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Review: Genie Backup Manager Pro (GBM) 7

Company: Genie-Soft
Download: Genie-Soft
Cost: $69.95 (Professional)
$49.95 (Home)

Genie Backup Manager was reviewed in the process of searching for the best backup software.

Genie Backup Manager Pro 7

Pros

  • Excellent customization options
  • Program seems to offer the most flexibility of the packages I have evaluated.
  • GUI is very well designed.
  • Offers XML-based scripting language for job control
  • Removal of old backup jobs (after a certain number or time period has elapsed)
  • Community support forum and Helpdesk (ticket-based) technical support
  • Email notification has SSL support so it can use HTTP email servers
  • Provides a "self-restorable backup set (swift restore)". This is a self-executing restore program that is archived with the data.
  • Includes a Genie-Wipe tool which is useful for cleaning up after decrypting and viewing files.
  • Scriptable plugins allow the configuration of many programs to be saved automatically. Users have contributed a large number of scripts for the most popular software.
  • Frequent releases/builds mean that development team is active, but may also imply a less stable product.

Cons

  • Attempts to archive to DVD-R were unsuccessful and quite frustrating due to several bugs in the software. These failures weren't burn problems, but software bugs that caused the application to come up with spurious messages and fail after 20 hours of encrypting & DVD burning.
  • "Lightning fast encryption" (their words) seemed quite slow. GBM would spend roughly 1.5 hours per disc to perform the encryption (on a dual-core 3800x2 processor with 3 GB RAM). It's understood that encryption is a very processor-intensive operation, but 50MB / min is not very usable.
  • Open file copying support is an extra cost feature via the File Access Manager (FAM). Occasional specials have bundled this feature for free.
  • No data verification when using FTP. Other utilities typically download the files after upload to ensure integrity.
  • Failures / bugs noted by users in the support forum. Others have also mentioned failures in working with large backups jobs, which may be an area that needs to be addressed further. While forum comments must be read with skepticism, I have encountered similar troubles in my trial period.
  • Using encryption means using a proprietary format (not just ZIP). This may be the reason that Swift Restore is provided. While it may be possible to rename the backup files from .gbp to .zip and decompress with WinZip, the encryption process is non-standard (.genc extension).
  • Names of files in the backup set are stored in plain-text even if the job is encrypted. This may be a concern if the backup job file is uploaded to insecure remote FTP server.

Summary

Genie Backup Manager offers a very nice interface, many options and appears to be well supported. While I was hopeful that I would find it to be suitable for my needs, I have a hard time feeling comfortable recommending it due to the fairly significant bugs that I and others have encountered.

 


Reader's Comments:

Please leave your comments or suggestions below!
2012-09-19Nick
 Tried Genie Backup Manager Server 9.

I just need to run a simple external hard drive backup on our server. We rotate the external drive every 2-4 weeks. So just need reliable full backup plus daily incrementals. No encryption. The machine is around 6 years old now, so Windows Server 2003, 4GB RAM, dual core processor approx 2.5GHz. The only kicker is we have about 1.4 million files to back up.

Unfortunately Genie consistently gets up to about 1.6GB of RAM then GPFs on our mail drive which has 1 million files in 13000 folders. That's a fail, which is a pity as it has other things I'm looking for. I guess it is possible it would work better with their 64-bit version and on a newer OS, but it is still very heavy on memory use.

Note - I am only using Genie's 30 day trial software. I have not bought the software. I have not contacted Genie Support to ask about a workaround. The Server version of Genie looks like it is worth a look as the interface has lots of flexibility, but definitely try the 30 day evaluation first and see how it works on your particular system. If it works reliably for you, then it has potential :)

The key things I am looking for are:

- prefer ZIP format for the backup files
- email notification at end of backup / on errors
- good daily incremental control
- able to handle 1 million+ files
- fast
- restore should let us easily locate a given file or group of files from a given time period and / or easily allow you to restore to a given time period
- easy to restore files to a different computer
- able to access the backup files easily on a different computer

Also note that I haven't yet found another reasonably priced backup package that works on a large file set. None of the home versions of the main backup applications I've looked at seem appropriate. The server version of Genie is about $250USD, and that is cheap for server grade backup software. I guess I'll have a look at Symantec's offering next, but server version of that is some ridiculous amount - over $1000, I think.

So at the moment we are still using good old NTBackup that comes with Windows Server 2003. That backs up reliably, but is a pain because it is hard to use the backup files on newer versions of the OS and it is horrible to manage a restore from.

We are probably finally going to upgrade our server hardware at the end of 2012, so maybe I just wait until then and try whatever backup software ships with Windows Server 2008 and re-test the other backup solutions to see if they work better on newer hardware / OS.

I hope this information is useful to someone.

