Barracuda Backup Server 490 review

Barracuda’s Backup Server 490 streamlines your entire on-site, off-site and cloud data backup strategies with a single solution.

Exchange message level backups (MLBs) need a special service account and the on-line help provides plenty of clear assistance. After providing root credentials for our VMware server, we could browse its VMs and select ones for backup.

During source declaration you can enable replication and cloud backup with two clicks.

Replication and cloud backup

To enable replication and cloud backup you simply tick a box for each one when declaring the source system. Next, you create backup schedules and can have one for all data sources or different schedules for groups of systems or single hosts.

Schedules are applied to specific days of the week and times and can be repeated daily as often as every 15 minutes. Barracuda employs an incremental forever' system which runs one full backup followed by regular incrementals.

Once we had our sources and schedules defined we could sit back and leave the appliances to get on with it. No further intervention was required as the jobs secured the selected data to the local appliance and simultaneously replicated to the remote appliance and the cloud.

Data restoration

To restore data from the local appliance you select it in the portal, pick what you want to recover and decide where to send it. If you need data from off-site just select the replication appliance and restore the data from there.

The Share restore option sends the data to Barracuda's Copy.com hosted file sharing service where it can be presented to remote workers. The cloud vault is accessed by selecting the Download restore option.

For a bare metal restore, we downloaded the recovery ISO from the portal and tested it on a Windows 7 host. Once the recovery environment booted up, it waited for us select a backup appliance and the machine restore option from the portal and then proceeded to fully restore the system.

You can restore data from the local, off-site or cloud stores and MLBs allow Exchange mailboxes or messages to be restored.

Performance issues

Performance for our initial full backups was disappointingly slow. Securing a 23GB folder from a Windows Server 2012 system returned an average of 23MB/sec while a Windows 8 full system backup managed only 11MB/sec.

However, further incrementals were a lot faster and we saw similar backup speeds when we reviewed the Unitrends Recovery-312 appliance in our sister title, PC Pro. It's also worth noting that the Unitrends box was only running a local backup during those tests whereas the Backup Server 490 was running three backups at the same time local, replication and cloud.

File restoration wasn't any faster and to test this we used a 90MB folder of graphics file. This was restored from the local appliance in 19 seconds and downloaded from the cloud in 195 seconds.

Conclusion 

The price increases quickly when you include Barracuda's Instant Replacement service and cloud storage but this has to be balanced against reduced management costs. The Backup Server 490 streamlines the entire process by taking over on-site, off-site and cloud backup and allows everything to be managed from a single console. 

Verdict

Backup performance could be better, but Barracuda’s Backup Server 490 is a complete data protection solution in a box. It’s very easy to manage and it can handle all your site-to-site replication and cloud backup requirements just as easily.

Chassis: 1U rack Storage: 4 x 2TB WD Enterprise SATA hot-swap hard disks RAID: RAID-10 Network: 1 x Gigabit Other ports: VGA, 2 x USB2 Management: Barracuda Cloud Control portal Options: 1yr Instant Replacement, £999, 200GB cloud storage, £385 per year (all ex VAT)

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