Full Support of Your Platforms

One of the easiest ways to narrow the list of backup software vendors from which to choose is to find out who supports the platforms you are running. There is no reason that a vendor should have to answer an RFI with 300+ questions if it doesn’t support most of your platforms. By the same token, there is no reason you should have to read the answers to 300 responses from more than 50 vendors. (That’s 15,000 responses, by the way!) Before getting into the nitty-gritty features, simply find out who supports all or most of the platforms that need to be backed up.

The key word in the previous paragraph is “most.” Most shops are becoming increasingly heterogeneous, with a number of Unix variants, Intel-based operating systems, and any number of database-like products. In such a shop, there are always a few boxes that run a “different” version of Unix or a lesser-known database product that most products don’t support. (Often, this is because no one has asked them to support it.) A good current example of this is Linux. Commercial backup and recovery companies are just beginning to recognize it as a potential source of revenue. This means that the list of vendors who offer supported client software for Linux is very short. (Some of them offer unsupported versions, though.) During the first cut, include products that back up most of the operating systems that you are running. Restricting the search to only those that handle every platform might exclude ...

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