about 6-8 hours of
time in a crash situation.
Under Solaris, either a custom floppy or custom tape is generated depending
on whether or not your server has a floppy disk drive. The information
recorded on the floppy is the configuration information for your Solaris
Server such as the types and sizes of the filesystems, hard disks, and
partition information, tape, as well as a complete interactive Crash Recovery
Menu System .
When the server crashes, you boot from the CD provided with your OS.
Then you mount the floppy or load in the tape, and run the Crash Recovery
Menu System. This loads the necessary drivers to access the tape drive.
You can rebuild the entire system with a few simple keystrokes.
All filesystems are remade, mounted and you restore from Backup Professional
tapes for that server. The process works very smoothly and is easy to use
and understand. You restore both Backup Professional Master backup for
that server as well as the Incremental backup and reboot from the hard
disk. Then your system is back up and running just as it was at the time
of the last incremental backup.
This feature comes bundled with each Solaris server and Solaris clients
at no additional charge. It supports Solaris 2.5, 2.6 and Solaris 7.
Linux crash recovery is provided with a module referred to as ParaChute
2000. This is a bootable floppy diskette that uses the ParaChute technology.
It creates a partition-by-partition image backup of your root hard disk.
When you crash, you can boot from this diskette and restore the backup
to a new root hard disk. This avoids a reinstallation and reconfiguration
of the operating system which will save you 1-2 hours of time when you
HP UX, AIX, DEC Alpha
Crash Recovery on these server platforms again rely on the ParaChute
imaging technology. Utilities are provided for performing a ParaChute backup
of the root hard disk when in single user mode or booted from the operating
system's installation CD. When the root disk crashes or becomes corrupted,
the ParaChute backup on a tape is used and restored to the same or a fresh
root hard disk. This saves reinstallation, relicensing, and reconfiguration
of the operating system and the time saved depends on the actual operating
systems but usually is at least 3-4 hours.
Crash Recovery - Clients
Complete crash recovery is available for Solaris UNIX clients. The process
is similar to the server sided crash recovery in that you make a custom
floppy or tape for each client. Optionally, you can include the custom
information for several clients on the same floppy, thus having a single
crash diskette for a cluster of Solaris UNIX clients. The booting process
is similar in that you boot off of the bootable CD provided by Sun. After
loading the Crash Recovery Menu System, you can connect with Backup Professional
Server through the network and restore data.
In fact, you run the same restore interface you would if you were booted
from the client's hard disk. Like the server crash recovery, this process
works smoothly and seamlessly. Once the system is rebuilt and all files
are restored, you reboot from the hard-drive on the client and resume your
work. This saves the hassle of reinstalling the operating system from scratch
and trying to gather the configuration information for the client such
as the number of filesystems and sizes and filesystem types. This feature
must be purchased separately as an add-on option.
Crash Recovery for Unix clients running on an Intel processor include
the following platforms:
- Unixware 2.x
- Unixware 7
- SCO ODT, SCO OpenServer 5
- Solaris 7 Intel
This product uses a Crash Recovery diskette that is generated on the
erver. You boot from this diskette to perform a Crash Recovery backup or
restore. The Crash Recovery backup can be automated through the Backup
Professional Scheduler as well.
Novell Server (3.x,4.1,5.x)
Crash recovery for Novell servers is provided with the PC ParaChute
technology. This uses a bootable diskette which performs a ParaChute style
backup of the server and sends the data over the network wire to a Backup
Professional Server. This backups up and restores the bindery and NDIS.
There are never any open file or locking issues since the ParaChute backup
is obtained with the machine in a quiet state.
PC ParaChute allows full crash protection for any PC on the network
including Windows 3.1, 95,98 and NT. When a PC crashes, you can restore
it back to its original state by inserting a crash recovery diskette that
has been previously generated. Once booted from this diskette, the PC connects
through the network to the Backup Professional Server and a full and complete
restore is done. This avoids the hassles of having to re-install Windows,
and each application and well as reconfigure the system. It also saves
The PC ParaChute backup of the PC is performed as an unattended backup
and can be done at night. In order to be sure all files are in a quiet
state, the backup is performed from a bootable PC ParaChute diskette. This
is the same bootable diskette that is used to restore the system. The user
or administrator makes sure this diskette is in the drive at some time
during the day.
