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Backup and Recovery Software
May 2022
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TarangDaptardar - PeerSpot reviewer
Regional Director at value data
Reseller
Advanced data management, backup and recovery with unique solutions that lead in the field
Pros and Cons
  • "This product has unique capabilities that lead the product category in test data management, cloning and recovery."
  • "While the product does support various databases, the company needs to make more of an effort to support N-minus-one compatibility."

What is our primary use case?

There are many use cases for Actifio. It is most popular for the test data management feature in the solution, and the capabilities for instant backup and recovery.  

How has it helped my organization?

It is very important for any organization to be able to complete their development cycle very quickly. This product helps us to get a proper output for our projects. We have to be able to do their data provisioning for development. Usually, this can take a lot of time in waiting for approvals and time for the DBAs to provision the data. That data, when provisioned, will not really be point-in-time and not really instantaneous.  

Because of the Gold Copy concept, Actifio creates a situation where it is easy to provision data via test data management, and I can provision data for various test developers. I do not need an additional license for adding additional users because they have this concept of unified copies. I can provision and mark those users. I save a lot of space because if I have a 20 Gig database and I want to provision to 20 users, I would need to make 20 copies of it on the appliance. In this case, using Actifio, I can just provision only one copy and then work with the Golden Copy concept so developers can work on their own individual copy of the data. It is a virtual copy and that offers a lot of advantages to the DevOps teams.  

Similarly, for analytics, nobody runs analytics on real-time data on the production environment. So let us say a CEO wants data from yesterday night. You can actually take a copy of that data from that time and run analytics on the data. It is very close to getting real-time analytics. This kind of solution is something that our customers appreciate. The feature Actifio has using test data management and copy management helps the clients work to achieve their requirements and virtually process up-to-the-minute data.  

What is most valuable?

The feature that is the most valuable is the Golden Copy feature. It is an incremental backup forever and you can restore from any point in time. The restores are also very fast. I also like the database policing. It is good for use with test and development environments.  

What needs improvement?

There are quite a few ways the product can be improved, actually. In terms of recovery the solution is very good, but still can be better. Specifically, they can improve in the area of ease of recovery and improve the speed. Also, the kind of platforms they support should be enhanced. Like now, they have recently started supporting SAP S/4HANA, SAP MaxDB, and SAP MongoDB. This is good, but there are more platforms that can be supported. Obviously this will take time before the platform support for more products appears in the solution. But I think this is one important addition that they need to make.  

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for a little more than a year.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. The support services are also very good. They have a support center in India, and I think that will help us and our clients to continue to get very good support within our time zone.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Actifio is scalable. It can actually be scaled in Petabytes. So that again is a very, very good option from a scalability point of view. The solution also has support for numerous storage technologies like object storage. It is really getting better over time.  

Mostly our customers are enterprise customers who have a lot of need to use realtime data for test data management. It only takes about an hour to get the test data. One of our customers is the leading stock exchange in India. You are not going to stop services to collect test data in that situation, and the number of people that need data on the stock exchange is pretty broad. They need this to make predictions and to select the best investments. Actifio is also being used at one of the leading banks for DevOps purposes. It is used by one of the leading pharmaceutical companies which is into pharmaceuticals and life sciences. We have quite a nice assortment of customers spanning across various industries using Actifio and most of them are enterprise organizations.  

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I am an ex-IBM employee and I have been working with IBM products for a long, long time. So we have been selling IBM Tivoli Storage Manager in the past, which is now Spectrum Protect. Also, I was selling Veeam in the past. I have a lot of experience with these competing products.  

The main difference between Actifio and other solutions that I had experience with is that legacy solutions are very different than the new breed of solutions. Actifio has actually kind of reshaped the backup methodologies. They have a new concept and add a new dimension to the way that data centers were being backed up in the past. They are different if you compare the product to the likes of ScrumWorks or Tivoli or even Veritas for that matter. They have improved things a lot and they have forced others to change. Many of the other products are still backing up to tapes. Actifio does a straight back up to a disk or back up to the cloud. So, that is a big change and a big advantage.  

