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If you are buying new (or upgrading existing) backup software, you should ask following "top" 10 questions to your vendor(s) before you make a purchasing decision...
- What devices (tape, disk or removable media) does the software support? Does it also support all the operating system environments you have and virtualized environments such as VMware? Does it support virtual tape libraries from vendors such as Diligent Technologies, EMC Corp. or Sepaton?
- Does the backup software include a snapshot capability (integrated or optional module) that allows to take point-in-time copies of the data? If yes, how are they stored?
- Does the software have the capability to back up remote and/or branch offices?
- What is the performance of the system with the software in place? Are there performance benchmarks the vendor can supply you with? Are tools available that will identify bottlenecks and predict the performance on the network?
- Does the software include encryption and compression capability? If so, what is the performance degradation you can expect to see after enabling encryption and compression? What is the impact on the server hosting the backup application?
- Does the software support remote management? Is there authentication to prevent unauthorized access?
- Does the software have an option for continuous data protection, in which files and or blocks of data are backed up as changes are made? If so, how granular is the rollback process? Does the software only do CDP for files, or are databases such as Exchange, SQL Server and Oracle included?
- Is backup reporting software available that reports on the status of the backup, the utilization of the backup media and the success of backup processes?
- How long the vendor been in business? How long has the product been on the market? Can you get references of its customers you can talk to with?
- What kind of support is provided by the vendor, and at what charge? How much does training cost? What different levels of support are available (silver, gold, or platinum)?