Cheers
2011-12-16Chuck
 I, too, have tried Genie backup pro 8.0 with no success. The front end was great! I was excited; it seemed to do everything I needed. Ran a backup to DVD. The program simply closed. This was on a very stable, quad core machine w/ 24gb ram. That's OK, I thought support would help. I fFiled multiple tickets with no response. I wrote to sales - they didn't respond, either. I'm done with these people . I'll look for another solution. I suggest that you not waste your time on Genie (now Genie9).
2010-02-01jwg
 GMB 8 Pro doesn't have option to exclude FOLDERS using wildcard, i can't believe it. (also cannot include only certain folders, which a lot of other software cannot do, but CA Brightstor can, but this software has problems of its own)
2009-11-13Jim
 Support? What Support? I posted an urgent issue yesterday. Genie 8 Pro crashes when trying to do a scheduled backup. Every time. After more than 40 hours, still no response whatsoever from Genie-Soft. Customer is pissed; I'm pissed. Program is pretty easy to use and setup but uses a huge amount of CPU (dual-core 5000+). If you use encryption, prepare to wait forever.
2009-08-15Wayne
 I just installed GBM Pro 8 and started my first backup. 22.5GB in 6 hours is incredibly slow: I can use a speedy copy program to copy 250 GB in 2.5 hours on the same computer. When I "pause" the interface, the program continues to use 50% of the CPU (what is it doing? it is not even set for encryption!). I set up a file filter based on extension (to exclude files with a .svs extension), but the program completely ignored its filter settings and went about copying the files anyway. Under the hood this program has an underpowered engine.
 
2009-07-14mark
 have tried and tried again the 8.0 version both from a internal SATAII disc to another internal SATAII and from a internal SATAII disco to a external Western Digital MyBook with eSata wire. All on a core duo PC with 4GB RAM and all hard discs are Seagate one terabyte each with 32 cache. Well GBM is slow, too slow: when it works with encryption it becomes dramatically slow! I would not recommend this software unless you do not use encryption!
2008-10-25 
 Thank you for the comments above. I bought Genie Pro 8 and have had the same problems. I have been trying to get support to solve probelms to no avail. program crahes constantly.

cheers
2008-10-25Ken Hayden
 Thank you for th ecomments above. I bought Genie Pro 8 an dhave had the same problems. I have been trying to get support to solve probelms to no avail. program crahes constantly.

cheers
2008-08-17Mark
 I incrementally back up to another drive my network drive that has a total of about 200 gb data. The initial back up takes a full day, but thereafter the incremental is fine ... when it works! Only problem is after a few months it wants to back up the whole thing again! This has happened three times now and it is a pain in the butt to start all over from scratch (and dangerous because I must delete the old initial backup). Anyone has an idea why it does this and how I can get it to do continue doing only an incremental back up?

Appreciate any help you can give me.
2008-03-31JP
 GenieSoft has allowed some truly bizarre glitches to exist for a long time. Up through GBM v5.0, if you created a folder, ran a backup for the first time, and then created a single sub-folder only one level down, GBM v5.0 would ignore that sub-folder. So, for example, if you had a folder called "Pictures" before your very first GBM backup, then created a bunch of sub-folders broken down by, say, date, NONE of those sub-folders would have been backed up. How did such a monumental flaw persist through five GBM generations?
2007-12-27Alex
 I too can say without reservation that GBM Pro 8 is not ready for prime time! The latest build crashes for no apparent reason and when it attempts to send a zip file of it's error reports to their tech support email address it cannot find their server and aborts. While their menu shows a "web update" feature it has not been implemented according to their tech support people. Very flaky and unstable...two thumbs down on this package! Keep shopping.
2007-09-20Richard
 Excellent review, I also can confirm the problems with genie backup manager pro version 6.0. I have used it now for a few years and i have had lots of struggles with it which cost me lots of time. I have had a lot of corresponding with the people from genie I also spoke with the CEO they are very polite but don't solve the problems. It is simply not stable. I cant remember all the problems but it were a lot.

I speak about large backup's > GB.

So now i use it only with very simple settings.

Today i had an error report again: not enough space on the network harddisk which it should write the backup on. The real problem was that the network connection was gone.

In the report it was't even clear which job give the problem and which device was not accessible.

I have also seen that in a mirror backup old files (>1/2 year old) are backed up again while nothing is changed.

Another issue with incremental backup was that the free space on the disk should be as much as the total backup. instead of the incremental backup size. I think that is solved now

And so on and so on
they just offered me for 25$ to upgrade to 8.0 but if I read the review about 7.0 it's clear for me that they still haven't things under control.

When i bought the software it was on advise of a review, later i discovered that it was not a very independent review it seems that the review was initiated by genie........ there marketing is good the looks of the software is good but what is should do sucks, seems they have copied Microsofts philosophy....
 Thanks for sharing your experiences.

 


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