How was the initial setup?

I found that the initial setup was very, very easy. In fact, the infrastructure support was also very, very flexible as Actifio supports almost any kind of infrastructure. It is essentially agnostic to any type of hardware. We can provision it on a virtual machine — it comes as a virtual machine in fact. Because of that, it is easy to deploy on any VMware or any virtual platform.  

My team has deployed the real-time solutions for customers with Actifio in as short a time as one or two days.  

What other advice do I have?

The way Actifio is shaping up is really good, especially in the way they are opening new avenues for data management — like in terms of test data management, database cloning, and the capability of duplicating databases instantly. Also, it is one of the only solutions which is used by SAP for their own S/4HANA test data management. This one product enables a lot of very good solutions for backup of SAP S/4HANA either on to my systems and appliance or on the cloud. There are these advantages and quite a few other advantages this solution encompasses.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate this product as around eight-of-ten. To make it more like a ten or at least nine, they have to take care of some of the possibilities for expanding the capabilities of the product even further. They need more coverage for newer platforms and any of the new databases coming out. For example, MongoDB is getting very popular and needs better support within Actifio. Support for the current versions of databases is good but maybe some backward compatibility and N-minus-one compatibility would be good because not many customers are always current and on the bleeding edge. We had an incident, in fact, where a customer wanted to use Actifio very much, but part of their deployment was on a current version of their database and another part of it was on an older version that was just not supported. So if they would make the effort to support the current versions and maybe N-minus-one that would be great to help bring in legacy players on so they can also use Actifio.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: reseller
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Storage and Backups Manager at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
Top 5Leaderboard
In-built deduplication, good compatibility with our environment, and has helped reduce storage costs
Pros and Cons
  • "The embedded deduplication engine is really good because we use a Near Line SAS disk as a repository for our backups, and we don't need to pay for another appliance such as a Data Domain or Quantum so that we can have hardware-based deduplication."
  • "I would like to have a manager-level dashboard to review the backups. This is not from an administrative perspective where you can see the details of the execution. Rather, it would only show the percentage of completeness for each one."

What is our primary use case?

We provide backup services to our customers and we implement Commvault for most of our backups. This includes cloud with VMware, cloud with IBM, cloud with Azure, SAP applications like HANA or traditional SAP, for databases including Oracle and DB2, and across several operating systems including AIX, Solaris, Windows, and Linux.

We have a separate, private backup network. It has its own appliances from different vendors and the information on it is not visible to our main network. This is to help protect against ransomware and other threats.

How has it helped my organization?

Commvault provides us with a single platform to move, manage, and recover data across our on-premises and cloud locations, which is something that is very important for us. We have data centers in Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic, and we need to administer all of the environments from a single location in Mexico.

The administrators connect to all of the environments on-premises. We have two flavors; the multitenant environment and the dedicated environment. We manage all of these from Mexico.

Commvault is very good in terms of coverage for applications and databases. This is important because we don't only administrate backups. We have managed services that include the database, application, operating system, and storage. We talk with the administrators for the database and operating system to create a policy that ensures all of the data that we need to recover the environment is complete.

The recovery process is consistent across platforms and this is important to us because clients give us the information, and we need to back it up and to ensure that we can recover it if they have a problem.

The recovery options are good because we offer our clients a complete recovery of their information, as well as an option for partial recovery, based on their needs. For example, we can offer the recovery of a single table in a database, depending on what the scenario is.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the compatibility with our entire environment.

The embedded deduplication engine is really good because we use a Near Line SAS disk as a repository for our backups, and we don't need to pay for another appliance such as a Data Domain or Quantum so that we can have hardware-based deduplication.

One of the benefits of using Commvault over the years has been that all of our administrators have the ability to perform admin functions. They haven't had any complaints about the interface.

