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Letters to the Editor - 30 May 2008

Editor's Note: All opinions expressed in this letter are those of Idera and do not reflect the opinions of SQL Server Magazine or Penton Media. No responsibility is accepted by Penton Media for the accuracy of any statements, opinions, or advice contained in this letter, and readers should rely upon their own enquiries when making any decisions affecting their own interests.

The April 2008 issue of SQL Server Magazine contained a comparative review of three backup and recovery products for SQL Server from HyperBac, Red Gate and Idera.
     At Idera, we respect and appreciate the integrity of SQL Server magazine and the technical abilities of the review team; however, in this particular review, we believe the results to be misleading. The Idera SQLsafe backup and recovery product provides a powerful feature set addressing performance, manageability and scalability. These features do not appear to have been effectively exercised, or reviewed consistently, across the three products.
     Idera SQLsafe is a powerful backup and recovery system for SQL Server that provides considerably more than just backup compression. It is designed to automate, manage and audit backup and recovery operations across tens or hundreds of servers often performing millions of backups per year. SQLsafe has a robust, fault-tolerant architecture that enables each component to operate independently in the event of system or network failure. This is essential to ensuring the integrity of critical backup and recovery operations. SQLsafe also allows for multiple deployment scenarios in which users have the flexibility to choose which components are deployed depending on their environment. The only component that is required is the SQLsafe Backup Service.
     We found the review to contain several errors and omissions regarding the technology and feature set of all three vendors, as well as inconsistent evaluation methods and criteria across products. The inaccuracies regarding SQLsafe include:

  • The review states that the SQLsafe Repository (and other components) is required. This is incorrect. All SQLsafe components other than the Backup Service are optional.
  • The review states that the extended stored procedures (XSPs) are not installed by default. This is incorrect. While the XSPs are completely optional, the user is offered the option to install them during agent deployment from the management console or manual agent installation on an individual server.
  • The review states that SQLsafe was found to have a “…serious flaw…” because it doesn’t poll an instance to determine whether a backup was made outside of SQLsafe, and the LSN chain may have been broken. This is incorrect. SQLsafe does retrieve LSN information from msdb and if the LSN chain is broken SQLsafe clearly shows a gap in the backup timeline in its Restore Wizard to indicate that a backup has occurred outside of SQLsafe.

     Given the above, we ask that readers review the information contained in this backup and recovery feature comparison chart and then download the three products and try them out for themselves, in their own environment, the true test of any product.



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