IT Central Station is now PeerSpot: Here's why

N-able Cove Data Protection OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

N-able Cove Data Protection is #15 ranked solution in top Cloud Backup tools and #23 ranked solution in best Backup and Recovery Software. PeerSpot users give N-able Cove Data Protection an average rating of 9.8 out of 10. N-able Cove Data Protection is most commonly compared to Veeam Backup for Office 365: N-able Cove Data Protection vs Veeam Backup for Office 365. N-able Cove Data Protection is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 51% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 28% of all views.
N-able Cove Data Protection Buyer's Guide

Download the N-able Cove Data Protection Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: August 2022

What is N-able Cove Data Protection?

Cove Data Protection (formerly N-able Backup) offers backup, disaster recovery, and archiving for the cloud-first world. Protect servers, workstations and Microsoft 365 with efficient data protection as a service. Cloud storage is included, with 30 data centers worldwide. Secondary local storage is optional, and our efficient architecture lets you keep the same number of restore points in five times less storage. Cove’s unified multitenant management console dramatically reduces administrative time, and we provide recovery flexibility – from a full standby image to fast file-level restore. Save time, use less storage, and keep backups safely out of the reach of ransomware, with Cove.

N-able Cove Data Protection was previously known as N-able Backup, SolarWinds Backup, SolarWinds MSP Backup & Recovery, SolarWinds MSP Backup.

N-able Cove Data Protection Customers

Computer Depot, Leading Edge Computers, IT Logic Australia

N-able Cove Data Protection Video

N-able Cove Data Protection Pricing Advice

What users are saying about N-able Cove Data Protection pricing:
  • "When you have a device/appliance on the site quite a lot of the other enterprise class backup people insist that you have their appliance, which is frankly offensively expensive. Because when you pry the top off, it's just a standard 19-inch tin box with a standard Intel I5 in it, some RAM, and a hard drive. Then, you go, "Why have they just charged me 5,500 quid for a box, which I could have probably build for under 500." Whereas, with the SolarWinds product, they don't have that. The backup appliances that we have onsite are just plain cooking PCs. We can build our own machines, which is reflected in the price that we can offer a customer."
  • "Cove only takes the data you have on the physical server. I can back that up for long periods of time, and I don't accrue high charges to have the data in the cloud. It stays at one rate. This allows me to forecast payment for the next one or two years and show clients their estimated growth."
  • "There is no per node cost, at least not the way I am doing it. I am on bulk. New customers can be set up on a trial, where they can get things all squared away, then they can switch over to being a billed customer."
  • "The only option I would like to see is an adjustable scale. Right now we have 250 seats and we're not using all of them. It would be nice to be able to save that little bit of money by being able to buy just what we need."
  • N-able Cove Data Protection Reviews

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    MarkPattison - PeerSpot reviewer
    Director at BACK OFFICE IT LTD
    Reseller
    Top 5
    Provides feature flexibility and modularity for our customers
    Pros and Cons
    • "The solution has reduced backup times by an immeasurable amount. Its backups are incremental, so you are only backing up data changes based on the last 24 hours or so. If you are also maintaining the stored images, the restores are also only incremental, happening in minutes. Whereas, with a lot of the other solutions that we have looked at, each time it goes to refresh the restore, then it has to build a completely new image. That takes forever. This solution also improves recovery time."
    • "We don't use the solution’s automated recovery testing because SolarWinds made me cross. When they released it, I went, "Oh, well, that's quite good." Because if you use the system, then it supposedly spins up, and on the portal, it gives you a screenshot of the booted device. So, I phoned up, and I said, "Oh, that's really quite cool. How much is that?" They said, "No, no, no. It's all included in your license." I went, "Okay then," and went and deployed it on about half the fleet. One of the options that our customers have is they can pay us a small amount every month for us to test the recovery just to prove that it's viable, and I thought, "Well, this will do that for us. Nice." Then, in the next invoice, we got a charge for it. While It was not a huge amount, I took offense at the fact that we were told that it would be a no extra cost option that was part of our license, but it turns out that it's chargeable. Therefore, we haven't used it since."

    What is our primary use case?

    It is backing up customers' servers. On the machine that they wish to protect, they deploy an agent on it.

    It is essential for all businesses to back up their IT systems. In our view, it has to be automatic, offsite, and require no user intervention at the client level. The SolarWinds product provides all of those things.

    The solution supports full-system, bare-metal, file, and folder. One of the reasons that we like the system is that it maintains up-to-date standby virtual machines, which can be booted at short notice if the customer's primary device fails. So, the predominant recovery methodology that we have is backing up to hypervisor as a VM. We have used the bare-metal recovery in the past and that has its use, but all the ones that we have put onto our customers in a commercial sense are all recovering to hypervisors.

    Without cloud storage, we wouldn't do it. If it didn't have offsite storage, we would not be using it as a backup solution.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Because we have confidence in the backup, we feel more free to experiment with our customer systems. For instance, if we have a server, and we've sat there scratching our heads because we really need to make this big change on the server, but if it goes wrong, then the customer will be screaming at us for a month. We can now go, "Oh, it doesn't really matter. Just do it. If it all goes horribly wrong, then 30 minutes later, I'll have pulled the backup from last night. It will all be good. 

    Because we can keep images of our clients' machines on our test machines in our workshop, I can go, "You know what? I'll spin up their copy from last night, make the changes I want to make, and if it all goes bang, then I'll just delete it." Then, tonight, they'll put a fresh copy on it. So, it's freed us up from the worry of working on live machines. 

    From the customer's point of view, if it all goes tip top tomorrow due to things like ransomware, they have a backup from Friday. So, who cares?

    I have used the solution for complicated recovery scenarios, such as a complex database recovery, to the point where SolarWinds is now using some of the techniques that we have developed in our office as part of their mainstream products. I find it extremely easy to manage the solution in such scenarios, but then I have immersed myself in the product for five years. If you are experienced at building and using virtual machines to get backups, e.g., if you can drive VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V, then I would guess the recovery process is almost trivial. You literally download the software, type in the access codes for the date set that you want, and press "Recover". It is pretty much that simple.

    The recovery speed from the cloud depends on how big your data set is, how fast your broadband connection is, and how spry the Internet is feeling that day. Here are a couple of examples: 

    1. We have a remote system in our stockroom downstairs where we can do test builds. If I tell it to build a server that it hasn't built before, it has to pull the data out of the cloud, and and it is sort of a standard size server, then you are looking at about four hours of time. However, we have good broadband, and it's being built onto a pretty potent system.
    2. In the normal course of events onsite, as well as having a cloud image, it also keeps an image copy on a local data store. In which case, I can pull up a server back for a client in about 15 minutes. This is something that I did the other day.

    What is most valuable?

    The biggest thing from our point of view is its reliability. It gives us very few problems compared to other solutions that we have trialed. 

    You can maintain multiple copies of the hot standbys, which is a huge benefit to the protection of customers.

    It is adaptable.

    The efficiency of the solution’s resource and bandwidth use when it comes to both backup and recovery is extremely good. Most of the time, I'll arrive in the morning, grab my morning coffee, fire up the console, and it's all green ticks, then the job is done and we send the customer their invoice. It's difficult to think of any way that the efficiency could be improved because it all just sort of works in a sensible time.

    What needs improvement?

    Commercially, they offer the product in two different formats. There is the full imaging backup, and there is also an alternative. You can pay for simple data backups and pay by the gigabyte that is consumed. Unfortunately, you cannot have those two products in the same dashboard. So, I have to switch between dashboards to look at:

    1. All the servers being imaged. 
    2. All the private laptops who have their "My Documents" folders backed up. 

    That is a bit of a hassle, but it is not a deal breaker. It would be very nice if it was all on the same dashboard. I check our clients for the imaging product (the expensive one) every morning. I check the people who are paying us for data-only backup once a week. Therefore, once a week, I have to log out of portal A and log onto portal B to check if it's all good, then I log back onto portal A. It would be nice if I didn't have to do that, but it's certainly not something that keeps me awake at night.

    We don't use the solution’s automated recovery testing because SolarWinds made me cross. When they released it, I went, "Oh, well, that's quite good." Because if you use the system, then it supposedly spins up, and on the portal, it gives you a screenshot of the booted device. So, I phoned up, and I said, "Oh, that's really quite cool. How much is that?" They said, "No, no, no. It's all included in your license." I went, "Okay then," and went and deployed it on about half the fleet. One of the options that our customers have is they can pay us a small amount every month for us to test the recovery just to prove that it's viable, and I thought, "Well, this will do that for us. Nice." Then, in the next invoice, we got a charge for it. While It was not a huge amount, I took offense at the fact that we were told that it would be a no extra cost option that was part of our license, but it turns out that it's chargeable. Therefore, we haven't used it since.

