Amanda Enterprise FAQs

About Amanda Enterprise

Amanda is the most popular open source software for backup and recovery of networked computers. Our software protects more than half a million servers, workstations and desktops running various versions of Linux, UNIX, BSD, Mac OS-X and Microsoft Windows operating systems worldwide. Amanda is available in two editions — Amanda Community and Amanda Enterprise.

Amanda Enterprise is the enhanced and supported version of Amanda with improvements in usability, security and applications support. Specifically, Amanda Enterprise provides the following:

  • Zmanda Management Console that simplifies & automates all day-to-day activities of backup administrators such as configuring backup policies and schedules, adding new clients, click-and-restore files from backup media and generating standard or custom reports

  • Flexible media options enabling backup to disk, tape, optical devices and backup over the Internet to Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)

  • Wide platform, database and application support

  • Backup of System State for Windows clients to ensure system and registry database referential integrity in case of disaster recovery

  • Hot backup of MS Exchange, MS SQL Server and Oracle databases

  • New functionality and security updates, product alerts, knowledgebase access, and 24x7 support from Zmanda worldwide

  • Amanda Enterprise is an open source product, while the others are closed-source
  • Amanda Enterprise uses standard data formats such as tar and zip instead of proprietary ones
  • Amanda is the only open source data protection software certified by the US Department of Homeland Security
  • Amanda Enterprise provides intelligent scheduling that calculates optimal full and incremental backup levels for all of your clients so your backup windows is consistent every day, your resource usage optimized without having to purchase additional storage and network capacity to accommodate peak backup data volumes
  • Amanda Enterprise supports Open Source and user configurable encryption and data compression, while other solutions force you to use their encryption and compression routines
  • Zmanda Management Console (ZMC) that simplifies & automates all day-to-day activities of backup administrators such as configuring backup policies and schedules, adding new clients, click-and-restore files from backup archives and generating standard or custom reports
  • Automated data retention and disposition policy and processes
  • Flexible backup media options including disk, tape, optical devices and online storage option such as Amazon S3
  • Wide platform, database and application support
  • Easy and dependable cross-platform recovery
  • Functionality and security software updates
  • 3 levels of technical support with complete knowledge base access, email and phone support, and case management with guaranteed response time

For in-depth overview of how Amanda compares to competition please register free of charge at Zmanda Network and download “Advantages of Amanda over Proprietary Backup Software” white paper.

Please register at Zmanda Network which contains additional information on Amanda Enterprise including whitepapers and on-demand webinars.

Amanda Enterprise Functionality

Amanda Enterprise provides many layers of security to ensure that backup data, communications, and access to the backup process itself are all secured. Specifically, Amanda Enterprise provides:

  • Secure authentication
  • Role based access control for administrators and operators
  • Choice of encryption on either a client to secure data in transit or on a server to secure data at rest

The Zmanda Management Console (ZMC) is a browser based GUI for configuration, management and monitoring. It provides management and visualization tools for defining all backup and recovery activities in Amanda environment:

  • What to backup, e.g. which hosts, file systems and databases
  • How to backup, e.g. to use encryption & compression
  • Where to store the backup images
  • When to perform backups
  • Point-and-click recovery
  • The Management Console provides extensive monitoring and reporting

The Amanda Enterprise Backup Server comes with the Zmanda Management Console and it centrally manages all backup operations and keeps track of backup data. Backup Server also manages storage devices used for backup. The Amanda Enterprise Backup Server runs on Solaris or Linux.

The Amanda Enterprise Backup Client is software that is installed on every system that needs backup protection including servers, workstations, desktops and laptops. The Backup Client software interfaces seamlessly with the Backup Server to facilitate integrated backups and recovery. Backup Clients are available on Linux, Solaris, Windows and Mac OS X. For a complete list, please refer to the Software Compatibility Matrix.

Amanda Enterprise has very scalable architecture. Some of our customers backup just a single host with large amounts of data and some of our customers backup hundreds of clients with a single server.

Amanda Enterprise uses only open data formats. For backup of Windows clients and databases we use zip format and for backup of Linux, Solaris and Mac OS X we use gnutar format.

Yes, we support backup of sparse files.

Yes, we support backup of hard links

No, we don´t change a time stamp.

Yes, we support incremental backups with levels 0 (full) to 9. In fact, that is where Amanda Enterprise shines. It is the only backup software with intelligent scheduling of backup levels for all your clients. Amanda Enterprise scheduling equalizes computing resources over time and backup window is consistent every day. For details about Amanda Enterprise scheduling please register free of charge at Zmanda Network and download “Intelligent backup scheduling with Amanda” white paper.

Yes, on any OS you can exclude certain files, e.g. all mp3 files from a backup.

