In any network and system environment, backup and recovery is one of the most crucial, critical and inevitably important and demanding task. There are two products (Norton Ghost & Acronis True Image) which are top of the line in terms of granularity and flexibility. Reliable and rapid recovery is one of the system administrators’ strong needs in deployed domains.
I had used Norton Ghost v.9 quite for some time and the sole purpose for usage was client pc’s restoration in case of HDD failure caused by malfunction, viral activity or any other reason for system drive corruption. Though both Ghost and Acronis provide excellent recovery from scratch for partition recovery to full HDD and Logical Volume backup and restore for almost all Microsoft operating systems (MS Small Business Server, MS Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2012 and downstream to Windows Xp), moreover both support for Linux flavors like Ubuntu, Fedora and RHEL 6.
As a regular user of Acronis True image now for windows domain which consist of 74 pc's, with identical hardware and software considerations I found the Acronis true image as an best solution for backup & recovery and optimum tool for any HDD cloning.(Domain Controller with Windows 2003 R2 64 bit operating system on it without any limitation).
I found Acronis to be the best solution for following salient reasons:
1. Acronis UI is simple and easy to understand for novice user as well as advance user .All important tasks focused on one page.
2. True image is providing far more granular facilities like file and folder recovery.
3. Acronis doesn’t require .NET framework 2.x as Norton Ghost.
4. Acronis provides bootable support for Linux as compared to Norton Ghost and NovaStor Backup.
5. Acronis provided unlimited number of backups and doesn’t limit.
6. Network Drive backup is also supported for backup through Acronis True Image.
7. Image size of Acronis is less than image created through Norton Ghost.
8. Acronis keeps all of its incremental and full backups in Acronis Secure Zone which is inaccessible by malware, user interventions or any possible corruption of the image for backup. Secure zone is a propriety partition which is referred as ASZ only accessible by Acronis Backup and Recovery.
9. Recovery disk can be created on almost any type of portable device i.e. USB memory stick, external HDD, Zip drive etc.
Help Support is far less than Norton Ghost.
Domain Controller HDD image created through Acronis might pose problems like rejoining of the client pc to domain ,
Reliability in case of Active directory partition, MS SQL Server, Exchange Server is doubtful.
I am using Acronis bootable USB stick with image on it and almost saving 3 hrs. of manhours of our technical staff. One of other benefit which my Windows Domain gets is restoration of image on different hardware with Acronis Universal Restore.