UniTrends Software is a name well known to UNIX users. We’ve looked at their Backup Professional software before in these pages, giving it a Top of the World award in September 1997. The latest release of Backup Professional is now available and adds several new features to an already strong backup package. Backup Professional 1.3 is available for many operating systems, including SCO OpenServer and SCO UnixWare, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, and Linux. Clients are available on an even wider range of machines. Since we compared backup and recovery packages in a recent issue under Linux machines, we put Backup Professional 1.3 through the same test cycle.

Our review copy of Backup Professional 1.3 arrived as a single CD-ROM with no documentation accompanying the package. On-line help and softcopies of the documentation are on the CD-ROM, but we sure miss written documents. The software installed easily enough on our RedHat 6.2 and SuSe 6.2 servers. All versions of RedHat Linux are supported.

If you are running Backup Professional 1.3 on a SCO platform, you have the advantage of the Server crash recovery capabilities of the software, but these are not implemented on all supported platforms (including Linux). Server crash recovery allows rapid reinstallation of a doomed filesystem from backup tapes and a bootable media. The capability to recover a fully loaded machine quickly was excellent on our test with a SCO UnixWare 7 installation. For Windows users, an add-on product called PC ParaChute does the same for that platform.

There are a number of features built into Backup Professional 1.3 that make it handy for larger networks, especially those with many types of machines installed. The array of client support lets practically every operating system participate as a client on a Backup Professional 1.3 server. Support for large files (those larger than 2GB) is built in, which is handy since some competing products choke on large files. As part of the heterogeneous support, long filenames and extended length pathnames are allowed. Firewall support is included with Backup Professional 1.3, which allows for passing through and around an installed firewall.

Backup Professional 1.3 uses a GUI on both clients and servers, making use of the software particularly easy. Backup Professional 1.3 supports most tape drives, including the AIT and DAT drives we tested with, as well as the DLT autochanger we added during testing. One useful feature of the software is a fast file seek capability which makes retrieval of a few files from a tape a matter of minutes, not hours. The software allows easy construction of backup schedules, including changes for holidays and weekends. With automated media changers, you could leave the backup system alone for weeks without worrying about backup completion.

Using the same test suite as our round-up, we timed Backup Professional 1.3 in several complete backup and restore operations. The fastest performer in our roundup, Microlite’s BackupEdge was still the fastest, with Backup Professional 1.3 coming in at 96% the speed of the BackupEdge test. File recovery was about the same.

There are a number of features that make Backup Professional 1.3 a strong product worthy of use on any network. If you are considering a backup package, check out Backup Professional 1.3. At $495 it is not the cheapest package on the market, but it is competitive in all respects.

UniTrends Software Corporation
Backup Professional 1.3
1601 Oak Street, Suite 201
Myrtle Beach
SC 29577

Summary: A fast, talented backup and restore package with support for many environments and devices.