Commvault has support for multiple storage platforms, which is helpful for us. We use block storage for some backups, and we use appliances that have duplication capabilities for other backups. The method in which Commvault fits in depends on how much money the client spends. For example, if they have a higher budget then we use PCI-compliant appliances, or snapshots in the backups to ensure that we don't have ransomware. Other clients pay only for the amount of storage that they use. In some cases, we use replication at the host level, whereas in other cases, it is at the hardware level. The console that we have with Commvault can manage all of the environments and hardware that we have.

What needs improvement?

I would like to have a manager-level dashboard to review the backups. This is not from an administrative perspective where you can see the details of the execution. Rather, it would only show the percentage of completeness for each one.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Commvault for more than eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any problems with stability. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have more than 10 implementations in all of our data centers.

Using Commvault helps to minimize the amount of time that we spend on backups. I am not exactly sure how long it would take otherwise, but we back up approximately four petabytes of information each day.

Scaling is not a problem for us. If we need to, we can install more servers and install a new console.

How are customer service and support?

We use Commvault support on a daily basis. People from the database teams need help restoring data, so they contact Commault for assistance.

I would rate their support a nine out of ten.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to Commvault, we used Veritas NetBackup for five years.

A lot of our environment is currently backed up using Commvault but we are planning to use Veeam and Commvault together. Veeam is priced better than Commvault and right now, we use Veeam to back up our virtual machines. As we split more of the information between the two different applications, we may use Veeam for cloud environments, and for traditional environments, Commvault.

There are some applications like SAP HANA that are not compatible with the Veeam software. In cases like this, we use Commvault.

How was the initial setup?

This product is very easy to set up. The reason is that we do everything. We implement, we operate, and we migrate. One of the reasons that we continue with Commvault is that we have spent a lot of time training people. This means that the people in the company can do everything without the need for third-party persons.

It takes between two and three hours to install a new console.

What about the implementation team?

Over the years that we have had this same software, people on the admin team have become certified by Commvault. This ensures that they are doing things properly and doing them well.

What was our ROI?

We charge our customers on a per-gigabyte basis.

Using Commvault has helped us to reduce storage costs because, in some cases, we changed to block storage. Using block storage and software-based deduplication is cheaper than the appliances that have deduplication embedded in them. In some cases, we have reduced our hardware cost by 50%, whereas in other cases, it has been reduced by more than 75%. It depends on the technology that we compare. For example, the Data Domain appliance is perhaps four times the cost of the Near Line SAS disk in traditional block storage.

Reducing the hardware that we have in the data center, also reduces our costs in terms of energy and space. I do not have an estimate as to how much we save.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Commvault is more expensive than Veeam, which is the reason that we are changing to Veeam for cloud environments.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had been running Veritas NetBackup and did an RFP to change the backup software. We tested Veritas, Commvault, TSM from IBM, and Dell NetWorker. The finalists were Veritas and Commvault. We found that there were more advantages to using Commvault. For example, it has deduplication embedded into the software and if we wanted this with Veritas, we needed to pay an additional fee. This is why we changed and we have maintained it for several years.

In comparing solutions, I think that generally, today, all software solutions are the same. We have the same compatibility using Veritas, TSM, NetWorker, and Commvault. The main reason for us to maintain Commvault is the expertise that we have with the tool. All of them have deduplication capabilities and can use different repositories, so I don't have a problem with the other brands.

What other advice do I have?

Commvault has the capability to discover unprotected workloads, although we don't use this because we only work with policies. Our clients tell us the policy that they want to apply to their environment, and we don't analyze their environment beyond the scope that they specify.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Service Delivery Engineer at a aerospace/defense firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Easy to scale and set up, but has multiple bugs and issues with reporting and support
Pros and Cons
  • "The backup feature for this product is good. It is easy to set up and easy to scale."
  • "Reporting and support for this product need to be improved. There are multiple bugs that need to be fixed."

