Review of LiteSpeed 2005
by Dale Corey, 04/12/05
Are you looking for a SQL Server backup tool that will
provide you with fast backups and recovery, integrated compression, and
encryption? LiteSpeed 2005 provides all that and then some. Here's some key points:
New console and enterprise view.
LiteSpeed 2005 provides faster performance because
backups are multi-threaded into a single file. In fact, in January
2005, LiteSpeed announced that it could back up two terabytes of data in
less that one hour.
LiteSpeed 2005 claims that your backup sizes can be
reduced by up to 95% via data compression. With data compression,
return on investment figures of $200 to $300 dollars per gigabyte saved is
not uncommon. LiteSpeed 2005 contains multi compression libraries.
Compression levels can be user definable.
Encryption, a feature not commonly found in similar
products, is especially nice with LiteSpeed 2005. The encryption
feature (up to 168-bit) will put you right on track with new regulatory standards such as
HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the UK Data Protection. LiteSpeed 2005
provides multiple encryption libraries. Encryption methods include RC2
(40-bit, 56 bit, 112 bit, 128 bit ), RC4 (128-bit), or 3DES (168 Bit).
LiteSpeed 2005 provides object level recovery to a CSV
file or to a new table using DTS (this includes standard Microsoft backups).
LiteSpeed 2005 provides a fully documented extended
stored procedure library (replaces the backup and restore syntax in your SQL
LiteSpeed 2005 can be made to interface with Tivoli
Storage Manager (TSM) through the TSM API.
fully programmable and scriptable with TSQL, command line interfaces.
LiteSpeed 2005 allows you to use UNC paths.
2005 works well in a clustered environment.
native SQL Server backup, you cannot restore a partially corrupted backup
file. However, LiteSpeed 2005 can
recover data from a corrupt SQL Server backup file. It can also extract
individual tables from a full backup file (including damaged backup
LiteSpeed 2005, even
if you use compression and the backup file becomes corrupt, LiteSpeed
2005 compresses the data in small discreet blocks so the whole file is not
needed to perform decompression. You would still have a high probability of
recovery unless you have problems with your disk drive involving corrupted
LiteSpeed 2005 claims the following
customer results (on a 1TB SQL Server database):
||With Native Backup
Note: Feature availability is controlled by the license type.
LiteSpeed 2005 requires the following operating systems and
||Windows 2003 (All Service Packs)
Windows 2000 (Service Pack 4)
Windows XP (Service Pack 1)
||SQL Server 2000 (Service Pack 3a)
SQL Server 2000 64-bit (Service Pack 3a)
SQL Server 7.0 (Service Pack 4)
SQL Server 2005 "Yukon" (Beta 2 or Higher)
Installation of LiteSpeed 2005 is extremely easy and consists
of the usual: installation notes, license agreement, customer information,
destination folder, and complete or custom setup. You will also install
extended stored procedures (these can be uninstalled later), and if wanted,
activity logging (local and/or central repository). After that, you will
be asked to register your product via an activation key.
Using LiteSpeed 2005
LiteSpeed 2005 installs the following options on your Program menu:
The standard configuration for LiteSpeed 2005 comes with an MMC snap-in and a
number of ‘assistants’ can guide you through backup and restore processes:
If you are a command line fanatic, you can restore and backup a database from
the command line (see backup example below):
C:\>sqllitespeed -Bdatabase -T -DNorthwind -Ff:\temp\northwind.bak)
If you are a scripting fanatic, you can backup and restore with LiteSpeed
2005 scripting commands (see backup script below):
EXEC master.dbo.xp_backup_database @database='Northwind'
LiteSpeed 2005 provides you with several extended stored procedures for
scripting. You can execute these procedures in Query Analyzer or other SQL
scripting tools (e.g., Imceda's SQL IDE or SQL IDE Pro).
Activity logging (set up during installation - see Installation section)
allows you to collect and retain statistics on backups through local repositories
or consolidated into a central repository. Activity reports are available.
Native Command Substitution
Native Command Substitution (NCS) allows you to convert all your native
backup and restore commands to the LiteSpeed 2005 equivalent. Numerous
Query Analyzer templates are available. For example, the native SQL
command to backup the Northwind database would be:
BACKUP DATABASE Northwind
In LiteSpeed 2005, that translates to:
EXEC master.dbo.xp_backup_database @database='Northwind'
The Enterprise Console is a GUI that will allow you to manage your LiteSpeed
2005 functions. It provides you with a speed bar (common buttons), task
pad (left hand panels - see below), tree (with colour coding), options (total
cost of ownership/cost per gigabyte , refresh timer, and database status
indicators), server groups (which can be added), server management (you can
register servers), status reports (failed, completed, in progress, etc.),
specified backup directories, backup/restore wizards and dialog, database
maintenance, job views per server instance, server monitoring (processes and
process information), and bug reporting and submitting. I was
totally thrilled the first time I ran the backup wizard for the Northwind
database and my backup was complete in 3.768 seconds. Can you believe
Note: The example above is with statistics disabled. If my statistics had been enabled, the statistics would look something like
the Imceda example below:
You can set up default options by clicking on View/Options on
I ran through a number of regular backups/restores (immediate
and scheduled), wizards, command line examples, and scripts. All of which,
were a breeze.
The quickest way to backup or restore a database is by right
clicking on the database and invoking the context menu.
You can also set up Maintenance Plans easily:
Backup with Encryption
1. Set up the database, backup, destination, and
2. Set up the schedule.
3. Set up the encryption options.
4. Set up the backup options.
Object Level Recovery
To perform an object level recovery, just click on the
Object Level Recovery button
on the Speed Bar:
2. Choose your backup file to restore:
3. View the contents and choose the table:
4. Choose the recovery option (CSV or new table using
DTS), click Next, and then confirm your choice:
5. Start the recovery or view the script, click Next, and
then view the final results:
Imceda offers the following support options:
They also offer Live Chat by LivePerson which I accessed once
and received a reply from "Walter" within 20 seconds. No
It is a true pleasure to be able to review a product as great as LiteSpeed
2005. Imceda truly is a leader in the market with this product and
LiteSpeed 2005 is a superior competitor for similar products from Ultrabac, SQL
Safe, SQL Standard, and SQL Backup. I could not believe the speed of the
backups. If you have the mother load of databases and need a quick and
reliable backup, LiteSpeed 2005 is the way to go. Even if your databases
are not huge, just the TCO and ROI alone on this product makes it worth it.
There is only one downside to LiteSpeed 2005, Imceda is not too open about
pricing. You will have to contact them directly (see last section on
I will rate each of the following using a scale from 1 to 5. 5 being the best
and 1 being the worst. Comments are in the last column.
|Ease of Use
||Too easy! :-)
||$595 for single processor, $1195 for dual processor.
Other competitor products are cheaper.
||The Live Chat response did it for me!
|Lack of Bugs
||Are you kidding? It screams!
||Very easy. Little bumpy with setting up the
Web Site: Litespeed
for SQL Server
Developer: Imceda Software, Inc.
Pricing (please contact one of the following):
15 3rd Avenue
Burlington, MA 01803
Telephone: (781) 229-6300
Toll Free: (888) 763-7685
Facsimile: (781) 229-6302
Europe, Middle East, and Africa Headquarters
Unit 5, Commerce Industrial Estate
Brunel Road, Theale, Reading RG7 4AD
Telephone: +44 (0) 118 903 2400
Facsimile: +44 (0) 118 903 2401
Asia Pacific Headquarters
Level 8 620 Bourke Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Telephone: +61 (0) 3 9640 0992
Facsimile: +61 (0) 3 9640 0224