Personal comments about recently published results of Amanda usage survey

We just published the results of Amanda usage survey and I want to share my personal observations.One of the most inspiring findings is that 95% of respondents would recommend Amanda to a friend. The Loyalty expert Fred Reichheld would be very impressed with such a result. The overall satisfaction with Amanda is also highlighted by the fact that 70% of respondents have been using Amanda for more than 2 years. People use software for such a long time only if it does the job well. Many users reported that Amanda was up to the task recovering files in most critical situations.

I think it is just great that more than 60% of users provided suggestions for new functionality.

Here are the surprises:

  • I expected that ‘old’ Amanda users (with more that 2 years of usage) might have a higher ratio of old, pre-2.4.5 version of Amanda. However, there was no significant difference between ‘all’ and ‘old’ users, who are up to speed with Amanda progress.
  • I knew that we would have many users running MySQL, but I did not expect the number to be so high. 64% of respondents reported they have MySQL in production.
  • I did not expect that so many people (62%) use Amanda to backup Linux e-mail.
  • My guess was that users with more clients and more data would recover files relatively more often. However, the observed positive correlation of 0.32 between the amount of data and number of restores per month is actually not that strong.
  • 10% reported using VMware or Xen. I expected more people taking advantage of virtualization. Maybe virtualization is more common in the Windows world . . .

Overall, the results of the survey prove that Amanda does the job very well. For example, one user reported 6 TB of data per backup client, which illustrates how Amanda scales up. Another user reported more than 120 clients per Amanda server and that shows how Amanda scales out. One University reported having 13 different types of architecture protected by Amanda including the relatively new Mac OS-X on Intel and Solaris 10 on AMD workstations.

In the future we will continue to conduct in-depth usage surveys every 12 to 18 months and we plan to supplement full surveys with occasional quick polls.
Dmitri Joukovski

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