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Why Symantec calls Backup Exec 3600 R3 their fastest appliance

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on October 20, 2014

Symantec has quietly released the third generation of their backup appliance called the 3600R3. Symantec has long held the spot of industry leader for backup software. Find out why some clients prefer to simplify their security with a more reliable hardware appliance instead.

What is Symantec Backup Exec 3600 R3?
The Symantec Backup Exec 3600 R3 Appliance is a turnkey solution providing Symantec Backup Exec 2014 software on a hardware platform that is optimized for backup. The 1U high Backup Exec 3600 R3 includes:

  • Two 80 GB SSDs in a RAID 1 configuration for running the operating system and backup software
  • Four 2TB hot-swappable HDDs (RAID 5) with 5.5TB of usable capacity
  • 4 x 1Gb Ethernet ports
  • 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 SAS card for connecting to a tape drive

It comes preloaded with Symantec Backup Exec 2014 software that backs up Windows file servers, VMware or Hyper-V virtual servers, as well as application servers such as Exchange, SQL Server and SharePoint. By using Symantec’s V-Ray technology, which provides visibility into both physical and virtual environments, the 3600 R3 restores entire servers, critical Microsoft applications, and VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V virtual guests in minutes. How does Symantec Backup Exec 3600 R3 work?

The Backup Exec 3600 R3 Appliance provides a single, simple to install and configure solution for backup and recovery that offers:

Block-level Deduplication – The appliance reduces the amount of storage space needed using block-level source and target deduplication. Since only changed blocks travel over the network, significantly less bandwidth is utilized.

Virtual Machine Deduplication – When backing up VMware or Hyper-V virtual machines, the 3600 R3 uses variable length segmenting; an advanced data deduplication method.

Built-in Replication – Replicate directly from one backup appliance to another, or to a Backup Exec media server. This means you will be able to restore data from the primary or secondary backup device.

Single-pass Backups – The backup appliance uses a single-pass backup, making it easy to restore an individual object, entire server, virtual machine, application, or database in minutes.

Integrated Disaster Recovery – Recover an entire server to bare metal, or dissimilar hardware, and convert physical server backups to run as virtual machines. This means that when a server fails, you get it up and running instantly in a VMware or Hyper-V environment.

Back Up to Tape – With the built-in Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) card, you can connect your existing tape drives to the backup appliance for offsite backup and archiving.

Central Management and Reporting – Manage backup appliances at multiple locations through a common central interface.

Who is Symantec Backup Exec 3600 R3 for?
The Backup Exec 3600 R3 Appliance is designed for mid-sized companies that:

  • Require the simplicity of an appliance for their main backup solution
  • Need to centrally manage backup for remote branch locations

What’s in it for you? Architecting a backup and recovery solution from scratch (using software) is a lot of work.
First, you have to choose the hardware and ensure it fits within your budget. Then, you must blueprint the solution. Once everything is approved, you will need to procure and configure the hardware and software, install the operating system, the drivers and the backup software and then configure management tools. After that, you must spin up a development environment to test that your design actually works as intended or repeat the above steps until it does.

When the solution proves it will work in the lab, then you must install it in the production environment, load the agents, configure the backups and only then will you be able to begin your backup cadence. Once the system is up and running, you still need to manage the backup hardware, the software, and all the licenses and support contracts from the vendors involved.

Using an appliance simplifies that.
Symantec designed and configured the 3600 R3 for optimum backup and recovery operation using a team of engineers who specialize in backup solutions. An appliance feels less ‘DIY’ and more ‘plug-n-play.’ Once it’s powered up, you simply run the configuration wizard and you will be able to begin your backup cadence. As a bonus, you have a single vendor to provide support, and you don’t pay extra for software agents to get all the pieces to talk to each other.

Why Softchoice likes Symantec Backup Exec 3600 R3
Backup and recovery are vital IT functions, but they require a specialized skill set. An IT manager may take the necessary effort every few years to catch up on all the data necessary to research, design and test a new backup system, but is that the best use of their time? Since the Symantec Backup Exec Appliance is a fully integrated and tested system, it allows IT managers to stay focused on their key job functions.

What you should do right now
If you are considering refreshing your backup technology, or need to set up a new system from scratch, the first action you should take is to contact Softchoice to receive a Backup TechCheck.

Led by a Softchoice certified consultant, the Backup TechCheck provides a fact-based portrait of the current backup and recovery infrastructure and identifies opportunities for cost savings, performance improvements and capacity planning. Our backup experts will evaluate the findings and provide you with the actionable steps you can take to improve returns and lower risk through effective planning that aligns technology with desired business outcomes.

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