Backup vendors ignore Vista

The major release of Windows that has been anticipated for many years is finally here. Actually, Microsoft released the enterprise version of Vista about a month ago; the launch yesterday was targeted at consumers.

Being in the backup business for a long time, I kind of knew what to expect, but out of curiosity I decided to check the software compatibility guides for major vendors.

Specifically, I verified that the most known backup vendors such as:

  • Backup Exec by Symantec
  • NetBackup by Symantec
  • NetWorker by Legato/EMC
  • Tivoli Storage Manager by IBM
  • Galaxy by CommVault

Do not provide support Vista as of today, Jan 31st.

Interestingly, HP makes the most noise about Vista, so I expected that at least Data Protector would provide support, but I was wrong. HP backup solution does not support Vista either.

So, what did we learn here? Here are the possible explanations:

  • Backup vendors are slow in supporting new versions of operating systems, even the major releases of Windows.
  • Backup vendors don’t expect Vista to take off for a long time.
  • Considering that Vista provides improved backup functionality, Microsoft decided not to push backup vendors as hard as last time.
  • Microsoft gets more isolated from its own ecosystem, e.g. Symantec is not very happy with Microsoft moving into antivirus business and it has an impact on Backup Exec.

I don’t know which factors are in play here, but for you, a backup administrator, the end result is the same. If you add a Vista machine to your backup environment and you ran into a trouble, you are on your own. Don’t count on backup vendors to support your Vista just yet.

Amanda backs up Windows via Samba. There were earlier problems communicating with Vista via Samba, but the community was able to find work-around and now you can use Amanda to backup your latest and greatest Microsoft toy.
Dmitri Joukovski

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