• #1 SQL Server Backup commands work. They will ALWAYS work with SQL Server. PERIOD.

    #2 There is 3rd Party backup software that works just fine (for now) with SQL Server. They may continue to work when there are changes/upgrades to SQL Server - but they may not. Do you want to take the chance?

    #3 I know this is true for Veritas' Backup Exec and may be true for other 3rd party softwares...the 3rd party software may require the purchase of an Agent/Option for it to backup SQL Server. So not only do you have to pay for the backup software, you have to pay additional fees to enable it to backup SQL Server.

    Real Life Example: My company bought Veritas Backup Exec 8.6 from a reseller (the company that sold us the hardware). We also got the Agent for SQL Server. I was happily backing up SQL Server, but I could never test the Restore (we don't have a test system and management would not allow me to do it on the production system). Time passes. The system crashes and I have to restore from tape. OOOPPPPSSS. Neither Veritas nor the reseller ever told me that there was an issue with BE 8.6 and the SQL Server setup we had. And the issue had been known about BEFORE we purchased Backup Exec. Long story short - I had to send my tapes to Veritas for recovery (the Reseller paid for it). However, it took them 6 weeks to get the recovered tapes back to me. Acceptable? NO. Since that day I do all my backups using the 'native' BACKUP commands. Then I use third party software to COPY the backup files to tape.

    Bottom line, in my opinion the SQL Server commands work fine and will always work - why make it harder and use something that may not work tomorrow?