    Buyer's Guide
    N-able Cove Data Protection
    August 2022
    Learn what your peers think about N-able Cove Data Protection. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: August 2022.
    622,645 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using it for about five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I don't think that we have actually had any downtime since we started using it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    As far as I can see, there is no limit to its scalability.

    We have 13 servers and about a dozen private individuals on the data-only version.

    How are customer service and support?

    That technical support is excellent and knowledgeable. We haven't yet thrown anything out to them that they haven't been able to fix in relatively short order. Of all the IT companies that we deal with as suppliers, I'm pretty sure they are the best that we have ever dealt with.

    It is very seldom that I throw a question at them where they have to punt it up to the next level. So, their Tier 1 support is really first class. On the odd occasion that we have had to go to their Tier 2 support, those are the developers of the product. Therefore, you get straight through to the developers in Tier 2, which is very good.

    I have a problem at the moment, which is probably down to the definition of the host machine, not the backup solution. It seems to be something integral to the VMware version that we're using on a specific machine, but we've ended up, after two or three conversations, with a situation that works. Even though it's not particularly elegant, it meets all my criteria, it's automatic, and the end result is recoverable. The fact that it puts a warning up once a day on my dashboard is something I'll just have to live with until they source it out permanently. However, it's the exception rather than the rule.

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

    The solution that we had in place for this tier of business prior to us doing SolarWinds was a limitless nightmare. I reckon that I spent probably 75 percent of my working hours managing the system, and it was not working properly. It was truly hideous. That has now gone down to 10 minutes a day, which is just me checking all the backups. If there is a warning, I just check that the warning is something that I can live with or determine if I have to take a bit of remedial action. Therefore, that percentage has dropped dramatically. However, it's been so successful that we now have a lot more customers using it than before. Obviously, that means the work load goes up a bit, but that's fine. That is what we're paid for, because more customers means revenue.

    I struggled with our previous solution for 18 months. It was practically my full-time job for 18 months. At no point, in those 18 months, did it do a backup that was restorable. 

    We used the Max Backup product in a very small way for a couple of customer's laptops, so we thought that was what it was. SolarWinds invited us along to a little seminar locally in Birmingham. We went along, and a simple, "Yeah, we quite appreciate the fact that you're buying 20 quid worth of backup offers for these two guys, but you do know we've got enterprise class products as well?" They made a very good presentation and impression on us. They discussed the pricing, and it all seemed very advantageous, so we signed up the following day.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is ridiculously simple, but then again, I've done so many of them. You set it up on the site and that gives you a device name and password. Then, you download it on the client, install it, and put in the device, then put in the password. After that, you set up the encryption key and press "Backup". It is not hard. The killer is if someone loses the encryption key, then the whole thing is a waste of time.

    Because you can only recover if you have the encryption key, we are very careful in logging and maintaining the encryption keys for our clients' backup systems. Though, I can just imagine someone who writes it on the back of an envelope that his tax demand came in and that accidentally goes in the skip. Then, three weeks later, when he needs to do a recovery, he can't find it and that will be a problem. That is the only "Gotcha." You have to be very careful with your credentials for the backup.

    The deployment takes me longer than anyone else because I understand what I am dealing with and take more time and care. 

    • Takes 30 seconds on the platform to generate the new instance. 
    • Takes a couple of minutes to download it on the client, then a couple of minutes to install it. So, it takes five minutes get it installed. 
    • I will then take half an hour just testing the various scenarios before I turn on the scheduler and let it get on with its own stuff. 

    If you are spending an hour doing the deployment, then you are doing something wrong.

    Once it is installed, I just choose the smallest file that I can find and back that up. I check that the backup goes through okay. If it appears in the local cache, appears on the web platform, and I can copy it back to location of my choice (all of which takes five minutes), only then do I know that the backup is fundamentally sound, and go, "Right." Because the thing with incremental backups, the first backup can sometimes take a week because you're backing up absolutely everything: Gigabytes and gigabytes of data. It's only after that first backup is done that it becomes incremental, then it does it in a couple of minutes. So, I'm not going to unleash it to do a backup that might take 30 hours only to find that I have had a bit of trouble with one of the settings, and it hasn't gone how I thought it was going to go. So, my implementation strategy: You just back up a file, check that everything works exactly as you expect, and then let it get on with it.

    What about the implementation team?

    I do the deployment and maintenance. It takes an hour to set up a new machine, then I spend 10 minutes a day checking it.

    if you want to phone up a reseller, like us, we don't put a big margin on it and can make it work for you from day one. Whereas, if you go direct, you will trip over a few things, which we tripped over five years ago. There is no need to trip over them again and reinvent the wheel. For example, when you're working in an enterprise environment inside Active Directory, you set up the machine which will host your local copy. You need to authorise the share to the backup system. You set up a share based on the Active Directory username that you have created to manage the backup system, and it's all good. If the machine that you're protecting, i.e., the Active Directory controller, goes and fails, then you cannot get to the speed vaults (local copy) because it's protected and only accessible through local directory users. The answer to this is that you set up a local user inside the machine which hosts the copy, accessing using the local user credentials, and then it's all fine. However, that is not obvious, and it's not documented. You only find out about it when it all goes horribly wrong one day, and you can't get to the local speed vault.

    What was our ROI?

    We have absolutely seen a healthy ROI.

    Something that we make a little money on is if a customer wants to pay for the option to have an onsite copy on their premises (ready to run). We then supply the hardware for that. It tends to be a fairly low spec server. We either sell that, in which case we make a small margin on it, or it goes in as a rental cost on the monthly.

    The solution has reduced backup times by an immeasurable amount. Its backups are incremental, so you are only backing up data changes based on the last 24 hours or so. If you are also maintaining the stored images, the restores are also only incremental, happening in minutes. Whereas, with a lot of the other solutions that we have looked at, each time it goes to refresh the restore, then it has to build a completely new image. That takes forever. This solution also improves recovery time.

    SolarWind's total cost of ownership is an extremely good value.

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

    There is a basic product and pricing package. Clients can add on additional pricing for the local storage and hot standbys (onsite and offsite). We like that we can build a solution that fits the client's requirements and pockets.

    When you have a device/appliance on the site quite a lot of the other enterprise class backup people insist that you have their appliance, which is frankly offensively expensive. Because when you pry the top off, it's just a standard 19-inch tin box with a standard Intel I5 in it, some RAM, and a hard drive. Then, you go, "Why have they just charged me 5,500 quid for a box, which I could have probably build for under 500." Whereas, with the SolarWinds product, they don't have that. The backup appliances that we have onsite are just plain cooking PCs. We can build our own machines, which is reflected in the price that we can offer a customer.

    There is something you have to do each time you effectively buy an imaging/server license, which is a fixed price. So, if I set a new machine up on the portal to be backed up, it will cost us one more license and appear on our next invoice. With each license comes 500 gigs of cloud storage, which is pretty much as you'd expect. The nice thing about the SolarWinds product is you pool it. Therefore, if you have 10 devices, you have five terabytes of storage, then we can divvy that up however we like. For example, if we have one customer who has a tiny little machine that has only 200 gig and another customer who has a machine that is 700 gig, I still only need two licenses. This is because the 700 gig and 200 gig make 900 gig, which is less than the one terabyte that those two licenses give me.

    This pooling means it is very cost-effective from our point of view. It is just an example of where they have built the system to reflect the customers' needs not to maximise their profit. Because they could quite easily say, "Nope. As soon as an individual machine hits that five terabyte limit, you have to pay the sliding data scale to have extra storage on it." They don't, they go, "Well, it's gone over its limit, but you still got stuff left over from some of the other machines. You can use that for free." That is a very good indicator of a company who is customer-focused.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have probably evaluated all of the solutions in this market. Technically, they all do pretty much the same thing. Their core product, which is automatic backup, goes into the cloud and leverages the VSS inside the server. 

    SolarWinds is the only one whose even close to that level of flexibility and modularity that we need. There are many offerings in the market, but the reason we chose SolarWinds is that it is modular. For each individual client, we can put a system together with as many features as they want, need, or are willing to pay for. In other words, we can go from a very minor backup operation for only a few pounds a month to many hundreds of pounds for the full solution. 

    With due respect to various persons around the planet, if I have a backup system with a customer who's screaming at me because his server has gone down, and he wants his backup running, then I don't want to phone up and be answered by a call centre in the Philippines telling me that someone will get back to me, because they're in some far-flung parts of the world and the call won't come through until two o'clock in the morning. That's not going to float my boat.