What is our primary use case?

I've been using this solution for backups and restoration.

What is most valuable?

Backup reliability for this solution is fine. It's good.

What needs improvement?

Dell EMC NetWorker is still not mature, compared to its competitors. For example: the TSM (Tivoli Storage Manager) of IBM is very accurate in error logs, and it is very rare to get failure alerts when using the TSM. It's fast and reliable which I didn't see from Dell EMC NetWorker. Another example is the Veritas which I also have experience with. Though Veritas is lower in level compared to the TSM, Veritas is more user-friendly than the TSM.

All features for Dell EMC NetWorker are good, but they are not something to be happy about.

Sometimes this solution shows some errors, e.g. related to open files. It is based on Java, which is very bad. There's so many issues not reflecting what's really happening in the background.

Reporting is very bad in Dell EMC NetWorker. It's also very difficult to get whatever you need based on the backup time duration.

Dell EMC NetWorker has so many versions in a short span of time, which contain a lot of bugs that need to be fixed because each upgrade has its own issues. For every new update of this solution, bugs get fixed, but something new, e.g. a new bug comes up in each version which needs to be fixed. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Dell EMC NetWorker for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is 95% stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable. It's easy to scale. The only thing that matters in terms of scalability is the storage for the data domain, e.g. adding the disk and another unit, and that's it.

How are customer service and support?

Support, especially from the Middle East region, is very bad. Sometimes support is good, but it's usually bad.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up Dell EMC NetWorker is not complex. The setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented this solution internally, with guidance from the Dell team.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price for this solution is cheaper than other products. The price is the only reason we are renewing, otherwise we'll be moving to Veeam.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I evaluated IBM TSM (Tivoli Storage Manager) and Veritas.

What other advice do I have?

We deployed Dell EMC NetWorker to 300 machines. It took us six to seven months to stabilize all issues during the upgrade and complete the deployment.

We only did maintenance for the upgrade and for versions such as the kernel, or the code slash code upgrade, or the version of the software. No major maintenance was needed for this solution.

There are two users in our company working with Dell EMC NetWorker. The backup is a daily process, while administration is not done on a daily basis. For checking and reviewing errors and failures, this solution is used daily.

Usage will depend on the company: how much activity they have and the types of activity they have, e.g. registration or development through IT.

The main reasons we're thinking of switching from Dell EMC NetWorker to another product include the reporting, support, and the bugs. There are so many issues we find annoying which require additional resources.

My advice to people looking into implementing this solution is that for big environments, it's so complicated. For example, for a clustered environment, you have a clustered environment for Oracle RAC, where you have so many firewalls in between, but Dell EMC NetWorker is not mature enough to handle that kind of environment and setup. Oracle RAC works well in big environments, but not this solution. Dell EMC NetWorker would be good for smaller environments where it won't be heavily used. We are an airline company with 300 machines, but we're not comparable to a big company like Google.

My rating for Dell EMC NetWorker is a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Enterprise Solutions Architect at a logistics company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good for backing up Windows and Linux systems but doesn't do well with databases
Pros and Cons
  • "It backs up our Windows systems and our Linux systems and everything."
  • "After resizing and compression, the system continuously runs out of space. Dell EMC doesn't do automatic cleanup or other things, so we constantly have to manually go in there or work with Dell support on this. The solution has not been working as advertised."

What is our primary use case?

Right now, we are using it for traditional backup purposes. It's deployed on-premise. We do have an option to use 200 terabytes in the cloud, but it's not exactly what they told us it would be for a cloud-based solution.

What is most valuable?

We bought Dell IDPA to compress our backups. 

What needs improvement?

After resizing and compression, the system continuously runs out of space. Dell EMC doesn't do automatic cleanup or other things, so we constantly have to manually go in there or work with Dell support on this. The solution has not been working as advertised.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Dell IDPA since the tail end of 2019, so going on two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We haven't had to restore anything, so IDPA has been pretty stable.

