Q

Agent-based backup pros and cons

Curtis Preston discusses the pros and cons of agent-based backup software such as TSM or Netvault compared to an agentless backup solution like Asigra.

What are the pros and cons of agent-based backup software like TSM or Netvault compared to an agentless backup solution like Asigra? Which would be better for a SMB environment?

The advantage to an agent-based architecture is that it can provide its own authentication mechanisms. The agent is always running as a service/daemon, and the server authenticates itself using a proprietary mechanism that doesn't usually involve the creation of a username and password on the client. (There are some agent-based architectures that still require the root/administrator password of the machine to be backed up. That's just lazy programming, IMNSHO.) The disadvantage to an agent-based architecture is that you have to manage an agent installed on potentially hundreds or even thousands of client machines.

An agentless architecture doesn't require the management of agent software; however, it must rely on established communication protocols (e.g. FTP, CIFS/SMB, TELNET, SSH) to communicate with the client. Therefore, the backup server must communicate with each client using a pre-arranged username and password, usually a privileged one. (It must be privileged enough to access all data that must be backed up.)

I think either architecture would work just fine in an SMB environment. It's the enterprise that would have the strongest opinions about the values or merits of an agent-based or agentless architecture. While a company with 1000 systems to back up would see a great benefit from not having to manage an agent on each machine, they might also object to storing the username and password of a privileged account on the backup server (even if it's encrypted).

Do you know…

How to choose a backup reporting tool

How to optimize your backups?

This was first published in April 2006

Dig deeper on Backup and recovery software

Pro+

Features

Enjoy the benefits of Pro+ membership, learn more and join.

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.

0 comments

Oldest 

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchSolidStateStorage

SearchVirtualStorage

SearchCloudStorage

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

SearchITChannel

Close