    When I phone the guys up at SolarWinds, I am on first name terms with all of them. Nine times out of 10, I will get through to one of the guys inside of 30 seconds. Normally, within 15 minutes, the problem is resolved. That is worth more than money. 

    Those are the two things differentiate them: the flexibility and modularity of the system along with the quality of their support. At this level, cost is not the number one driving factor.

    We use one other backup product. It is considerably more expensive than the SolarWinds product. However, what it does, it has integrated into that product cloud virtualization in the event of the customer losing their premises as well as their hardware. In other words, their backup systems have gone as well. For example, Worcestershire, England spends three months of the year under water. We know it's going to happen, and we just get on with it. However, if that premises was flooded and they lost that backup as well, they can all decamp to an office space, somewhere local. Then, we can spin the whole infrastructure in the cloud, where they can VPN to the cloud, and within days, carry on as normal while we rebuild their infrastructure. 

    SolarWinds does have something similar, but unless you're willing to pay for a vast amount of storage, AWS is too expensive to maintain. For example, if the flooding scenario happens, you have to provision some AWS space, recover into the AWS space, and then you can do it. You are looking at 24 hours, maybe more, to make that happen. Whereas, the other product, it's literally press the button that says, "Virtualizing Cloud", and by the time your cup of coffee has got down to a drinkable temperature, it's all working. That is the one feature that SolarWinds is missing. Having said that, I wouldn't want it, if it puts the cost up significantly, because most of our customers do not consider that eventuality sufficiently likely to be worth paying for.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is a very good system. We have very few problems with it.

    Just do it. If you get stuck, find the guys in support and they'll talk you through it because it's very quick and easy. They are quite happy to come onto a Remote Desktop Session, and go, "No, you've got that wrong." 

    It's a good product that is sensibly priced. Anyone who has a modicum of IT skills can make it work. 

    I would rate the solution as a 10 out of 10.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
    PeerSpot user
    Dirk Wittkowski - PeerSpot reviewer
    President at Tech Help Group, Inc.
    Real User
    Top 5
    Single pane of glass dashboard allows me to create and tweak filters and know that everything's working, at a glance
    Pros and Cons
    • "We use a neat feature called VDR status, Virtual Disaster Recovery status. It only works on servers... It's automated. Once or twice a month it will virtually mount the backup and provide a screenshot and advise whether or not there have been any errors."
    • "The most valuable feature is that it's hands-off. I log in every morning and there are pre-canned filters that I've created to make my life easier. I have something called server status color bars, and that gives me all the servers and, in a nutshell, I can see: if any errors are being reported; when the last backup was; if one is not working, should there be one, and it literally jumps off the page."
    • "An area for improvement that would really work out well would be if there were a little bit more of an elegant handshake relationship between SolarWinds RMM and the PCs that are being backed up, to advise regarding "up" status... Since RMM is an agent that feeds back that a machine is alive and on, I don't see any reason why they can't either tap into that one feature or build the same exact polling within the backup agent, to update right away and say the system is online or offline."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it to do complete server backups, including system state, for disaster recovery. We also have a few workstations that we back up as well.

    We are trying to promote everything being backed up on the platform: Out of sight, out of mind, just back up everything. We've created a new pricing model to help that along and hopefully clients will see the value in having that.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The single pane of glass saves a ton of time. We can sort by data resources and scroll down and see which servers have SQL, which servers have enabled the system state, which are only file and folders backups, and we see the Microsoft 365 SharePoint, Microsoft 365 Exchange, and OneDrive backups. If you set it up this way, it has color bars and each of the color bars represents 28 or 30 days or 31 days. When you hover over each day you can see the date. If it's a solid green or a light green that means it's great. If it's orange that means it failed once or twice or three times for whatever reason; whether you rebooted the server or whether there was a power loss and the server was off. You can figure out what the problem was really quickly.

    If it's a server that's been on for a long time and that has always reported in, and the backup fails, it's literally as simple as remoting in, stopping the backup service controller, stopping cryptographic services, restarting that service, restarting the backup service controller and letting it back up off to the next pass. A few hours later, you look back and you say, "Everything's working again." It works like a charm. It really is a completely hands-off, set-it-and-forget-it system, with great alerting. 

    I spend about five minutes in the portal, and even that is an exaggeration, just to make sure everything is good in the morning. I'll pop in at some point in the afternoon, and I'll pop in during the evening just make sure everything is good, because sometimes I don't check my email. I'll just go into the dashboard and see that single pane of glass and know that everything's working. I don't really think about backups. It's a tremendous time-saver. It's truly easy to use. There's a single pane of glass. You tweak it a little bit, create your filters, and then you look at it a few times a day. If I spend five minutes a day on it, that's a lot.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is that it's hands-off. I log in every morning and there are pre-canned filters that I've created to make my life easier. I have something called server status color bars, and that gives me all the servers and, in a nutshell, I can see

    • if any errors are being reported
    • when the last backup was
    • if one is not working, should there be one, and it literally jumps off the page.

    You know right away that there's a problem, and that's accomplished through the filtering capabilities, because you can save a filter. Once it's set, you can even duplicate it and then change the parameters and create another filter. It's almost like using tags, but it's allowing you to see the information you want on the screen.

    It literally takes me two seconds to understand, without even looking at alerts that have been generated, and to instantaneously have peace of mind that everything was backed up.

    And If there's a problem, it's very quick to resolve.

    It's also one of the easiest solutions I've used. In fact, out of the entire SolarWinds stack—next to the RMM solution, which is a very mature enterprise-ready solution—SolarWinds MSP Backup & Recovery is in its own class. It just works.

    In addition, the solution provides a single dashboard for all types of data protection. And the single pane of glass gives you status.

    It also reports and sends out email alerts, functions that are pretty simple to set up.

    When we need to restore a file, we don't even have to remote in to our client's system. We just log in to the system management, connect to that machine's Backup Manager remotely, and choose the file. If you know the exact file name you do a search and you can see all the files that have been backed up and when they were last backed up. We choose the most recent one, restore, and then say, "Okay, check to see if the file opens." It works that quickly.

    In terms of the efficiency of the solution’s resource and bandwidth use, when you first load the client onto a server, you have the option of seeding the backup onto a local drive and then sending that drive to them for them to seed the backup, and then continue the backup. We don't do it that way. Most of our clients have modern internet bandwidth upload speeds that are very high. We've never had limitations in terms of upload speeds with SolarWinds. So we just kick off the backup and we don't limit bandwidth. It has really been very quick. With most of the server systems that we deal with, the upload is very quick.

    The cloud storage, wherever it's backing up to, is happening behind the scenes and you really don't realize it. It basically just starts backing up to the cloud until it's done.

    What needs improvement?

    An area for improvement that would really work out well would be if there were a little bit more of an elegant handshake relationship between SolarWinds RMM and the PCs that are being backed up, to advise regarding "up" status. We all expect servers to be on all the time; we never have a problem with servers. But when I look at my desktop status, using the color bars filter, I can see a dozen systems that haven't backed up in a while. Because of COVID, some of these systems may be off. It would be awesome if there was some sort of indication that the system is on, some sort of a "heartbeat" functionality, to see if the system is on. If the system hasn't reported in, that might be tied in with the heartbeat. But if it's tied in with the RMM, and the RMM is reporting that it's online and it's showing that it's failing, it should tell us online. Then we would see that it's failing and that it may need attention. 

    And that would be more "glue" for sticking with SolarWinds or moving to SolarWinds, to have exactly that functionality.

    Currently, what we have to do is swipe the name, copy it, put it into the RMM, do a quick search, and then I know it's offline. I have to do that with each one of them. That's the most time-consuming part of the solution. If they could improve that and provide a heartbeat, it would be an amazing, 100 percent solution.

    Since RMM is an agent that feeds back that a machine is alive and on, I don't see any reason why they can't either tap into that one feature or build the same exact polling within the backup agent, to update right away and say the system is online or offline.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We transitioned over to SolarWinds MSP Backup & Recovery a little bit more than a year-and-a-half ago.

    I founded this company in 1997. We are a small, mom and pop, white-glove, complete VIP, service for small businesses. We do anything and everything for our clients. Most of the clients are very in tune with our recommendations in terms of backups, various security measures, and solutions that we have in place.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Overall, it's very stable.

    The only problem we come across is if a PC shuts down, reboots, and it's in a bit of a funk. In that situation, we stop the cryptographic and the backup service controller. We then start the cryptographic and the backup service controller. If it doesn't work, then there is a second step where we have to delete the indexing file and it will just redownload and recreate a new indexing file. It then syncs up with what's in the cloud and then continues the backup process.

