Barracuda Backup Server 390

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This article appeared in the March 2014 issue of CRN magazine.

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Barracuda Backup Server 390

For total data protection, businesses must consider on-site, off-site and cloud backup strategies, but the more complex these become, the more difficult they are to manage. Barracuda’s Backup Server appliances are designed to deal with the whole process, including site-to-site replication and cloud backup, from a single web portal.

There are no hidden costs, since the price includes support for Windows, Unix, Linux, Mac, NetWare, Exchange and SQL. Server apps, plus VMware and Hyper-V. You start with a local appliance, of which Barracuda offers a wide range with a choice of capacities.

We tested the Backup Server 390, which has a mirrored pair of 1TB SATA drives and a backup capacity of 500GB. This may not seem much, but the appliance performs variable block-level de-duplication, which can seriously increase available capacity.

Deployment was easy. We connected it to the lab network and used the local console to give it a static IP address. We linked it to our account on Barracuda’s Cloud Control portal by entering its serial number and the unique code from the box. 

We found the portal easy to use, and started testing by declaring our Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V, Server 2012, Exchange 2007, Windows 7 and 8 plus VMware ESX Server 5 systems as sources. Windows systems require a small agent to be installed first, but nothing needed to be loaded on our VMware server.

We could then simply tick a box to have everything backed up. The agents let you browse file systems and applications on each Windows system, so we could create jobs for backing up drives, folders, files, Hyper-V VMs, the Exchange data store and messages.

For Exchange message-level backup, you need to create a service account; guidance is clearly provided in online help. For VMware, we only had to provide root credentials and choose which VMs we wanted to secure.

You can create backup schedules, choosing whether to include all sources or selected ones, how often jobs should run, and whether to run them at selected times and dates. The “incremental forever” method runs one full backup followed by regular incrementals.

The clever part comes next: tick a box and all data is replicated to the off-site appliance. (It’s also possible to declare multiple off-site appliances and replicate to all of them simultaneously.) Cloud backup is simple, too.

Data restoration isn’t taxing, either. All you do is browse the  local or off-site appliance from the portal, and select the source and the data you want restored. You can even present restored data to remote workers by selecting the Share option, which sends the files directly to Barracuda’s hosted file-sharing service.

For our Exchange server, we were able to restore the entire data store, or browse the MLB and choose mailboxes and individual messages. Cloud storage is accessed by selecting Download and deciding where to put it.

We tested bare-metal restore on a Windows 7 system by booting it from the recovery CD image downloaded from the portal. We then selected a backup appliance and the machine-restore option from the portal, and it fully restored the system.

Performance for the 390 is similar to the Unitrends Recovery-312.

A 23GB folder copy averaged 21MB/sec, while a Windows 8 full system backup ran at a more lowly 9MB/sec. However, Unitrends was handling only a local backup, where the 390 was running local backup, and replication to the 490 and the cloud, at the same time.

Channel Angle

Distributors WhiteGold, Transition Systems

Launched August 2013

RRP From AUD$1,699 plus annual subscription for 500Gb of storage capacity

Next product below Backup Server 190

Next product above Backup Server 490

The reviewers say “Factoring in extra costs, such as Barracuda’s Instant Replacement service and cloud storage, initially makes the Backup Server 390 look expensive... but anything that can simplify on-site, off-site and cloud backup to this level gets our vote.”

How to pitch it Barracuda Backup is a powerful, “all-in-one” solution that includes software, backup agents and redundant storage needed for physical, virtual and hybrid environments. 

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