How are customer service and support?

It takes a week for Dell's frontline support to find a solution or we have to escalate it with somebody above them.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM). Well, with Tivoli, when we recycled and retired backups—if we claimed the space—we didn't run into any capacity issues. But it took longer to backup and restore. We haven't had to restore with the IDPA, so we can't compare the two. So, we're pretty much leaning heavily on the recovery point in our VxRail environment instead of taking a chance with restoring a full VM from IDPA.

How was the initial setup?

We worked with the Dell professional services team, and there were a couple of delays getting things set up. For starters, there were a few specific components we needed that weren't included, and they didn't tell us that, so we had to wait weeks for parts to be shipped in. After we got everything we needed, their professional services set everything up, so it was pretty straightforward from there. However, it hasn't worked as advertised since.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We're on our second year of a three-year license.  When our third year is up, we're going to choose another solution.

What other advice do I have?

Based on our experience, I'd give Dell IDPA a five out of 10. Our experience with it so far has been underwhelming. We implemented the solution for a specific purpose, and it hasn't lived up to our expectations. I'm sure it's a good solution. It backs up our Windows systems and our Linux systems and everything. However, it doesn't do well with databases, no matter what they claim. That's where we're having a capacity issue. Every time we back up our databases, we're running out of space. And then, we have to work out work with support, which takes too long. Dell's support is a big reason for the low score. It has been completely unsatisfactory. We've always had to escalate that support to get traction.

If you're considering Dell IDPA, work with your Dell rep and make sure that the features you want are not an add-on. Get everything you need for your solution because whenever we had an issue, they told us we should've bought this or that. This solution has been piecemeal. Every time we're trying to solve a problem, their answer is to buy another product or add-on.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Technical Specialist at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Reseller
Top 20
User-friendly, stable, and feature-rich
Pros and Cons
  • "NetBackup is very easy for end-users."
  • "The biggest problem with NetBackup is licensing."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and Veritas NetBackup is one of the backup and recovery products that we resell to our clients.

How has it helped my organization?

This product works well for all of our use cases.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the ease of use. NetBackup is very easy for end-users.

We have never had a problem restoring data.

NetBackup has all of the features that you would expect. It includes differential and incremental backups, snapshots, virtual backup, backing up to the cloud, and backing up on-premises.

What needs improvement?

The biggest problem with NetBackup is licensing. With more customers working with virtual machines, they are now licensing based on the number of CPU cores. Some customers choose Veeam because if they have two servers with 100 terabytes then that is four CPU cores, and it will cost less than it would with NetBackup. This is a change from the past, where the licensing was on a per-socket basis.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Veritas netBack for about two years. My company has been involved with backup solutions from different vendors for about 30 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a very stable product and better than IBM in this regard.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very easy to scale. There are two different solutions, where Backup Exec is for small to medium-sized businesses, and NetBackup is for medium to enterprise-sized organizations.n.

How are customer service and technical support?

We are very satisfied with the technical support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We also work with products from Veeam and IBM. I have about 10 years of experience with IBM Spectrum Protect but the support for it is very poor in Egypt. For this reason, we prefer to work with Veritas NetBackup and Veeam.

With IBM, there have been many times where we were unable to restore data.

IBM uses many agents for backup tasks, whereas Veritas uses only one agent for backing up files, databases, and applications. The IBM approach is more complex.

How was the initial setup?

It is very easy and straightforward to set up. The length of time required for deployment depends on the implementation and the number of servers. I would say that the average is between three and four days.

What about the implementation team?

We have two people to deploy this solution.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing fees are charged based on the number of CPU cores.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, NetBackup is a good product and the only problem is the licensing module. We would really like to have socket-based licensing.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
Buyer's Guide
Backup and Recovery Software
May 2022
Get our free report covering IBM, Veeam Software, and other competitors of IBM Tivoli CDP for Files. Updated: May 2022.
597,415 professionals have used our research since 2012.