Veeam vs. EMC vs Acronis vs Unitrends: Review Round-up for Backup Solutions

EMC vs Acronis vs Microsoft

This week we present a roundup of the latest reviews of backup solutions from the IT Central Station community. Choosing the right solution can be a critical business and technology decision. Read what our real users have to say about these solutions: Veeam vs. EMC vs Acronis vs Unitrends.

Reviews of Backup Solutions from Real Users 

Veeam Backup – “There are a number of great features such as WAN acceleration, deduplication & compression, replication and the grandfather-father-son backup tree. Not to mention backup to tape which has been a key reason to migrate to Veeam. The primary feature of most value to me is the SureBackup and SureReplica featureset. Having the ability to verify backups and replicas of critical servers in a sandboxed environment means that I can sleep comfortably at night knowing that the data is valid and I can confidently restore data and services if required by the business. Snapshot capabilities within NetApp would also be high on that list.” Read the full Veeam review here.

EMC Avamar “I have experienced these scenarios numerous times with traditional full/incremental backup products. The more you backup, the more storage you consume and that means longer backup windows. When I first started in my current position, we were backing up 100 servers with specific savesets. At that time, we had over 500 production servers. As you can imagine, this was a nightmare scenario waiting to happen. We were only able to fulfill about 75% of our restore requests. Not because the savesets where corrupt, but because we weren’t backing up what was requested for restore. Fortunately, we were able to invest in a new purpose-built deduplicated backup appliance. (EMC Avamar, but there are other products on the market). Avamar is a disk based global deduplication backup appliance.” Read the full Avamar review.

Acronis“We update our Vaccination Tracking System (VTS) software on a monthly basis with software patches and added features, with Acronis Backup & Recovery, it enables us to always revert to the initial state when we experience challenges with the test environment. Because of the numerous reports we get from our staff in the filed while using the VTS, ABR allows us to incrementally backup important changes as we continually try to fix compatibility issues with different scenarios. Works very well with real-time backup of our database files server when staff upload information captured from polio vaccination tracking. Room for Improvement: Over the Network Backup.” Read the full Acronis review.

Unitrends -“With Unitrends CloudHook you have the possibility to archive your backups in the cloud. In earlier days we had to put our long-term backups on tape, because having the data that was been backuped in the same datacenter was no option. Getting it on tape and then moving it to another location ensured us of data salvation in case of a major event. Differential and incremental backups cannot be in the same schedule. A full backup must be in the schedule. The incremental forever strategy is not supported.” Read the full Unitrends review.

Visit IT Central Station for more research into the right backup solution for you!

Data Warehousing Review Roundup: Exadata vs. HP Vertica vs. SQL Server Data Warehouse

This week’s review roundup includes reviews of Data Warehousing solutions. Choosing the right solution can be key for businesses as these solutions integrate data from disparate sources to create a central repository, or Warehouse. Here are some recent reviews from our community members of three Data Warehousing solutions:warehouse

Exadata – “We have a number of statistics collected before cutover on our legacy environment compared to Exadata. Without doing anything other than copying the data across, we saw significant performance gains for most key processes. We receive feedback from users stating how fast the performance is compared to other systems. Performance issues are few and far between. Our database environment is extremely stable compared to the legacy DB configuration. The patching process is a continually evolving. It’s changed drastically over the years and foresee some continued refinement on the horizon, especially when comparing the process to something like ODA. We have one one-off patch which requires a SR with Oracle Support every time the quarterly patch comes out. This is a bit of a pain but I do know sometimes these one-offs get rolled into the quarterly patch or in our case the next version ( ” Read more here.

HP Vertica – “Not having to worry about speed or data volume changes you. Suddenly we began logging and reporting on everything. Where did users click? How long between clicks? How long does it take to type in a credit card number when you’re ready to pay? How much free memory does an iPad 1 have, and how does that change every second? Like all software engineers, we solve problems under constraints, and we had conditioned ourselves to think of logged data volume as a constraint. Suddenly that was no longer a constraint, but I would say it took us a full year to fully appreciate how powerful that was.” Read full review here.

SQL Server Data Warehouse – “Microsoft SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse provides significant performance boost from 10-100 X times faster for data loading operation. It minimized the cost of design with lower infrastructure requirements. It is designed to provide optimized performance on latest industry hardware. It requires significant infrastructure expertise to implement. Possibility of over specified storage or under specified CPU (need proper planning before starting implementation) It requires significant SQL Server expertise. Microsoft SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse is purposely built to provide high performance data warehousing. By adopting industry standard hardware it avoids vendor lock-in issue. It is best suited for mid-level to large scale organization.” Read full review here.