When the Crash Recovery backup is scheduled to run, the Backup Professional
Server connects to the Backup Professional Agent on the PC who shuts down
the machine and boots from the PC ParaChute diskette. A special lightweight
Backup Professional Agent backs up the entire system with the assurance
that the operating system is not running, no processes are running, all
files are closed and there are no modifications being made to the filesystem.
The entire system is backed up and stored on the Backup Professional Server.
An average PC (4 Gb hard drive - 25% full) can be restored to completion
this way in approximately 20 minutes. And it can be done by users without
expertise in Windows. This extends the abilities of the system administrator,
saves time, saves additional training and ensures you can get any PC back
to an operating state in short order.
Non-proprietary Tape format
Backup Professional uses a nonproprietary tape format. In fact, in the
worse of scenarios, you could restore your data using the standard utilities
available on any UNIX system. The tapes format is designed to be extensible
and allow stacking of multiple backups on a tape.
Each tape contains a tape label which contains the tape number as well
as other information. Each set of data is preceded by a fileset label that
contains information about the type of data on the tape, the way in which
is was recorded (block size) and so forth. You can read these labels with
either the dd or the tar utility using a standard no-rewind
tape device name.
Windows 95/98/NT Special Features
Hot DLL Restore
If you have ever tried to perform a full restore of a running Windows
95/98/NT system, you find that any DLL that is in use, will not restore.
You then have to try to create a list of these DLL's and manually attempt
to restore them after shutting down applications and parts of Windows.
This is frustrating , time consuming, and generally does not work because
many DLL's are always in use by the system.
Backup Professional works around this by allowing a Hot DLL Restore.
When Backup Professional restores a DLL that is already in use, it puts
the new DLL in a special place to be restored on the next reboot. The next
time Windows is rebooted, a Backup Professional process runs that restores
all the DLL that could not be restored previously. This is run before any
windows processes run, so there is no chance the DLL is in use.
This allows you to get your system back to an exact previously known
working state and avoids the hassles of trying to restore over DLL's that
are in use.
Open File Handler
Backup Professional has extensive features for handling open files on
Windows 95/98/NT. Open files are files that are in use by either Windows
or another application. In most cases, can successfully back these files
which other backup products skip over. For those few cases in which Windows
stubbornly denies access to a file (system file), Backup Professional provides
a unique priority scheme. It maintains a list of all open files encountered.You
mark all files that are okay to skip if they are in use. Backup Professional
does not report errors on these files.
Backup Professional integrates with third party open file managers such
as St. Bernards Software. These packages take a snap shot of the system
and allow a backup program to read every file on the hard disk, even files
that are open or locked.
Before and After Commands
Client sided before and after commands are available for fine control
of the environment under which your backup runs. Thus you can shut down
specific applications to guarantee that they are not running during the
backup. And they can be restarted again when the backup is complete.
Windows 95/98/NT Registry Backup and Support
Extensive work has gone into the Windows 95/98 and Windows NT registry
support. The registry contains critical settings and configuration parameters
as well as application specific settings. Backup Professional backs up
all the registry settings and can do so even when the system is being used.
This happens as part of the normal backup unless of course you exclude
The distinguishing feature of Backup Professional over others is the
restore capabilities of the registry. The registry names are mapped into
the filesystem space when the filenames to be restored are displayed. This
allows you to pick all or part of the registry to restore just as you would
pick a filename to restore. This makes working with the registry and restoring
all or parts of it easy and understandable.
You can restore a specific hive of the registry, a specify sub-directory
or an individual key. You can restore all the registry settings to exactly
how they were on a specific date at a specific time (usually when you know
everything was last working well). You can restore the registry settings
for a specific application to how they were at a given time in the past.