    It is very sensitive to System File Checker failing. We had six instances, with six different servers, where System File Checker was erroring out. It turned out that Trend Micro Worry-Free Services was causing the problem. After uninstalling and reinstalling Trend Micro, File Checker started working again. Because System File Checker was failing, it was not allowing us to back up. I don't know exactly how it does it, but it knows that System File Checker isn't working. We also had one instance, among those six servers, where System File Checker was failing and we had to do a DISM file system repair onsite. Once we did that, System File Checker ran successfully and the backup started working properly again.

    It's sensitive to System File Checker which, by the way, is a natural alert, which is great. If it's failing and the first two resolution attempts don't work, we know to run System File Checker right away and make sure that it isn't failing. And if it is, I can stop trying all the other possibilities and resolve SFC error. 

    But really that's the only issue. I've never had to uninstall or reinstall the solution. It just works. I put myself out there and I take my job extremely seriously. I wouldn't be with SolarWinds right now if I thought there was even a remote chance that this would not serve my needs when I need it. It's really that reliable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is unlimited. If I had a million systems out there, using this solution would just involve the time it would take to provision them. After that I could bill nicely for it and it's really hands-off. 

    As I mentioned, if I had a million systems, and all these systems were reporting failures because they were not turned on, that is the only issue I would have with the system because I wouldn't know what the status was of each of those machines. Maybe they have something to help with that and I just don't know it. But if it had the ability to let me know that this system last reported in on this day, that would be great.

    We're a small shop. We have 100 systems, servers, and a few workstations in place right now.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    SolarWinds' technical support for this solution is excellent. Phenomenal. They are just amazing. If you have to call them, you press "two" for technical support and, within half-a-minute, you've got somebody on the phone. It's very rare that you have to wait on the call. Their response rate is phenomenal. 

    All the people are pretty good. Everyone tries their best. I've had some situations where it may have dragged out a little bit longer, but I've been in this business long enough to realize that some support people are going to have more experience and some are going to have less. Sometimes you wind up with one that has less because they're still learning the ropes and getting used to it. They may not be as versed and experienced in the world of computing. But it's a rarity.

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

    We transitioned to this solution from eFolder. That was not nearly as good a solution as this is. The eFolder solution was a solution that works hand-in-hand with StorageCraft. We are a big StorageCraft client. They're our vendor for local backups. They serve the StorageCraft business community very well. 

    SolarWinds is a different approach to backups. It's its own dedicated, proprietary solution. You load the agent and tell it to pull all files, folders, system state, SQL—whatever there is to back up.

    Before we considered buying this solution we took about a month to test and evaluate the product, and it tested 100 percent. Each scenario—we restored a server, we restored a workstation, we restored a laptop—just worked. We said, "This is great, that's it. We're sold." That's the reason why we went with it.

    Another factor was cost. SolarWinds is a major cost- and time-saver. The time-savings were even more important and, of course, also equate to money. It's a completely hands-off solution and there's no charge for the software, as one would expect. We just charge for storage. There is the option to buy storage and everything aggregates into one, if you need it to. But at the end of the day, it's a very profitable solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup is very simple. We have an Excel spreadsheet that we set up with the PC server name. We then have to create a code and provision it through the system. It provides you with an encryption key, which we document. We also set a GUI password so that if it were to be compromised, you click on it if you don't know the GUI password. That way there are two levels of encryption. There is one at the GUI level and another at the connection level, for establishing a backup and having it speak with the servers. 

    When we provision or install the agent, we do everything using remote, background services on SolarWinds. We're never on-prem. We're never physically controlling the PC. Everything's done in the background. We do a silent install. We can see if the service has been created and when the service starts. Then we just finish up the provision and process. 

    It's relatively simple. We have it down to a science: Silent installation, confirm services have started, stop the services, apply a policy, restart the services, log in using the GUI, kick off the backup, done.

    To do the entire deployment, from start to finish, takes about 10 to 15 minutes per device. I do it myself because it's so quick.

    I could train somebody to do it, of course, and there is the ability to create a template for the onboarding process. We're going to be doing that in our new PSA solution so that others can do it as well. But it's such an easy process. 

    You can do it quicker because they have a featureand I'm afraid to use it—where, if a client needs the solution installed on every machine, you can deploy it  as a self-provisioning installation process. It installs whatever it needs to install on all the systems. It can probably be done through a group policy. It's all documented. For anybody who has that type of scenario, it's super-easy.

    What was our ROI?

    The ROI depends. It's a very competitive market out there. But because we're hands-on with our clients and we're monitoring this, and there's not much to monitor—I only spend about five minutes a day on it—from a cost perspective, our ROI is anywhere between 300 and 700 percent profit.

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

    Pricing is per GB. If you're backing up workstations, they provide you 100 GBs. If they are doing servers, they provide you 500 GBs right off the bat. But that's all aggregated for us, as an MSP. So the more clients we have, the more they're adding to the amount of space we have available for the entire client base. We wind up not ever having to pay overages and we wind up being able to grow into the amount of storage that becomes available.

    Because we were moving away from another solution and had a decent amount of data that we were going to be backing up, I was able to negotiate a very good rate. There is flexibility. The rate that they presented was reasonable. It worked out that I got locked into a great rate. It made it easier for me to sell the product based on the fact that I get a lower rate.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    There are so many different backup solutions that are out there, but when it comes to ease of use, it's hard to even look at anything else.

    What other advice do I have?

    If you want to go through the motions of testing it, I get it. You have to do your own due diligence. But I've done the homework and it works. And if you have a RAID drive and you need a RAID controller driver, you can actually insert the RAID controller driver into the boot media so that it saves the volume. And it will just work.

    We use a neat feature called Virtual Disaster Recovery (VDR) status. It only works on servers. I believe it's $5 a month to do recovery testing and it's certainly worthwhile. We even bill out for that, and having that feature built-in is making us money. It's automated. Once or twice a month it will virtually mount the backup and provide a screenshot and advise whether or not there have been any errors. 

    Some of our clients' servers are very big, so the VDR process will be completed with errors. I've since been told that's because they've got very large volumes. If the volume is larger than one terabyte, they're not going to mount it, probably because of resources and to make it economically affordable to do a test. But most C-drive partitions, which is the system partition, are short of a terabyte. Most of our clients will have one terabyte or less for these partitions. What this feature does is provide you with a verification result and shows you a screenshot. 

    It mounts the operating system, provides you with logging, and reports an error if a volume is too large. And I'm okay with that. The whole verification process, to make sure that the integrity is there, works out-of-the-box. The VDR status functionality, which is an add-on—you have to add each service to it—gives you peace of mind that the data is mountable and that you're good to go. That peace of mind is enough for me to go about my day and do whatever I have to do. It works.

    If it reports an error, that's because the volume might be two, three, four, or five terabytes in size. As a result, they're not going to be mounting that.

    It would take a long time. We would need resources and the type of an environment to be able to download the tens of terabytes that we have for clients. We didn't want to be out of compliance when downloading that locally on our network. We don't have the resources to be able to store that kind of data locally. Everything's cloud-based now. The option to do so is certainly there, but we don't do it because that's what the VDR testing does for us. It's a major time-saver because it's already being done by them when you elect to do it on a particular server.

    You enable VDR recovery testing, choose once a month or bi-monthly, and you're done. The next time it's scheduled to run, it runs. You can see the history and the status. It's very easy. There's nothing to set up.

    If you do Office365, which we're going to be embracing, SolarWinds seems to be the leader with Office365 backup, or at least they're dominating the market with advertisements. I feel good that I'm using a product for both backups and for Office365.

    The Virtual Drive also looks pretty cool. I've never used it, but I could see how it would be cool. I'd have to find out whether that's something we can just install on a server and, if we need it, it would be there and allow us to restore a file right away without even having to log in to the Backup Manager. That would give us direct access to the files as if it were a regular file system. And they do support that functionality. 

    The Recovery Console has worked, 100 percent. I used to do recoveries that way for each of the clients, but it would take a long time for downloading. That's why they introduced the Virtual Disaster Recovery testing. I don't use the Recovery Console anymore to test backups. If it tests in the cloud, I trust it will test fine if we were to download it.

    I try to embrace the SolarWinds solutions as much as possible. They've served me and my company and my clients well. For servers, first and foremost, it's just a rock-solid solution. The restorability is excellent. We've had very few problems. And usually, if there's a problem, it's not on their end, it has to do with the server itself.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    N-able Cove Data Protection
    August 2022
    Learn what your peers think about N-able Cove Data Protection. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: August 2022.
    622,645 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Owner at Simple Tech LLC
    Reseller
    Top 20
    Streamlined the way we handle data protection across all devices and has greatly decreased time spent monitoring and checking the backup
    Pros and Cons
    • "The ability to back up, restore, and do different types of testing for the preventative maintenance has really increased our importance to these clients because they see the value in how fast we can get them back up and running. We're saving them money in that way."
    • "For the MSP side, they could have more of a "security user" that can go in and only see certain clients. If you give somebody access as a technician, they can see all the clients."