Amanda Enterprise supports backup to:

  • Any type of disk (local hard drive, RAID, SAN, NAS)
  • All tape libraries, and auto-changers that are supported on Linux if your backup server is on Linux or Solaris if your backup server is on Solaris
  • Virtual Tape Libraries (VTL) such as EMC CDL or Data Domain appliances
  • Optical devices
  • Amazon S3 Service

Amanda Enterprise works with many tape libraries and changers that support reading barcodes.

  • The ZMC displays barcodes and Amanda labels together
  • There is a mapping of Amanda labels to tape barcode values on the “Media Management page”
  • The amreport command-line utility can be used to create printable labels for many tape types (there are also community scripts that support doing more than the default.)

Amazon limitation of 5GB is for size of the object that gets stored in a cloud. Amanda Enterprise splits large files, e.g.40 GB database, into multiple chunks (objects). Each chunk is within Amazon size limits and for recovery we assemble the chunks back.

Operating Systems and Application support

For Backup Server we support Linux and Solaris. For Backup Clients we support Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X and Windows. For specific versions and distributions please review the Amanda Enterprise Software Compatibility Matrix

We backup Windows Vista, XP, XP Pro, and Windows 2000, 2003 and 2008 Servers. For Windows 2000 is backed up via CIFS.

These OS can be backed up over NFS.

Our professional services will provide you a specially built client for FreeBSD.

Yes, 64-bit Zmanda Linux client is available for 64-bit RHEL, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, OEL and Fedora.

Yes, Zmanda Clients for Windows XP, Vista and 2003 provide backup of Windows System State which contains important system files, Windows registry and other important operating system components needed for disaster recovery. By protecting this information, you can perform bare metal and disaster recovery of your Windows systems and files by simply reinstalling Windows and then restore from the backup of C: and System State.

Yes, we backup MS Exchange via VSS. Zmanda client for MS Exchange takes advantage of VSS-awareness of the Exchange. When a client starts a backup, it coordinates communication between Zmanda Client Requestor, the Exchange Writer, and Windows Providers that create the snapshots (shadow copies) of Exchange.

Yes, we provide hot backup of Oracle on Windows, Solaris and Linux.

To provide hot backup on Windows, Zmanda client takes advantage of Microsoft´s VSS and VSS-awareness of Oracle. When a client starts a backup, it coordinates communication between Zmanda Client Requestor, the Oracle Writer, and Windows Providers that create the snapshots (shadow copies) of Oracle.

RMAN is the Oracle-preferred method for efficiently backing up and recovering your Oracle database on Linux and Solaris. RMAN is designed to work intimately with the server, providing block-level corruption detection during backup and restore. RMAN optimizes performance and space consumption during backup with file multiplexing and backup set compression.

Yes, we backup MS SQL via VSS. When a Zmanda client for MS SQL starts a backup, it coordinates communication between Zmanda Client Requestor, the MS SQL Writer, and Windows VSS Providers that create the snapshots (shadow copies) of MS SQL.

Amanda Enterprise is fully supported in a VM environment. In fact, we utilize virtualization extensively in the development, test, and QA of our software.

The Time Machine is a great solution for a single Mac OS X desktop or a laptop. However, it does not provide a centralized backup catalog for multiple computers and it can save backups to a local disk only. With Amanda Enterprise you can:

  • Save Time Machine backups for long term archiving
  • Have a unified backup catalog for all of your Mac OS X computers
  • Write backups to tape, disk, optical devices or Amazon S3
  • Recover your data, e.g. graphical images on a Linux or Solaris machine if Mac OS X system is not available

We have open source license for core Amanda. We provide Zmanda Management Console and Zmanda Clients and Agent under a commercial license.

Amanda Enterprise is sold as an annual or multi-year subscription per protected system and per protected application. For example, if you have 12 Linux clients , 1 Exchange, 1 Oracle on Solaris and 25 Windows desktops you need the following subscriptions:

  • 1 backup server
  • 12 Linux clients
  • 1 Solaris client and 1 Oracle agent
  • 1 Windows client and 1 Exchange agent
  • 3 Windows desktop/laptop packs (each pack provides support of 10 desktops)

Yes, we provide a discount. For more details, please contact: Zmanda Sales

Each Zmanda Client subscription allows up to 5 virtual machines (VMs). All VMs must have the same operating system as the client subscription purchased. For example, if you have 2 physical machines running 3 Linux and 3 Windows VMs on the first machine and 5 Linux VMs on the second machine, you need to purchase subscription to 1 Zmanda Client for Linux, 1 Zmanda Client for Windows for the first machine and 1 Zmanda Client for Linux for the second machine.

First you buy subscriptions for backup server and all clients that you want to protect. If you want to backup to Amazon S3, you simply buy a separate Backup to Amazon S3 option. You would buy your S3 certificate directly from Amazon, and pay Amazon on a monthly basis for actual usage of storage and bandwidth.

We support mixing Amanda and Amanda Enterprise only through Professional Services engagement.