The capability to perform a non-destructive restore of the registry
is available. This is crucial if you have re-installed Windows NT on new
hardware and now are ready to restore your application files and application
registry settings. The non-destructive registry restore adds registry information not previously present (applications) but does not wipe out registry settings pertaining to the new hardware.
We have worked extensively with Microsoft to ensure that our handling
of the registry is the most robust and reliable available and will stand
up to changes made to the registry in future Windows upgrades.
In short, you will find the Backup Professional's registry backup and
restore support o be one of the most comprehensive of any backup product
in the industry.
Tape Labeling and Retention Periods
Backup Professional tape management comes with a powerful feature that
controls when a tape can be overwritten. For example, if your site rotates
tapes every 14 days, you can set a recycle time of 14 days when
you label the tape. This means the tape cannot be used before 14 days have
elapsed, thus protecting against accidental overwriting of the tape by
Backup Professional. Most commonly a tape is overwritten when it is used
for a restore and the WRITE PROTECT TAB has not been
set on the tape. Later a backup kicks off and uses the tape in the drive,
possibly causing it to be overwritten. This recycle time is referred to
as the retention period which derives from nomenclature used in the mainframe
When the tape retention period has expired, Backup Professional will
recycle the tape. This means that the old backups are retired, a fresh
tape label is written to the tape (using the same tape number) and the
tape is used again as if it were a fresh tape.
Backup Professional will not overwrite a tape that contains the last
good Master, Incremental, or ParaChute backup for a given client. When
a tape is recycled, all prior knowledge of the data on the tape is automatically
purged from Backup Professional's database. This purging is done in a highly
efficient manner (a matter of seconds). This keeps the database synchronized
with the actual data on the tapes at all times.
Periodically (once a week), Backup Professional will determine if it
can save 25% or more space in the database by doing a reorganization. If
it can, it will reorganize the database. The interval at which it checks
as well as the space savings are configurable.
Backup Professional will keep appending to a tape until it is full or
it encounters a hard write error. Once this happens the tape is marked
as full and cannot be written to unless the retention period has elapsed.
If you are not happy with this policy, you can either use a retention period
of 0 days use a schedule command that forces a fresh tape label be written
on a nightly scheduled backup each night.
You can access the tape knowledge database from the server's graphical
user interface. This contains all the information Backup Professional knows
about any given tape including its retention period, the number of backups
on the tape, how much data is on the tape, whether the tape is full or
not or encountered and error, whether the tape is retired, and other such
information. This is very useful for finding information about any given
tape used by the server.
Importing Foreign Tapes
You can import tapes from another Backup Professional server by using
the Tape Import Feature. This reads in the tape label as well as
each backup on the tape and records the information in the database as
if Backup Professional had written the tape itself. This information then
becomes a permanent part of the database. You may wish to use this feature
if say your had to restore your system to how it was a week ago due to
a malfunction in your primary application. In this case, Backup Professional's
database does not know about the last 7 tapes backed up. You simply import
these tapes, and then Backup Professional database is current and users
can graphically select files to restore from these tapes.
Retiring a Tape
You can retire a tape from the system. This marks the tape as retired
and purges all information regarding the tape and the backups on the tape
from the database. This is useful, if a tape has been physically destroyed
(heat damage, tape breakage) and is useless. In these cases, there is no
point in having the database contain files that in reality can never be
Cloning a Tape
You can clone a Backup Professional tape to be used for off-site storage.
This can be cloned to the same exact tape format or to a different type
of tape format (4mm to DLT for example).
Client Sided GUI
This is a powerful feature of Backup Professional and one which most
other network backup products do not have. This saves the administrator's
time because the user can restore the proper version of the file themselves
without any administrator support. If you have 50 to 100 PC users, this
can add up to quite a bit of time saved and well justify any cost differences
you may find. Furthermore, some power users or high level individuals may
be nervous about having a network backup product backup their sensitive
data. In this case, the power user can insert their own tape in the servers
tape drive, do their backup and retrieve and store the tape themselves
in a private place.
