Bacula Enterprise has my back
May 07, 2019
Bacula Enterprise has my back
Score 10 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with Bacula Enterprise
Our company uses Bacula Enterprise to ensure that our servers, projects, and files are being backed up reliably. Our strategy includes making virtual machine backups to facilitate restoring complete systems as well as making file level backups to restore files one-by-one. We also use Bacula Enterprise to back up our active directory database and our Microsoft Exchange email. Bacula Enterprise can be customized to the extreme, and we take advantage of this by creating backup jobs that are exactly suited for each situation -- in some cases we need to keep files for years and in other cases we are only concerned about having a reasonably recent backup. Although Bacula Enterprise could be used on individual user's computers, our disaster recovery plan only requires that our servers be backed up. We do not use tape. Our backups are stored locally to disk and then replicated off-site.
- The ability to restore files is equally as important as backing them up, and this is where Bacula Enterprise really proved itself for me. In my IT career I have used many backup systems and found that the weakest point -- often the failing point -- is restoring files. After switching to Bacula Enterprise and doing some test restores and several real restores I am convinced switching to Bacula Enterprise was the right choice. I also appreciate that restore operations can be done through a simple text console program. I have been in emergency situations where the internet connection was so slow that a GUI would not work and yet I was able to quickly restore the needed files.
- Another great thing about Bacula Enterprise is the licensing structure. I simply don't have to worry about cost when installing a client on yet another machine (other than the cost of storage).
- Last but not least is Bacula Enterprise support. I have used Bacula Enterprise support for installation issues, pro-active check-ups, configuration help, and then even reviewed my company backup policy documentation and made some recommendations. Bacula Enterprise tech support is unlike any other support team I've worked with. They stay familiar with our configuration through pro-active checkups and communicate well when there is a problem ticket. I really feel they are genuinely interested that my backups are working as expected.
- The Bacula Enterprise takes a while to understand and install. I found the terminology that Bacula Enterprise used to be a bit different from what I was used to and I needed to think about our backups in a slightly different way than I was used to. It seemed at first that it was too complex, but actually it is very straightforward and very flexible and very powerful. Looking back, I don't know how I could do without the options I have with Bacula Enterprise.
- Also, although Bacula Enterprise is well documented with manuals, whitepapers, articles and even books, I find it a bit difficult to navigate through all the available information. More than once I've read through an explanation of a feature only to find out that it no longer applies and that I should have read a different paper. I've learned to ask support for the right article to read, but I'd rather see the documentation organized better so I can learn on my own.
- Personally I prefer working with configuration files and text consoles, but if I were looking for a slick graphical user interface, Bacula Enterprise does not have it.
- Bacula Enterprise technical support is excellent, but the ticketing system needs work. One creates a ticket on a web portal but can only follow up on that ticket via email. I would very much like to update the ticket on the website as well as via email.
- I can't put a number on this but will say that the cost of Bacula Enterprise is fair and reasonable.
- CTERA Enterprise File Sync & Share and Acronis Backup
I used CTERA almost from the time they started up. In short, it was very easy to use but configuration was limited; and in the end the agents were troublesome and I could not restore files. They had one person on staff who was terrific with tech support, when he left support became difficult and I lost confidence. Acronis was my first experience with a bare-metal recovery operation and it was terrific. Really saved the day. I would still be using it except the licensing was difficult and expensive and the software wasn't Linux friendly.