    What is our primary use case?

    My primary use case is for servers, user workstations, and Office 365 data. For the servers, I was looking for a solution that would allow me to do disaster recovery testing without a huge overhead in cost. This was the only solution I could find that worked really well and allowed me to use my own appliances to do disaster recovery testing. It also allows me to have an appliance either in my office or at the client site to actively restore the actual appliance.

    I do multiple disaster recovery tests every quarter, and we do recovery tests on workstations every couple of weeks just to confirm the data is accessible. For all the workstations we manage, we try to add the backup solution to each computer. They have a file-based backup for important files, which is a really cheap alternative, and then they have a full image-based backup, SQL backup, Exchange backup, and full server backups. 

    Primarily, we use it in small businesses that either have a server, use Office 365, or both. We use it pretty heavily. We're an MSP that utilizes this solution, and we also resell it to another vendor that does more of a break/fix style. They're not really an MSP, but I resell it to them as well. The rest of them are through packages from my clients.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The amount of time it takes for us to monitor and check the backup has decreased greatly. We're down to about 20 minutes of checks each day. We used to spend an average of three hours testing and troubleshooting problems, but now it's very rare that we actually run into problems.

    We only have to go into one console, which is another huge benefit because my techs don't have to bounce around.

    The other benefit is being able to provide a workstation backup for clients. Previously, it would get really expensive. A lot of the clients wouldn't even want to go with them. The big improvement is that we've been able to recover data for clients that aren't supposed to save locally, but they have. We're able to pull it back, and we look like the hero compared to in the past when we couldn't afford to put it on all the machines. Clients would get frustrated that they paid for backup on their server but didn't understand why they couldn't get the files they saved locally. We're now confident that we can protect all our data and devices at an extremely reasonable cost.

    With Cove, I know that all their data is protected. I can set many different settings on different archiving levels, so I can have different compliancy in there. It saved us a lot because the cost is so effective that we can push it to all of our clients. We don't have to worry that we're going to ruin one of our relationships because a lot of people just don't understand how backup works and that it's not on everything. This really protected us and improved our relationships because we've recovered a lot of data for people. Whereas in the past, we wouldn't have had a backup on it.

    Disaster recovery is another benefit because it's so reliable. We're able to constantly test and run disaster recovery testing on some servers. We do it to our location nightly. With that option, we've been able to deploy servers when one of our clients has failed and had them up and running within a few hours. Previously, we could never get a solid solution, so we typically had to just download the data and start from scratch, which always took us a few days. 

    Our clients are really impressed and thankful that they're able to get their data back or their server up and running so much faster than before. It previously cost us a lot of money because it took a lot of time. There was also a lot of frustration on the client's side because being down for a couple of days is not good for me or them.

    The ability to back up, restore, and do different types of testing for preventative maintenance really increased our importance to these clients because they see the value in how fast we can get them back up and running. We're saving them money in that way.

    What is most valuable?

    The cloud-based data protection we get from the solution is huge because we've transformed almost all of our clients to 365. Prior to this, we tried a few different backups and had multiple backups for different items. Now, I can go into one dashboard and have direct access to the 365 data. It's extremely easy to set up and monitor. It's extremely easy to deploy no matter where the device is or if it's a 365 account or machine.

    The vendor has 30-day centers worldwide to help keep backups in the regions where they need them. That's really big because one of the issues I had with a previous vendor was that their backup site either had a couple of locations or it was just really far from my location. The latency seemed really poor, and a lot of backups were failing. With this solution, I can put data near almost any client and have reliable bandwidth there, which is really important to me.

    The solution streamlined the way we handle data protection across all device types and customers. We're able to deploy an agent through our RMM with the scripting we're able to do and without going onto the machine. Then we're able to apply different packages right away. I can even have the admin deploy backup to computers. I don't even need to have a technician do it. The ability to pull off technicians from doing basic installations is huge. We're now able to automate most of it, and admins can do the rest of it, so I don't have to pay a technician just to do installations.

    On the restore side, it's streamlined a lot and improved the service levels we offer because we're able to recover so quickly. Typically, a technician could be restoring something for about 30 minutes. Now, we're able to restore what the client needs, and the ticket is closed within 10 minutes. Our turnaround time was cut in half. The reports are also streamlined. Overall, our clients can tell that it's streamlined because of how quickly we're able to recover and give them feedback reports. It's really stopped a lot of questions coming in because we're able to give them reports that show that the backup is continuously working. Whereas before, we would have to give a lot of explanations on why backups failed on certain days and what was going on.

    An image-based backup is good for clients who might be closer to a certain data center. However, I had so many issues. For example, I couldn't even restore the image, so I had to just pull the data file. The product worked maybe 30% of the time when I did an image restore. 

    With Cove, it's at least 90% or higher. I just restore it and it works. Sometimes I have to tweak it, and that's just from putting on different hardware, but with the image-based backup, I've done servers, workstations, and many different types of machines, and it has at least a high 90% reliability on the image side. That is huge because it saves so much time to restore an image rather than trying to re-download all the software, install and get all the data back. The image is incredible.

    What needs improvement?

    For the MSP side, they could have more of a "security user" that can go in and only see certain clients. If you give somebody access as a technician, they can see all the clients. There are other minor things, like GUI or other user permissions that would be nice to have on some level, but there's nothing I would drastically change to the product because it works so well. It's rare for me to not want a lot of improvements, but when something works this well, I wouldn't want any major changes.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using this solution for over two years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I haven't had any issues with stability. There have been times when a backup has failed and there have been different reasons why I've needed to contact support, but it's always been a user computer issue where the hard drive died and there's data corruption. From the standpoint of the actual program working, my confidence is high because I haven't had any issues that weren't easily identifiable and then resolved.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I'm a smaller business, but I've used this solution on multi-site servers, which I have to be able to recover quickly. The scalability is pretty big. There are a lot of different aspects that you can use with their product to go from a small client up to dozens of servers for another client. They have many different options for different features you're going to need for your servers. As technology grows, they come out with newer features. 

    Right now, I feel like I can stay with this product for a very long time because I'm able to go from one server up to dozens of servers, and I know I can be confident in this one solution. From my standpoint, their scalability is really good.

    How are customer service and support?

    Cove offers an office training day, and you can see their different backup products. You get access to their support and different engineers. Everyone I've talked to there is extremely supportive, even though I'm a smaller company.

    With other vendors, it seemed like because I was smaller, I didn't get any real support and my items were dropped. My clients are extremely important to me, so it was frustrating to not have a vendor that I could trust and feel like they backed me up. 

    Since I've switched to Cove, I feel extremely confident in knowing I can restore a backup and contact support if I have any complications because they've always been there when I needed them.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    I've used Acronis Backup. One of the biggest reasons I switched was the reliability of the product, and the second was the pricing. It was hard to understand what I was being billed for. The technicians enabled different features that the client wasn't paying for, and we were getting billed for it. We weren't able to provide a lot of solutions for smaller clients because of the price of the cloud and the local data we were getting billed for. 

    I also had a hard time with support. It would often take hours to get any type of response. It felt like we weren't big enough to get a response back in a meaningful amount of time. With Cove's support, I get a response within a very reasonable amount of time.

    I've used other solutions like Code42 Backup. None of them seem to have everything accessible, especially for local data restoration. Acronis didn't have an easy way to do disaster recovery locally and have it continually work well. I had a few instances where recovering data took three to four days for a very small amount.

    Cove is extremely clear with its pricing. I've never had any issues with that. They give me all the types of backup I would need in one platform, so I'm able to quickly set up a server backup and disaster recovery. I've already restored dozens of machines. I've also restored servers within 24 hours with a lot of data and had zero issues. With Acronis, I typically would have to start two or three times to get it to work, and a lot of times it just wouldn't start. It would take days to download 200 gigs of data.

    I'm allowed to use any appliance, and I can spec it up the way I want. You can get their appliance, and the pricing scales significantly. I had a lot of issues with their workstation backups and disaster recovery. They were more interested in you buying their appliance. It would work well, but then you would be trapped in their pricing scheme. 

    With Cove, the sales people I've worked with down to all the technicians are there for you. You don't feel like you're sold a product and then get dropped.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is extremely straightforward. I onboarded and was able to deploy the machines right away. They make it very easy to understand how the different areas work. I was able to create the different packages I wanted and just deploy them. You don't need a lot of training to understand it.