Other sites may choose to have some users responsible for their own
backups. In these cases, most likely the user will have the backup start
as they are departing for lunch.
On Windows 3.1, 95, 98 and NT the user interface is that of native windows.
Under UNIX, the graphical user interface is an X-Window interface which
is what these users are used to and expect.
A support contract is vital in order to receive support after the first
60 days has elapsed. Most customers choose to include the cost of the support
in their initial purchase. Annual technical support is available for 15%
of the total purchase cost.
The design team spent considerable time making technical support integral
to the product and not simply an after thought. The diagnostic and support
features of Backup Professional are robust and powerful. For example, the
base product generates a comprehensive Technical Support Fax Sheet. This
is faxed to the support department 20 minutes before you call. This gives
the support engineers all the information they need to know about your
operating system, computer setup, and specific settings of Backup Professional.
By printing and sending in this sheet, you will save your time and phone
expense as it makes it much quicker for the support engineers to arrive
at a solution.
Many support features and capabilities are built into the product. For
example, almost any level of utility logging can be done. The level of
logging can be limited to a specific binary or to a specific module within
a binary. This makes it possible to send or e-mail a given log to the support
team who can interpret the log and find the problem. The capability exists
to print out in ASCII format parts or all of the database as well.
Backup Professional has a built-in network trouble shooter. This means
if there is trouble connecting to a given client, it reports to you in
english what the problem is. This could be as simple as not being able
to ping the client to the fact that the clients name is not listed as an
alias in the DNS (Domain Name Server) tables.
Overall, the design team incorporated over 11 years of support experience
in Backup and Recovery industry and incorporated it into Backup Professional.
Our hope is that you will never need technical support, but when you do,
you find it responsive and accurate.
Comprehensive Backup Scheduler
The comprehensive backup scheduler is one of the most powerful features
of Backup Professional. It does not use the cron facility of UNIX, but
rather its own daemon - tasker.You can set up back up groups and
schedule any backup group at any given time or interval. You can specify
on which clients you wish to perform a Master backup and which to perform
an Incremental backup on any given day. Any individual customized backup
profile can be attached to an individual client as part of a group backup.
This allows you to back up your company's computers in groups such as accounting, shop-floor, human resources, etc.
The scheduler has other such features such as the ability to temporarily
disable a group schedule and/or an individual client within a group schedule.
When you establish a schedule, you first set up the group (you can have
a group of 1) and then pick the Backup Strategy you want from a
predefined list of over 8 predefined Backup Strategies. This list includes
the most commonly used strategies as Master on Friday and Incrementals
on Monday through Thursday. You can have a weekly strategy or a monthly
strategy or even a quarterly or yearly strategy. If you are not happy with
the predefined strategies, you can edit and existing one or design you
own using the interactive Schedule Designer. We have not yet met
a schedule we could not design and implement with the powerful Schedule
You receive a nice report each morning after a nightly schedule has
completed. This includes the schedule start and elapsed times, status report
of each client, and the number of files and megabytes backed up on each
workstation. You also receive the status of the Bit-level-verification
on the backup.
Backup Professional supports backing up raw partitions as well as image
backups of your hard-drive. It is not a bad idea to perform an image backup
of your hard-drive at least once. This also can be used for replicating
and duplicating hard-drives. Many of you have requested the ability to
support image backups of hard-drives. Large file support > 2Gb is supported
on many platforms. Call for details.
Backup Professional has one of the most comprehensive remote administration
modules of all products in the industry. This is a character based interface
that is quite powerful with pop-up windows, drop-down boxes, selection
lists and full color support. You can perform all the functions of the
XWindow based Server GUI from a dial-up modem connection, or through a
Remote Administration can also be used by any browser that support an
ANSI terminal emulator plug-in, of which many are available (both freeware
and commercially). This makes Backup Professional Administration available
from most browsers.