Visit IT Central Station to browse real user reviews of Data Warehouse solutions including InfobrightGreenplum, and more!


Relational Databases Review Roundup: SQL Server vs. MySQL vs. DB2 — Examining the Cube from All Sides

This week’s review roundup includes reviews of three of the big Relational Database solutions. Choosing a relational database can be key since these solutions handle the way data is stored, maintained, and retrieved. Here’s what our community members are saying about the solutions they are using: Rubik's_Cube_cropped

SQL Server – “A great database management system for all size companies. SQL server is more user friendly than competitors. Provides easy installation. If you need support or research for the product, it is easy to find help online. There are 3 editions available which will meet any companies needs. Latest version is cloud ready. Offers power and flexibility. For each additional core feature you want to add to your DBMS edition, it is more money. This is not a FREE program as most other DBMS are. So basically, the more you want, the more you pay.” Read more here

MySQL – “It is inexpensive as compared to other common databases like Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle. MySQL is an extensible, open storage database engine that integrates seamlessly with a number of programming languages and other web-based technologies. MYSQL is an open source system under the GNU General Public License. Developers can use it at no cost as long as the associated projects are also open-source.  Having excellent performance, MYSQL is used by many internet powerhouses like yahoo as their back-end database. MySQL has a limited storage capacity. It doesn’t support large databases and Database transactions are not handled efficiently.” Read more here

DB2 – “I have been using IBM DB2 (Mainframe Version) for more than ten years. I have benefitted from many features including: Product is built on RDBMS principles and principles of Normalization. Have benefitted by the normalization capabilities built into the product; SQL Query capabilities, Tools such as SPUFI, QMF, BMC Catalog Manager, DB2 File-Aid make it easy to query the data, Programming capabilities (such as host variables, cursors ) provided by languages such as COBOL to invoke DB2 DML statements to query, modify the DB2 Tables; and Ability of DB2 rows to be presented to CICS screens, Batch Jobs, Web Programs. [However] It should be easier for web enablement. It is currently easy, but the more web products use the tool, the better it is.” Read more here

Visit IT Central Station to browse hundreds of real user reviews of Relational Database solutions including Oracle, InfobrightSybase IQ, and more.

Microsoft vs Oracle vs Informatica: Review Round-up for Data Integration Solutions

Microsoft vs Oracle vs Informatica

Microsoft vs Oracle vs Informatica

This week’s review roundup is about the latest reviews of data integration solutions from the IT Central Station community.

Many of our community members discuss how when choosing a data integration solution you need to consider database availability, migration, processing and replication. Read what our real users have to say about these solutions: Microsoft vs Oracle vs Informatica.

Reviews of Data Integration Solutions from Real Users

Microsoft – “SSIS is an unusual ETL tool – most shops likely already own it but it’s slow to be taken seriously as an enterprise tool or utilized to its full extent… SSIS is extremely flexible and extensible, integrated with many other Microsoft tools and add-ons, extremely cost effective, easy to learn the basics quickly although steep learning curve to get good at, and a large user base… [But, con’s include:] no support for push-down, … limited scalability, … inconsistent data types for variables and parameters …” Read the full SSIS review

Oracle – GoldenGate vs Active Dataguard- “GoldenGate ensures cross-platform replication and migration with zero-downtime. Active Dataguard requires the configuration to have the same editions of the database on the same operating platform on both the primary and secondary environment… GoldenGate is flexible enough to support the previous releases for replicating data from a newer version or release. This means that the data of Oracle 11g can be replicated on a Oracle 10g database.” Read the full GoldenGate vs Active Dataguard review.

Informatica vs Microsoft SSIS – “Proclaiming a winner in this … would greatly depend on your business requirements. Of course, there are pricing differences between the two technologies and notable differences in their features, capabilities and differences as well for their level of usability.” Read the full Microsoft review.

Visit IT Central Station to read more data integration solution reviews of GoldenGate, Informatica vs. SSIS and many more.

QlikView vs SAS Business Intelligence—Down River Regatta

A down river regatta typically entails a competition where sailing teams battle a common river using various techniques to get to the finish line. Everything QlikView vs SAScounts—the weight of the people on the boat, the style of boat, the size of sail, the wind of course, and so on. The best combination of these aspects determines the ultimate winner.

Similarly, differentiating a vendor based on individual factors alone can be just as complex . You often find yourselves comparing two solutions that cannot be pitted against each other side-by-side with every metric for functionality or cost benefit and end up with what “wins” for you.