    Other products were similar, but a lot of them have many different areas and there are add-on packages that aren't listed as add-ons. You think you can just put them into the package and you won't be billed. There were a lot of add-ons that weren't included and many extra steps just to deploy an agent. I'm able to automatically deploy Cove to a new machine with almost no interaction.

    I've always had to do extra steps just to get other appliances to work, and I've always had to work with support a few times to fully understand their process and the correct best practices of using different packages and creating them. Cove was direct about implementation and was easy to start using.

    What was our ROI?

    Most of my clients are probably saving at least a few thousand dollars a year on average in support and maintenance. That's from having already had a backup and recovery solution. A lot of it was the downtime and the time to get them back up and running due to the complications of the old backup vendors.

    There was also a reduction in time spent on the resources needed for administration. Right now, we only have one person who checks the backups each day. Previously, I would usually have two different guys check different backup vendors we used, and sometimes I would have to help in the mornings because it would take three hours to get through each task. 

    We've seen a reduction in time spent because the backups are going through, and there are a lot of different scripts you can put in to automate certain functionalities, which wasn't possible with other vendors. A lot of times, I was stuck trying to get the backups up and running every day for different clients, which was killing our productivity. Now, I'm able to have one primary person who checks it. 

    We have a lot of other features that come in with the emails and different scripts we run. But having just one person I can rely on has saved us so much time and frustration because the product just works. We don't have to constantly try to fix it. Our energy goes toward other necessities. 

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

    Storage-wise, Cove Data Protection saved us thousands and thousands of dollars because we're able to do all the disaster recovery in-house, and they have a very reasonable cost for in-cloud testing. With other vendors, the cloud cost would be continuously higher.

    Cove only takes the data you have on the physical server. I can back that up for long periods of time, and I don't accrue high charges to have the data in the cloud. It stays at one rate. This allows me to forecast payment for the next one or two years and show clients their estimated growth. Previously, I had to try to calculate the data sets and how often we were saving, and then try to clean up the data.

    There were a lot of issues because sometimes we were getting charged for archive data. It started to become a mess because the pricing would usually exceed what the client was paying with other vendors, so I was constantly trying to catch up to get the correct amount billed and recoup the money back. Now, we're able to offer an extremely well-priced solution to our clients that is thousands of dollars less than any of the competitors I've used.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate this solution ten out of ten.

    For someone who says that image-based backup is the only way to go, I would say that in today's world, with all the different types of hacks you could have, ransomware, and different data corruptions, it's important to be able to back up to multiple servers and physical devices, and to have another copy saved to a hard drive and one in the cloud. 

    Let's say you have one image backup and that's it. If that becomes corrupted or ransomed and it's encrypted and locked out, it's really dangerous to have just one type of backup. We have multiple sets that do backups to different locations and different devices. I've had some clients that only have one type of backup and to dial that backup can be really scary because if it doesn't work when you go to restore it, you're in a lot of trouble. 

    It's really nice to be able to recover files when needed, especially if there is ransomware or you suspect any type of infiltration. You can get the files back and then scan them. To me, you need to have multiple layers of backup to really feel secure. Only having one type of backup is extremely risky.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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    PeerSpot user
    Systems Analyst at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Great for backup and recovery with a single pane of glass that's excellent for monitoring
    Pros and Cons
    • "It's their cloud, it's their storage. I don't have to buy a space on Amazon or Google's cloud and then use their software to push it. That works well for me. This way, I don't have to worry about another option or the opportunity that there might be a credential leak."
    • "The recovery side, the restore side, could be a little more optimized."

    What is our primary use case?

    For almost all my customers, critical data is what we're backing up and that's a total of something like 20 terabytes in total. It's nothing, however, it's a lot more than I would want to have to recreate in terms of data. We had our own in-house solution previous to that, and we abandoned it for something more robust. We have everything from lawyers, and doctors to auto repair shops, and investment or real estate management companies on the solution, and it works well for all of them. 

    We only backup data. We don't ever anticipate doing a bare-metal restore. Usually, if a server blows a raid card or motherboard, bare metal is not going to help us on it; it's not going to save us anything. We could more easily generate up an operating system on a new box. We're not a Fortune 500 provider that might have to have spare machines lying around. 

    There's no special hardware, although they're all migrated to the cloud now, however, the net-net of it is our idea with getting things back up and rocking again, are by using things that are common.

    We keep all the customer data current. We can rebuild a server in a heartbeat. We don't need to be able to come back in 10 minutes. If we did, there would be a virtual situation, and it would be on a virtual server.

    How has it helped my organization?

    A bunch of my customers had been ransomwared and we used this product to successfully recover items.

    The solution is good at verifying proof of backup. For example, a customer might say "I've deleted this file. I need yesterday's version for me, please put it back in the same place" and we can do so.

    It used to take a couple of hours to turn up a new client with our previous product and now, I could do it and I could have the instance ready and everything rocking in probably 15 minutes. It's fast.

    Most of that's just backroom billing information. That I can reconcile properly. Our system, our previous system, was pretty flexible, however, it was manual mode and restoring was an absolute disaster on our old system. This stuff on this is child's play.

    The backup times are also reduced. Although our backup previously compressed like this solution's, and it reviewed, it didn't send over stuff that it didn't need to send over. It operated pretty efficiently. We ran our operation on 150 megabits per second pipe without ever stressing it previously. The only nice thing about the old way was if I got a complete failure and I needed to dump a drive, I could. I could have it restored at LAN speed, gigabits per second. Whereas now, we have to download it, and that could be a couple of hours. However, usually we'll kick off the download while we're rebuilding the server. That way, by the time we're all done, we're ready to rock and roll.

    The solution has also reduced the amount of time that we spend on backup administration. While previously, we were looking at about an hour or more a day, now, it's maybe 15 minutes. It's gotten much faster and we are saving a lot of time.

    I'm able to benefit from the backup-related costs. I haven't changed what I am charging customers, however, my costs have become external, and in that sense, I have given myself a raise.

    Overall, our team is much more satisfied. I don't have to bite my fingernails every morning wondering "What happened here?" Pretty much when things don't back up, it's usually either a machine failure or their network went down or something else is screwed up. For example, maybe somebody decided to reboot something on me and didn't let me know about it. In one case, somebody was actively getting hacked, and we noticed that and we were able to shut everything down before life totally went to pieces, and we had them back up and rocking the next day. It happened at four or five o'clock on one day, and we had them bright and early in the morning back and operational again.

    What is most valuable?

    The fact that I have a single pane of glass that I can look at in the morning and I can look at 80 plus instances in, probably more than 80 now, in under five minutes, I can verify that everything's current, that's a great advantage. If it isn't current, I can understand in a second why it's not current and dispatch out, either tickets to my guys to fix something or an email to a customer to please give us access to a couple of servers that we don't have access to.

    There is a very, very small learning curve. It's kind of like getting a new car. Once you get the muscle memory going, its piece of cake. It was just a couple of things that switching over from our in-house product to their product took a little bit of getting used to, however, it was pretty simple. I asked a bunch of questions like, Hey, what do I do for this? How do I find this out or that out? And then, we were good to go.

    It's their cloud, it's their storage. I don't have to buy a space on Amazon or Google's cloud and then use their software to push it. That works well for me. This way, I don't have to worry about another option or the opportunity that there might be a credential leak.

    What needs improvement?

    I know on the backup side it runs extremely well. The recovery side, the restore side, could be a little more optimized, however, the amount of time that we spend in restore mode is maybe a couple of weeks out of five years. On the other hand, backups happen every night. They happen all the time. We get a new customer, we have to onboard them, and they give us a couple of options for onboarding and all of them are excellent. That said, in most cases, we're not onboarding a terabyte right out of the get-go.

    Currently you can't dump the files that were backed up. You have to use the web interface and you can only see 30 files at a crack. If I'm looking for a particular file, it would be easier for me just to dump down the catalogs and suck them into a spreadsheet and do my cut and slice in that way. I'd be able to figure out "Oh, this file changed on this day. Therefore, I want this version." This is critical, as the customer is not only telling me, they're going to tell me Mary Sue left on the 12th and the last day was the day she broke it, or Mary Sue was working on that before she left and I'm not sure when she last made the change. I can't pin it to any particular day which means I either have to sift through it from the web interface or I have to reload. That means I will have to download one or more files manually and then compare them that way. If I could get the catalogs dropped to me in a CSV format, that would be very, very helpful. As it is now, it's not only cumbersome, it's also a slow drawn-out process.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using the solution for about five years or so at this point.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There was only one day that I couldn't do backups due to the fact that they had a node failure. I thought that maybe this was a bad omen of things to come, however, now, if I look back, one day out of five years is a pretty good run. I'm happy with the stability on offer. It's reliable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We've grown from, when we started, around seven terabytes or six terabytes. We've grown to almost 20 now. Not a single time did I get a note from them saying, "Hey, you have to do something to have more data." Nothing like that. We've added customers and taken away customers. Occasionally we have customers quit, or retire old servers, or somebody got his own local backup machine. It's scaled with every change.

