One of the biggest changes from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008 was the removal by Microsoft of the inbuilt support for Tape Drives as a destination for the backup utility. Melbourne based BackupAssist has for a long time made their product take the pain out of running the inbuilt backups that Microsoft have supplied with their server products. Recently they have released a new addition to their range in the form of support for Tape Drives with SBS 2008. BackupAssist v5 now has the ability for us to use Tape Drives as a destination for all backups. They talk more about the feature here
Now I’ve not had a chance to try this new support just yet, but have been using BackupAssist both personally and in our clients networks now for many years, I’m confident in the quality that Linus and his team have produced. Give it a go – it helps us retain tape as a viable backup media for our clients networks.
Gary Turner says
For those who find themselves at this article why looking for a backup solution for their 2008 SBS servers I’d like to offer a warning to avoid BackupAssist for tape backup.
I recently attempted to reover an Exchange Mailstore backed up to tape and was unable. After contacting support and continuously chasing BA they admitted that I have discovered a issue in their ZIP compression module which prevents the backup from being recovered.
This only happens with larger files (typically the most important ones) and no solution has been forthcoming after nearly 3 months. BA cannot confirm the maximum size of file that will work and have no schedule for rectification of this problem.
I was left in a very awkward position of having to explain to a client that we could not recover their data. Luckily this was not a full DR otherwise would would have ended up in court.
Having reviewed much of the other software supporting tapes on SBS 2008 I have to say that BA is by far the best to use, but given this issue thos considering tape support should tell their clients it cannot be done reliably and move to disk based backup.
Wayne Small says
I’ve passed your comments to BackupAssist to see if we can get some action on them – I’m personally using their software on a number of sites without seeing the issue you have had – so I’m not saying there is no bug, but just that I’ve not seen it.
Hopefully they can help get an answer for you.
Stuart Edwards says
It’s Stuart here from the BackupAssist Support Team. Wayne has passed on your comment and I would like to respond.
Unfortunately, the issue you experienced – a failure to restore large files from a Zip backup stored on tape – appears to be isolated to this single case, as we have had no similar reports since the Zip engine was released in v5.3.0 of BackupAssist (September 2009), and have been unable to replicate the issue in our testing environments. This has made it difficult to diagnose and provide a prompt fix. I understand, however, that this has put you in an awkward position with your client and caused you unnecessary frustration. I do apologize for this.
Our developers have taken your case quite seriously and have since made changes to the Zip Engine in an attempt to address this specific issue These fixes will be part of the v6.2.4 release of BackupAssist that is due out next week.
As we have not been able to replicate this issue we are not certain that v6.2.4 will fix the restore problem, so if you are willing to try updating to v6.2.4 we would very much appreciate your feedback.
At the time and due to the isolated nature of the case, we did offer you a full refund on the product – this offer still stands.
Again, I apologize for the difficulties you experienced using BackupAssist. Please do not hesitate to contact Zen Software or myself should you have any questions or require assistance.
BackupAssist Support Team
Wayne Small says
Thanks for responding to this post – I’m sure the issue is limited as you suggest and hope that the efforts you’ve put in are appreciated.