Fully featured and flexible backup product that makes me like doing backups again
September 29, 2019

Fully featured and flexible backup product that makes me like doing backups again

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Bacula Enterprise

Bacula Enterprise is being used by one department within the organization. It supports our need to have regular and reliable backups of our data to protect against system failure and user error. We use it to back up data from around 50 systems, both physical and virtual, to disk storage and then to tape for offsite storage.
  • The support services provided by Bacula Systems are superb. They usually respond extremely quickly and have clear and useful answers upfront, which is a welcome change. Their support enabled us to get Bacula Enterprise up and running quickly and well configured, in a relatively short period of time. In addition, they also offer proactive support on a yearly basis. This involves sending an automatically generated report on your system configuration and status from which they provide advice on any issues or configuration problems that they find. I haven't seen this level of proactive support from another company.
  • The configuration is extremely powerful and flexible. If you're used to dealing with text-based configuration files then you'll find this system familiar. It also fits well with configuration management tools - in our case, Puppet - allowing the configuration across the whole system to be managed centrally. The flexibility of the system allowed us to have backups running exactly when and how we wanted, performing staging to tape via disk, and with various admin, tasks to automate the handling of tapes within our tape library.
  • The command-line console tool allows all operations to be done from the command line. In an emergency situation, or stuck in a datacentre with only a dumb console, being able to do everything via the command line is an important feature to have.
  • Bweb is an optional extra that provides a web-based interface for both management and configuration. If you don't want to edit text files and use the command line console tool then Bweb is the best interface to use. We don't use it for configuration (favoring external tools for managing the text-based configuration), but we do use it to monitor backups and perform restores. It provides an excellent overview of what's happening with the system.
  • The manuals, whitepapers, and additional documentation cover everything in detail. The whitepapers give a good overview of the installation, concepts, and specific scenarios, whilst the manuals cover in more depth how specific areas work and how the configuration is handled. It's very easy to find out what a particular option means and does.
  • The software can run on and is supported on, a wide variety of operating systems, including Ubuntu which is what we use. This is a level of flexibility that was important to us after being tied to RHEL for our previous backup system.
  • The configuration can be hard to get started with. It took some time and reading of the documentation to understand how to get Bacula Enterprise to do what we wanted. This can be a hurdle when initially getting started.
  • Although the documentation is good, there's a lot of it and it isn't always structured in the best way. When you know what you're looking for it's fine, but when getting started it can be overwhelming.
  • Bweb is an optional extra, so without it, you're stuck with text files and command-line tools. This could likely be a turn off for sysadmins who prefer to work in a graphical environment.
  • It could do more to support hardware-based LTO encryption. With some web searching it's not too hard to figure out the changes needed to load encryption keys into the drives, but it'd be nice if Bacula Enterprise handled this by itself given it's a fairly fundamental part of tape backup.
  • Scripting actions using bconsole is ugly. More could be done to making scripting easier.
  • Bacula Enterprise is competitively priced which lowers the overall cost compared to the alternatives.
  • Bacula Enterprise enabled us to improve our backup availability by allowing backups to both disk and tape, whilst meeting our policies for having backups securely stored offsite.
We used Veritas NetBackup for a number of years prior to Bacula Enterprise. We always had annoyances with the configuration and reliability of doing restores when using incremental backups. We also had to change various defaults to get the behavior that we wanted. Bacula Enterprise did things the way we needed right from the start and gives us more confidence in the reliability and long term viability of our backups.
They're excellent, fast to respond and knowledgeable. I can't fault the support provided at all. On every occasion that we've had a need to contact them during our evaluation, installation, and use of Bacula Enterprise, they've always given us the help that we required. The responses they provide are detailed and we always feel that they've taken the time to read and understand our issue and give a full and personalized answer.

Do you think Bacula Enterprise delivers good value for the price?

Yes

Are you happy with Bacula Enterprise's feature set?

Yes

Did Bacula Enterprise live up to sales and marketing promises?

Yes

Did implementation of Bacula Enterprise go as expected?

Yes

Would you buy Bacula Enterprise again?

Yes

Bacula Enterprise fits a certain type of market. The Unix-based sysadmin who has a diverse range of systems to back up and is happy to get their hands dirty with command-line tools and text-based configuration files. They have a large range of plugins to back up specific systems (eg. databases, VMs, and lots more) making it a truly flexible product in a single package. Addons like B web further improve on the already well-equipped product.

However, this approach may not suit everyone, so I'd be hesitant recommending it in all situations.

Bacula Enterprise Feature Ratings

Recovery verification
Not Rated
Multiple backup destinations
10
Incremental backup identification
10
Backup to the cloud
Not Rated
Deduplication and file compression
Not Rated
Snapshots
8
Flexible deployment
9
Management dashboard
9
Platform support
10
Retention options
10
Encryption
Not Rated

Bacula Enterprise Support

ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
None