    Every customer that we bring onboard for our other consulting work, I tell them about what are we doing for offsite backups. They'll say something like, "Oh yeah, I just put it up on my OneDrive or my Google cloud". I warn them that they don't back anything up for you. I'll ask "What do you do when such and such happens?" Sure enough, they become a backup customer. We sell it with everything that we do, however, we're an easy-going kind of company. They say, "Oh, no. I don't want to pay for that. I'd rather just go with my OneDrive." We won't pressure them. We'll just say "Knock yourself out. You can always start going with us after your situation, or if your solution doesn't work. I won't say I told you so. Promise." Then they'd look at me and say, "Okay. It's not that much. Go ahead and throw it on." I'm glad when they don't nickel and dime themselves. In any case, as we add, the solution accommodates. We never have to worry about having space for one more client.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The tech support group is spot on. I ended up just emailing the head person and saying, "how is this supposed to work?" And he emailed me back with the directions to find exactly what I needed.  

    I don't need a whole lot of support, however, when I do, I just send them an email and they respond back to me. I remember one time I was told, "Please open a ticket for this". And my next question was, "How do I do tickets?" And they realized that I don't take a lot of hands. I don't need a lot of handholding.

    I'm quite satisfied with their level of service. They're great.

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

    We previously used an in-house homemade solution with a couple of other things cobbled together to make it work.

    We had to level up to something better. I couldn't grow it for our customer base. It was okay. It worked fine and I could grow a little bit, however, then I would have to get more hardware and I just thought I was managing it is more than I really wanted to. I don't want to run a server farm. Therefore, I pressed the change and I did a little cost analysis and found their software was way more flexible and the restorer was painless compared to ours. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is extremely straightforward. I was up and running in an hour.

    I knew what is going to be backed up due to the fact that we had our in-house system. I used the information about what was being backed up on the server. I already had lists of servers and IP addresses, et cetera. I wasn't reinventing the wheel from scratch.

    For maintenance, it's just me. There are five of us in the company, however, I take care of it personally, myself. It's maybe a 15-minute job. It's one of the first things I do when I sit down at my desk.

    What about the implementation team?

    I did not work with any third-party integrator or consultants for the deployment.

    My salesperson basically walked me through it. Once I got a couple of our servers going, I then added one of my customer's servers and he showed me how to keep things separated. That way, in reporting, I'd be able to easily manage it. The deployment probably wasn't even an hour. It's way easier than how we used to do it previously.

    What was our ROI?

    The ROI is pretty good. It allows us to respond quickly. We were able to respond to a customer's requests, for example, whether it is for a ransomware attack that we recovered them from, or if an employee accidentally erases a whole bunch of sub-directories and they need to be recovered. Any time a customer is satisfied with how things turn out,I consider that as a return on investment.

    In terms of metrics, if I look at what my profitability is, that has a good return on investment in general, however, I've never sat down and said, "Okay, so my old system costs me X dollars a gigabyte. This cost me X minus 20 cents a gigabyte. Okay. I'm making more money on it." I'm not that much of a bean counter. I look at the end of the month and say, "Hey, there's money in the checkbook. This is a good month." I'm a computer guy. I'm not an accountant.

    If I would have to estimate, I'd say that the Return on Investment is almost 100% due to the fact that you only pay for what you use. It's kind of like using virtual machines. There is no upfront cost, at least not with my contract. I don't know what everybody else's contracts look like. Maybe I got a good deal. Maybe I negotiated well. 

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

    The terms for their contract, they were pretty loose in that. They allowed us to give it a try for a couple months. If we didn't like it, they'd let us out. If I recall correctly, the first term was one year. That meant my maximum exposure was pretty limited.

    They did change their billing method or their computation method at one point. They might not have adequately gotten everybody on board as to how that was changing, and it upped the bills a bit. We didn't understand the billing computation. It had to do with high watermarks as opposed to just purely what it was on the last day of the month. We've since sorted out the confusion.

    There is no per node cost, at least not the way I am doing it. I am on bulk. New customers can be set up on a trial, where they can get things all squared away, then they can switch over to being a billed customer.

    At the end of the day, there aren't any costs in addition to their standard licensing fees.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did evaluate some other options, however, we landed on this product mostly due to the pricing. We found it would be more consistent, billing-wise, and that was a huge selling point. 

    What other advice do I have?

    We are just a customer and an end-user.

    We use a variety of different versions, including 21.1, 21.2, 21.3, and all the way back to 20.10.  

    We do not use its automated recovery testing. I do it manually. I know there is an automated feature, however, I don't want to use it. I prefer keeping everything inside my own box. I want to maintain all my keys. Therefore, I test the keys myself, to make sure that the files are recoverable.

    I would advise those considering the solution to look at the total cost of ownership. That would be my big takeaway from this. It's just not the amount of money that you're spending on your bill today, but what are you getting out of it down the road. There may be intangibles that you haven't factored into it yet. Whether it's archives are included in the costs or the fact that I have tech support people that are available to help me manage my platform so that I pay the least amount of money on it. If there's optimization that needs to happen and they'll help me with it, that's great. It all factors in. You need to measure it in its totality. 

    On a scale from one to ten, one being the worst and 10 being the best, I would rate the solution at a ten.

    It has all the notifications, all the bells, and whistles. I could sit down and look at the pane of glass or I can have it send me 5,000 emails a day if that's what I prefer. It's flexible, whichever way you want to go. I particularly don't want a whole bunch of emails. I want to be able to sit down and look at things myself and analyze them myself. It makes it easier to find the needle in the haystack - and I'm happy that it gives me the option.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    PeerSpot user
    Sr. Network/System Administrator Support at S&L Computer Services
    Reseller
    Top 10
    As long as something has been backed up, I know that I can get it back and I know I have nothing to worry about
    Pros and Cons
    • "I know I won't have an issue if the data is there. The reliability and the confidence that we have is amazing. It doesn't matter. We've had customers have ransomware. We've had customers that have had corruption. We've had customers that have had employees destroy their data. As long as it's been backed up, I know that I can get it back and I know I have nothing to worry about. Our confidence level is very high."
    • "The one thing they don't are Linux servers, it's Windows only. I understand that directive. I have another product that I use for our Linux servers and stuff, but it would be nice if they had that flexibility on the Linux side. I understand the development and the world is geared towards Windows in 365, I know that's where the clienteles are and the business and the money is."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is for offsite backup of our client's and our data. We use it to backup files & folders, Exchange, and SQL databases. If  you need to do a disaster recovery, it has the option to restore your system to a VHD. If a customer has an issue that they just need some files or folders restored, or their SQL database, or a single email restore, you have the flexibility to restore whatever you need to. We can go down to item level if we need to.

    How has it helped my organization?

    SolarWind's reliability has improved our organization as we can offer a reliable backup solution to our customers. We have customers who were with other companies who were using a different backup solution, and when it came time to restore their files they were unable to restore what they were supposed to be backing up. We have never had that issue with all the times and situations that we have had to restore data. We have had no problems or issues.

    In terms of its efficiency of resource and bandwidth use, we usually schedule our backups to be done after normal business hours when there is less network traffic and bandwidth is usually better. The backups don't take long at all as only the changed data from the previous backup is transferred. With the archiving feature, you can go back to any archive and restore what you need to from that backup.

    What is most valuable?

    I've been in IT for over 40 years, and I've tested and tried about every backup solution out there. The thing about SolarWinds backup, is that if they say it backed it up successfully, I know confidently that the data is safe and will be able to be restored if needed. The reliability and the confidence that we have in this product is extremely high. We've had customers have ransomware, data corruption, employees destroy their data, and as long as it's been backed up, I know that we can get it restored back and I know we have nothing to worry about.  

    I would rate their ease of use a nine and a half out of ten. It's super easy, very intuitive, and it's very well done. They have a great product.

    The standalone and the RMM are priced differently and each have their own dashboard. Once you load from either dashboard into the software, the software itself is the same. This makes backup operations great. It's so easy to manage and you can do it all from within each dashboard. The difference between the 2 models is one is priced per MB and one is per device.