Additionally, this allows full administration of Backup Professional
from a NT Workstation or Windows machine using telnet. An administrator
can dial-in from home to check on the progress of backups.
What to do if you do not have an XWindow Display
The primary interface for the Backup Professional Server is an XWindow
display. If this is not available, there are several options. You can simply
use the character based remote administration interface (bpmenu -r).
You can run this from a browser using a terminal emulator plug-in or from
a telnet session from a Windows 95/98/NT workstation.
Alternatively, you can install a X Server such as Hummingbird's Exceed
on a Win95/98/NT machine and redirect the XWindow display to this workstation.
If you are evaluation Backup Professional for the first time, you can obtain
a 30 day evaluation copy of Exceed and use this as your display.
Most all features of Backup Professional are available through the command-line. In fact, if you are familiar with the UNIX tar utility, you already know many of the switches available for bpr, the command-line engine that uses a UNIX tar like command-line interface to Backup Professional. In addition to the normal switches there are -zSERVER=xxxxxand -zCLIENT=xxxxx to specify the server and client machine for the backup, restore or verify process. All the command-line features are nicely documented in the printed documentation that comes with the product.
Security is integral to Backup Professional. Only backups created on
a specific client machine can be restored to the client machine. If the
supervisor override password is used, this can be overridden. Unlike some
other network backup products, we do not use the rsh method of communicating between client and server. Thus, you do not have to worry about security concerns that arise when you open up system access by adding entries to
the .rhosts and /etc/hosts.equiv files on a system. All operating system
permissions are enforced on non-root backup and restores.
Built-in Network Troubleshooter
Backup Professional has a built-in network troubleshooter. This is activated
if you are having trouble connecting to a given client either during setup
or while performing a backup or restore. This network troubleshooter gives
you very specific information as to why the server cannot connect with
the client and tells you what you need to do to fix the problem. This can
saves the administrators hours of frustrating time trying to troubleshoot
Hypertext Online Documentation
The printed documentation that accompanies the product is very comprehensive
and robust as well as easy to read. In addition, Backup Professional has
extensive on-line context-sensitive help. This means after pressing help,
you receive an icon of a question mark. You place this over the item in
question, click your mouse button and the context-sensitive help appears.
Backup Professional ships with the entire documentation on-line. Take
your browser to /usr/bp/info.dir/BP.book.html and you have the entire manual
at your fingertips. Of course you can also view it directly from the web
The Remote Administration module also has extensive on-line help. Every
menu choice, every form, every field has extensive very context sensitive
help that will guide you through every step of using the product.
The release date for the NT Server version of Backup Professional is
3/1/2000. This version provides all the standard features of Backup Professional.
Third-Party Databases (Oracle/Sybase/Informix)
Backup Professional integrates nicely with Oracle, Sybase and Informix.
There are so many ways in which the databases can be backed up that it
is beyond the scope of the paper to discuss them all. Your database might
reside in a Raw Partition in which case you use the Raw Partition backup
feature of Backup Professional.
Alternatively, you may have a replication server. You may have archive
logs. You may desire to go in the "HOT Archive Mode" for the
entire database. Other sites will use Hot Archive Mode on a table-by-table
We hope this Backup Professional white paper has been helpful to you
in your purchase decision of a network backup product. With over 11 years
of experience regarding Backup and Restore as well as Crash Recovery ,
the design team put a lot of thought and consideration into the product.
You will find the "little things" are all present in Backup Professional.
You will also find that it interoperates well with other software, backup
products and strategies that you are using. When you need to make a onfiguration
change, most likely you can do it right then and there as opposed to waiting
for a new release to support that as an option. If you need performance,
Backup Professional has it. If you need reliability, Backup Professional
has it. If you crash, Backup Professional will get you back up.
All this and more is reflected in the fact that even in its first release,
it won the Top of the World award during a recent
review in an industry computer magazine (SCO WORLD - September 1997).