Barracuda Backup Vx review

Brilliantly simple hybrid backup that’s ideal for virtualized environments

Price
£399
  • Very user-friendly; Versatile backup controls; Great value
  • 36-hour cloud outage hampered usability

Barracuda's Backup gives SMEs the best of both worlds as it provides a one-stop shop for all their on-site and cloud data protection needs. Previously offered as a range of hardware appliances, Barracuda now moves into virtualized environments and we review the Backup Vx Hyper-V version.

We used a Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V host and found installation a smooth process. We imported the virtual machine (VM) from the downloaded template, expanded its virtual hard disk, assigned it to a virtual switch and powered it up.

The Vx appliance was assigned to our Cloud Control account by entering its serial number and linking code in the portal. However, after checking the appliance's console, we noted its cloud connection was down and a call to Barracuda's helpful support identified a problem with the appliance's time and certificate which was rectified in two hours.

Things should have gone swimmingly at this stage but Barracuda's bad day got a whole lot worse as it suffered a complete cloud service outage shortly afterwards. Users could still run backups and restore data using their local appliance but cloud services and replication didn't come back online for another 36 hours.

With normal services resumed, we found deployment easy as Barracuda provides one agent for all Windows OSes and applications. Once installed, we declared our test systems as backup sources where we provided their hostname or IP address and checked the box to replicate to the cloud.

Sources can be assigned to a default backup schedule which automatically backs up everything on them once a day. It's easy to create custom schedules, assign specific sources, choose items to back up and repeat jobs regularly.

Our test clients included Windows Server 2012 R2 and 2016 servers, SQL Server 2014 and Exchange 2013 systems plus Hyper-V and VMware ESXi hosts and all worked perfectly with the appliance. We selected files and folders, individual Hyper-V and VMware VMs plus SQL databases and secured the entire Exchange mailbox database.

Message level backups (MLBs) require a dedicated Exchange service account and a management shell command to define impersonation rights which are clearly documented. On completion, we could browse our Exchange datastore and select user accounts to be backed up.

The cloud portal has been redesigned and provides a wealth of information about backup health, appliance and cloud storage plus deduplication savings. Those that hanker after the old interface can view this from the appliance's own web console and also run local restore operations.

Data recovery is a cinch; we selected systems from the portal, chose files and folders and could restore them from the appliance or the cloud to their original location or to the system running the portal. Likewise with our SQL Server host, as we selected databases and chose where to restore them.

Our Hyper-V VMs could be recovered to the original host or another system while the LiveBoot option allows VMware VMs to be recovered and migrated back to the host. Selecting our Exchange MLB allowed us to view all users and recover anything from an entire mailbox to a single email.

The Cloud LiveBoot feature is a winner as we could pick a backed up Hyper-V or VMware VM and run it in the Barracuda cloud. Once started, it receives a public IP address and can be accessed remotely using a standard VNC viewer.

SMEs that want a virtualized hybrid backup solution will find Barracuda's Backup Vx appliance ticks most of their boxes. It's incredibly easy to use and very affordable: if it hadn't been for the prolonged cloud outage we'd have given Barracuda a Recommended award.

Verdict

SMEs that want a virtualized hybrid backup solution will find Barracuda’s Backup Vx appliance ticks most of their boxes. It’s incredibly easy to use and very affordable: if it hadn’t been for the prolonged cloud outage we’d have given Barracuda a Recommended award.

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