Instead, you have to find the uniqueness of how a particular solution fits your need. Everyone knows that marketing spin inspires you to believe that a “one size fits all” approach. We all know that it’s better to find out what other real users of a solution are experiencing and how relevant that is to your current circumstances.

Enter IT Central Station, the “Yelp for Enterprise IT” as referred to by the Wall Street Journal,” and see this comparison of QlikView vs SAS Business Intelligence. When real user peers commenting on the facets of each of these vendors, the pros, and the cons, you get a sense for how these solutions might fit in with your environment.

Here’s a glimpse at two reviews:

QlikView Review
QlikView is a highly effective management tool, allowing a broad area of analysis.

SAS Business Intelligence Review
Great for data analysis and reports once we got it up and running. Recommended!

Both of these sailors—I mean real users—come from different environments. Do you think that has anything to do with their review? Of course it does and that’s why each reviewer—whether anonymous or not—includes the type of business where they base their review. Each review is also evaluated for authenticity and approved by IT Central Station staff.

For more information about becoming a contributor, see Become a Contributor.


Databases, Decisions, and Disruption

This week’s guest blogger is Eric Evans. Eric has over 20 Years of experience enabling organizations through multi-disciplinary technology strategies and agile information systems management. Go to IT Central Station to read his reviews of Solarwinds NPM, IBM Cognos, Oracle E-Business Suite and other enterprise solutions. Contact us if you would like to be one of our guest bloggers.

By now most of us are well aware of the data explosion, that businesses are creating more data than they can effectively manage. This is not aADD_Evans new problem. Throughout history societies have always made efforts to create repositories to organize, analyze and store documents (recorded knowledge). Some of these ancient repositories still exist today in the form of “brick and mortar” libraries. But just like anything else in a consumer’s market, demand (Time-To-Solution) eventually becomes greater than the supply (Information Available/Accessible).

The global economy is currently undergoing a fundamental transformation. Market dynamics and business rules are changing at an ever increasing speed. Those responsible for keeping the company on track for the future have a massive need for high-quality data–both from inside and outside the company. Technology decision makers are facing the challenge of having to create infrastructures that leverage speed, scale and availability.

Data technology must assist in the removal of silos and support collaboration and the sharing of expertise across the company and with business partners. Successful companies will need access not only to their own “Data repository” but to data from various heterogeneous sources. Today, finding mission-critical data or even being aware of all potential sources is more a question of luck and intuition than anything else.

How important is your data to your organization? How does your organization use its data? How do they access and interact with it? Are the decisions being made from data, innovative or disruptive in nature? What’s the value and impact?

According to a Forbes article written by Caroline Howard, “People are sometimes confused about the difference between innovation and disruption. It’s not exactly black and white, but there are real distinctions, and it’s not just splitting hairs. Think of it this way: Disruptors are innovators, but not all innovators are disruptors — in the same way that a square is a rectangle but not all rectangles are squares”.

Database accessibility is critical for rapid but sensible, innovative and disruptive decision making. A business database management system must be able to processes both transactional workloads and analytical workloads fully in-memory. By bringing together OLAP and OLTPL to form a single database, your organization can benefit dramatically from lower total cost up front. Additionally, gaining incredible speed that will accelerate their business processes and custom application.

SAP HANA DB takes advantage of the low cost of main memory (RAM), data processing abilities of multicore processors and the fast data access of solid-state drives relative to traditional hard drives to deliver better performance of analytical and transactional applications.

Fusing SAP HANA with a scalable shared memory platform will enable businesses and government agencies running high-volume databases and multitenant environments to utilize high-performance DRAM that can offer up to 200 times the performance of flash memory to help deliver faster insight.

Here’s my analogy: players go to the “Super Bowl” for one of two reasons, to watch or participate. To be successful in today’s global market companies must effectively participate or risk being on the sidelines watching.

Oracle Gets Heel Biter from NetSuite

After several de-support calls from Oracle, “SeaChange has invested significantly in NetSuite, adopting not only its financials system, NetSuite vs Oraclebut also the customer relationship management (CRM) and manufacturing modules. It has additionally signed on with NetSuite partners for financial planning and analysis and tax compliance functions,” said John Waterhouse, SeaChange’s vice president of finance.

Read the complete post here: NetSuite financials helps tech company leave Oracle behind.

What does this mean? The landscape, the race track, the infrastructure, and the clouds are changing. Many enterprises are more careful than ever not to just adopt to the status quo vendor but rather invest in emerging technologies at some risk.

IT Central Station needs your input on emerging technologies as they chase on the heels of vendor standards like Oracle, Amazon, and Microsoft. If you currently use NetSuite, start the reviews by clicking here: NetSuite.

