BESR 8.5 – The Bottom Line:

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

Backup Exec System Recovery 8.5 may just be what the doctored ordered for solution providers looking to serve the disaster recovery and business continuity markets.

Backup Exec System Recovery is relatively straightforward to install and manage, and Symantec does a decent job of keeping the product easy to understand. However, things can get complicated rather quickly during the installation and initial operations.

The menus and included wizards do a decent job of covering the basics, but most users will want to leverage the "power" features of the product to realize the most value and can become quickly lost in the various option menus and settings choices. While that may be a bad thing for the neophyte backup operator, the simple truth here is that the layers of complexity fit well into the skill set of a solution provider servicing the disaster recovery market.

With complexity comes flexibility, which allows a solution provider to bend Backup Exec to fit even the most arcane of environments–an important consideration for a solution provider that has had to say "the product won’t do that" one too many times to prospective customers.

Priced at around $1,300 (1 SBS Server, 5 Client PCs and 1 Year Maintenance), Backup Exec System Recovery for Small Business Server may not be the cheapest backup solution on the market, but it is surely the most complete. A wide range of capabilities are bundled into the product that both serve the end user and the solution providers who resell the product, which will help to highlight the overall value of the product.

Perhaps the only worry with the product for solution providers may be Symantec’s channel commitment–after all, the company does sell BESR and several other products direct, through retail and through mail order outlets. Another channel element solution providers may want to keep an eye on is the renewal process, because very little is stopping Symantec from taking that business direct to the end customer.

Even so, Backup Exec System Recovery 8.5 does offer enough service enablement opportunities that a savvy solution provider could leverage to use the product to build a service-orientated disaster recovery solution, that in turn can offer excellent protection and ongoing revenue opportunities. It all comes down to how a solution provider will market, sell and support the product. 

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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