CA Suite Merges Security and Backup Management

 
 
By Henry Baltazar  |  Posted 2005-11-21
 
 
 

CA Suite Merges Security and Backup Management


Computer Associates International Inc.s Business Protection Suite r2 merges security with backup management in a neat suite—sought-after functionality that should help IT managers at small and midsize businesses handle day-to-day management of servers and clients.



Click here to read the full review of CA Business Protection Suite r2.

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Computer Associates International Inc.s Business Protection Suite r2 merges security with backup management in a neat suite—sought-after functionality that should help IT managers at small and midsize businesses handle day-to-day management of servers and clients.

Click here for eWEEK Labs sample RFP for backup solutions.

eWEEK Labs tests show that Business Protection Suite r2, which shipped last month, does a good job of bundling CAs BrightStor ARCserve Backup management tools, eTrust PestPatrol Anti-Spyware and eTrust Antivirus in a single product. Business Protection Suite r2 has a low entry price of $1,099 for a five-user license and ranges up to $6,995 for 50 users.

The features and management tools included in Business Protection Suite r2 work reasonably well, but IT managers who want more comprehensive anti-virus or anti-spyware software from different vendors should avoid the suite and simply purchase the BrightStor ARCserve backup utility on its own.

The Business Protection Suite r2s installation disk installs all four components simultaneously and also launches a checklist applet to help guide IT managers through the configuration process.

Business Protection Suite r2 ably guided us through the installation of the security components as well as basic backup configuration steps such as setting up media pools and setting up schedules and policies for backups.

In tests, the suites PestPatrol anti-spyware component was easy to use and found and quarantined many common annoyances, such as Gator.

Likewise, eTrust Antivirus was easy to use and configure in Business Protection Suite r2, and it worked reasonably well.

The BrightStor ARCserve Backup utility included in Business Protection Suite r2 is largely unchanged from previous versions and should be familiar to current CA customers.

The updated suite offers the ability to easily push backup, anti-virus and anti-spyware agents out to desktop clients, which quickly accelerates the rollout process. We used the push functions for client systems running Microsoft Corp.s Windows XP and Windows 2000 Professional with no problems.

Next Page: Dashboard view.

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Business protection suite r2 includes a handy Web-based management console. This informative dashboard-style interface let us quickly find problem areas in the test network.

Using the dashboard view, we could quickly see if backup jobs were running according to schedule, and we could also check to see if any new viruses or spyware pests were lurking within the systems.

Having all that information in a single interface is very convenient, and it spared us from having to launch each application individually to see key warning messages .

Using the Web console, we could also update all our products at once, to quickly download and install updated virus and spyware definition files from CA.

A minor annoyance we encountered when using Business Protection Suite r2 is that it does not eliminate the need to access the management GUIs of each of the features. For example, you still have to go into the BrightStor ARCserve Backup management GUI to configure new media and relaunch failed backup jobs.

The suites Desktop DNA Migrator is a useful tool because it saves key user information (such as application settings, templates and Web browser bookmarks) from a clients PC and transfers that information, along with the clients data, to a new machine. This spares users from having to reconfigure new systems to meet their work habits and gives them their familiar desktop environment to minimize user downtime and retraining.

Unlike Symantec Corp.s more advanced LiveState Recovery product, which migrates the operating system and applications to the new client machine, CAs Desktop DNA Migrator requires administrators to install applications on the new PC before the migration process.

To read eWEEK Labs review of Symantec LiveState Recovery, click here.

That said, Desktop DNA Migrator is still an unexpected, but welcome, feature within CAs Business Protection Suite r2, and it should be a useful tool for most SMBs.

Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.

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Evaluation Shortlist

EMC Corp.s Dantz Retrospect Another good option for low-end-to-midrange backups; Mac OS X version is available (www.dantz.com/en/products/business.dtml)

Symantec Corp.s Backup Exec 10d Has a strong focus on disk-based backup and user-initiated recovery (www.symantec.com)

Senior Analyst Henry Baltazar can be reached at henry_baltazar@ziffdavis.com.

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