Make sure you also look at the reviews for Oracle by starting here: Oracle.

For example, about Oracle,  Hitendra Kumar says, Comprehensive BI tools, but lacks support for deploying multiple RPD on one BI server, direct access to RPD schema or model layers.”

For more information about becoming a contributor, see Become a Contributor.

For more information about IT Central Station, see About IT Central Station.

What Oracle Says about Simplifying IT and Enabling Business Transformation—Oracle OpenWorld 2013

Oracle OpenWorld

This year’s Oracle OpenWorld 2013 promises to be a showcase of simplifying IT and enabling business transformation. This is what they’re saying about the keynotes:

The Latest Technology Developments and Innovations

“Hear how you can optimize your existing systems, and get a glimpse into upcoming technology breakthroughs.”

For more information about the keynotes, click here.

You can still pre-register for the conference by September 20th and save some money. The conference begins on the 22nd and goes to the 26th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. [Psst! They even have set up a fun day of extreme sailing with America’s Cup finest – see the Networks link from the Home page of the conference or click here.]

Well, maybe you should get your homework done before attending. For example, see what real users are saying about Oracle BI Enterprise Edition on IT Central Station.

Alex Kriegel says, “Solid enterprise BI platform but lacks coherence” in his review here. Another reviewer, Josh Kragness says , “Powerful platform for summarizing data within a DW environment” in his review here.

About Oracle Enterprise Manager, this real user who is a database administrator says, “Provides complete integrated solutions to achieve the level of business service quality” in his review here.

That’s just  about two of the many many enterprise solutions that Oracle has. Check out all the Oracle products, the reviews here, and formulate your own opinion. Hey—think about it—you could end up being able to ask some really cool, if not IT geeky questions if you’re planning on attending Oracle OpenWorld. You know you like being an IT geek. Admit it!

So here’s an awesome way to be a part of the “Yelp for Enterprise Tech Pros” as the Wall Street Journal says on IT Central Station:

  1. Read one.
  2. Write one.
  3. Comment on two.

Reviews that is! Get started by developing your profile and then jump right to the products and solutions you’re using or want to know about.

Check out the top ten reasons to become a contributor here.

Bye Bye DBA – Hello DBMA

This week’s guest blogger is Lilian Hobbs. Dr. Hobbs has spent over 30 years working with database systems. From the early beginnings of a CODASYL database, onto being a part of both Digital Equipment and Oracle database engineering groups working on relational databases and then the new database machines at Vertica and EMC.  Her Phd was awarded by Southampton University for research into automating CODASYL database design and she has written a number of books, some even on databases.  Check out her website at  Contact us if you would like to be one of our guest bloggers. Hobbs

If you needed someone to mange your database, it used to be easy, simply advertise for a DBA (database administrator) and the applications would come flooding in. Today, the database world is changing with the introduction of  database machines, therefore, what you now need is a DBMA (database machine administrator)

It’s interesting how the role of DBMA has arisen. When it was simply database software, no one seemed to expect the DBA to know anything about the hardware. Updating system parameters, checking for errors on a network card or updating some firmware, would traditionally be a no-go zone for the DBA, so what has changed?

Despite the fact that a database machine like Exadata, Greenplum, Netezza is an optimized hardware platform with maybe some special hardware components and special database software, for some reason the system administrators who would have normally managed the hardware, now seem to think that its the DBA’s problem.  In reality, there isn’t anything fundamentally new here, but not all system administrators are keen to manage this new technology, because it’s a ‘database machine’.

What does this mean for the DBA? Well it means that the new DBMA needs to understand the hardware components within the database machine and be prepared to start managing and debugging them. If your Linux skills are a bit rusty, then this is the time to start revising! Courses are available from the vendors to teach you these new skills and you will find tools available, as with database software, to complete the tasks, so don’t be put off by this change.

Therefore, when you install the first database machine in your organization, make sure you allow time for learning these new skills. Discuss with the current system administrators their role with the database machine. You may be lucky and they want to manage it, but be prepared for them to say, that you have to upgrade the firmware on the database machine components and call out engineers when network card fails.

Yes, the landscape is changing slightly with database machines. As a long term software person, you may feel uneasy venturing into the hardware world. Hopefully, you will welcome the escape from just looking at the software and soon you will be wondering what all the fuss was about, and enjoy being a DBMA, which does sound rather grand.

Read reviews of Data Warehousing Appliances from real users at IT Central Station. See reviews of Exadata, Netezza, and other Data Warehousing solutions.