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Sidebar: Backup Software Packages

Many people ask which backup package they should use to get a clean backup of the Btrieve database. The nice thing about Btrieve databases is that just about any system will work with continuous mode, as long as it can issue the server-side commands to put the database into and out of continuous mode. Four of the most popular packages are:

Computer Associates (Cheyenne) ARCserve: Probably one of the best multi-server, multi-platform packages available today, ARCserve for NetWare utilizes Btrieve for its internal tape database. It supports high-speed push agents, multiple concurrent backups to multiple tape drives, and full backup of NetWare, Windows NT and various clients (including Macintosh). A database agent for Btrieve is available at additional cost, but you’ll find that using the server-based command line scheduler is much easier. Find more information at www.cheyenne.com.

Yosemite Technologies’ TapeWare: Not really one of the major players in the market, but TapeWare also uses Btrieve to store its database, and its simple interface makes it very usable for smaller sites. It includes a Btrieve database agent to simplify the Btrieve file backup by automatically rolling the files into continuous mode for you. Check out at www.tapeware.com.

Legato Networker: This package has been around a long time and has very strong multi-platform support. This is probably THE package to use if your primary systems are UNIX-based, as they provide what appears to be the best UNIX support in the industry. The ease-of-use suffers somewhat and there is no Btrieve agent, but it is more powerful for the experienced user. Visit www.legato.com.

Seagate Backup Exec: A long-time direct competitor of ARCserve, Backup Exec is another good solution for smaller sites due to its ease of use, and it also scales fairly well. Well worth looking at due to its multi-client support and server-based push agents. See them at www.seagatesoftware.com.

There are certainly other packages available, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Many companies provide 30-day demo versions – obtain a trial copy of the software and make sure it meets your needs before buying it. Another important consideration, especially for new purchases, is Year 2000 compatibility. The web sites of three of the above prominently display that the software will work properly through the year 2000. (The TapeWare web site doesn’t explicitly mention this, although they bill it as "TapeWare for the 21st Century.")

Keep in mind, however, that as long as the software can properly back up and restore your critical data, many of the other features are simply icing on the cake!

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