Symantec Backup Exec 2010 review

Price when reviewed

To create a deduplication folder you select the drive to receive it and set up thresholds for low-capacity levels and the number of streams it will support. It supports only a single deduplication folder per media server, but this can be shared among multiple media servers if you install the Central Admin Server or the SAN Shared Storage options.

To activate client-side deduplication, each system must have the remote agent configured for direct access to the PureDisk device on the media server. This allows it to bypass the media server, deduplicate locally and only send unique segments over the network. However, a direct-access backup job can have only a single remote host declared to it.

Symantec doesn’t have any published claims about ratios and savings so to test these we called up our own set of tests specifically developed to look at deduplication performance. We used a 4GB data set with 1,000 files and introduced controlled changes within a percentage of the files during a simulated standard backup strategy consisting of daily incrementals and weekly full backups.

Symantec Backup Exec 2010

After a two-week simulation BE2010 achieved a deduplication ratio of 3.6:1, showing reasonable storage savings. ARCserve was more efficient and returned a ratio of 5.3:1 in the same test.

We also tested deduplication by backing up the system drives on four Windows client systems. The total amount of data backed up was 35.5GB, but the datastore only contained 23GB of data resulting in an initial deduplication ratio of 1.6:1 and a storage saving of 35 per cent.

We weren’t overly impressed with the deduplication reporting facilities, as all BE2010 offers are summaries showing storage statistics, performance plus achieved ratios and another for the deduplication device. ARCserve’s reporting is more sophisticated.

Backup Exec 2010 provides lots of new features. Deduplication costs extra and the reporting facilities aren’t up to much, but good storage savings can be made. However, CA’s ARCserve 12.5 offers free server-side deduplication and better reporting facilities.


Software subcategoryBackup software

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