    The speed of the restore is dependent on the configuration. With their solution, you can just store it in the Cloud or you can store it in the Cloud and have a local speed vault. The local speed vault is a NAS, SAN, or mapped network storage on the local network. If you have a local speed vault, your restore is going to be as fast as your network is, or as good as your internet connection if you're restoring from the Cloud. They push it up and down as fast as you have a pipe for. There is really no latency in terms of software, and any slowness is going to be from your hardware or your internet connection.

    Cloud storage is nice because a lot of places have local backup. Cloud backup also gives you an offsite location that if something happens to your physical site, someone forgets to put a tape in, or your place burns down, you lose all your stuff. The Cloud gives you a secondary place to backup to.

    What needs improvement?

    We've never even had to consider anything else for any situation for our customers. It restores well. It's hard to say anything about improvement because we're just so happy with it. Their support people are second to none. 

    The one thing that could use some improvement is their Linux backup. Their Linux backup us a files/folders backup and you are not able to to a system restore. I have another product that I use for our Linux servers, but it would be nice if they had that flexibility on the Linux side. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using SolarWinds MSP Backup & Recovery for six years. We're using the standalone version as well as the RMM version, which are basically the same. The RMM version is integrated into their RMM package. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    In terms of stability, it runs. We were using it on a 2003 Exchange server and it runs on that. We've got it on an XP machine. We're running a lot of 2019 SQLs and 2019 Exchanges. It runs from top to bottom. It just runs. The only problem that comes up from time to time - but I don't feel it's under their control - is when you are backing up a workstation. The problem is when we're backing up a workstation, and there's a Windows update that comes down, it will shut their backup service off. It will then do the Windows updates, but won't turn that service back on unless the workstation is rebooted or the service is manually started.

     I don't think that's an issue of theirs but that's something that we're aware of. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Solarwinds backup support guys are second to none! They are the best!  They are a great bunch of guys that are always great to talk to.

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

    We used Vembu for a while until we had one instance where they couldn't restore the data that they said they backed up. We had Remote Backup Systems for a while and we ran into a problem with them not being able to restore data for a customer. We used Symantec backup for many years as a local backup, but only RBS and Vembu for Cloud and offsite. We have used Acronis, Veritas Backup Exec, Veeam, Arcserve, Symantec, as well as others over the years. We switched to SolarWinds because their cloud backup as well as local storage option coupled with their reliability was something that worked all the time along with no consumable or physical media issues you have with the other solutions. Since we had several bad experiences with not being able to restore data for customers when they needed it, we needed to find a solution that we could count on 100% of the time. There doesn't have to be any other reasons other than that. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. You create your customer in your dashboard,  you right-click and add your device, give your device a name, and deploy it. It's so simple. From the RMM you can create an installation package that has all the client's info and then just run it. It has all the encryption and Cloud information in it. You just click "Create My Installer," it creates the installer, you copy that to the customer site, you run it and you don't even answer anything in that one. It has it all in there from the dashboard. 

    From beginning to end, the deployment takes five minutes. 

    What was our ROI?

    We have definitely seen a great ROI on our Solarwinds backup solution.

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

    Pricing-wise on the standalone is fair. The problem is that their RMM package is priced per device. Each device is allowed 500GB storage for $XX.XX. It's been like that for the past six years since we've been with them. If you go back five, six, seven years ago, 500GB was a lot, but as times change storage has increased. Operating systems are taking up more disk space, programs are taking up more disk space, updates are taking up more disk space, and people are storing more data. I know the storage (disk & cloud) part of it has gotten cheaper over the past six years, but the amount of storage you are allowed per device hasn't changed - it is still the same as it was six years ago. I'm not saying that they need to lower their per device fee, but I think it would be nice to see them allow more storage per device for that monthly per device fee.

    Their pricing is still fair. Are they the cheapest? No. Are there other products out there that are as reliable as them? Probably somewhere, some product, but I'm not willing to take that chance because we developed a comfort level and we know if our customers get get corrupt data, need a deleted file restored, or get ransomware, we can get all their data back. That's where it's at. 

    There aren't additional costs. You have your per device - you're allowed up to X amount and then you have overage charges, whatever per-gig over that you are. The billing is pretty straight up. If you have a stand-alone, it's however much all your clients are backing up by X amount, that's your bill.  As far as the billing, that's all pretty straightforward.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at many different options as previously mentioned.  As far as ease of use, we looked at Veeam. Veeam is a nice product, but it is expensive. We also looked at the Barracuda backup solution, but that requires a physical appliance at each client's location. We've had two customers that were using a competitor's backup solution where they couldn't restore their data. We just don't have that problem with SolarWinds. for our customers that are concerned about internet/cloud restore speed, we just configure them with a local speedvault.

    Everyone knows that the good backups and a good backup plan are the only safe haven from ransomware. If you've got a good backup, you don't have to worry about anything and that's where we're at. We've had three clients now in the past three months who had ransomware but were back up in no time with no data loss. 

    Reliability and ease of use are was distinguish SolarWinds. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I know there are a lot of companies out there that it's hard to switch from what you're doing. I would be willing to sit in a room with people that have evaluated as much as I have in terms of backup products over the years and talk and round table with them. 

    I feel that SolarWinds had some issues with their per device charge and how much you are allowed with their RMM product, but as far as their backup products, they are rock solid. We've had no issues. None. I realize the backup is just part of their RMM thing, but that is the one part that there's just no question about.

    Their product is reliable, easy to use, and fairly priced. It's not the cheapest, so if you're looking for the cheapest, then SolarWinds is not it. If you're looking for a quality solution that lets you sleep at night, knowing that you're not worried about your backup, your customer's backup, anything like that; I would definitely say, this is something you should really investigate and look into.

    I would rate SolarWinds MSP Backup Recovery a ten out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Private Cloud
    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
    PeerSpot user
    Scott J Brunton - PeerSpot reviewer
    Account Manager at IronCloud Technologies
    Reseller
    Top 20
    Efficient, easy to use, and saves on storage costs
    Pros and Cons
    • "The ease of use and the console are great."
    • "A disaster recovery console would be an improvement for the product."

    What is our primary use case?

    There are a lot of backup solutions out there, including cloud backup solutions. We wanted one that was reliable, had a good name, and obviously was easy to deploy, manage and monitor. We checked all of those boxes with the Cove.

    The one thing that really drew us to it, is the ability to launch any failed backups remotely without having to remote into the person's computer or server. We can do all of that through the console and just kick off backups that may have failed for one reason or another.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We've got twenty-seven different clients right now using Cove and our success rate on backups, taking out all the variables like computers being offline or crashing, is about a 95% to 99% success rate at all times. 

    It's a very reliable product. Dovetailing with that, being able to tell our clients that their backups are working every day ensures that they don't have to worry about monitoring them anymore or letting us monitor them. We are no longer constantly letting them know, "Hey, your backups failed again and again, and again." It builds our reputation.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is how well it backs up and restores. The ease of use and the console are great. That is one of the most sought-after features we were looking for - to be able to do all that remotely without having to interrupt the user.

    It's pretty important to us that the solution provides cloud-based data protection that includes backup disaster recovery and archiving. Most of our clients will back up flat files without having to do full system backups, however, we do full system backups just to make sure we catch everything. In full transparency, we have not had to do a full system restore. I can't testify to how that works, however, restoring flat files, works well.

    It was very important to have thirty data centers worldwide to help keep backups in the regions where we needed them since our clients ask us about redundancy all the time. We care about it too. The security of the data centers and the number of data centers and redundancy are very important to us. This delivers in that sense.

    We realized the benefits of the solution right after the first full backup. It gave us an idea of how long it takes and allowed us to test for stores and performance, within a matter of a couple of days. We could see that it was working. Of course, we wanted to be a little guarded and give it a week or a couple of weeks, or a month to make sure. However, after a couple of days, we were comfortable with it.

    It was important for us that the solution's cloud-first architecture gets our backups off of local networks and out of the reach of ransomware. If it's air-gapped, it’s ideal. If the local site got hit by a ransomware attack, at least there's something offsite that has not been affected, which is critical.

    When it comes to delivering data protection, the solution has reduced the time or resources needed for administration. Just to have the data backed up and then having an easy-to-use console portal to restore data has reduced them significantly. It’s probably a few hours a month. In terms of human resources, we’re not necessarily saving on resources, rather, we’re able to be more efficient with the resources we have, so we can do more with the same amount of people.

    We are an MSP. We're standardized on Cove and all our new clients get that as their backup, and, in some cases, server backup solutions.

    With streamlining, we can use our remote monitoring management tool, to push it out and everything's automated. Tying that in with our ticketing system, we can tell when the backups failed, which makes everything extremely efficient.

    The product does seem to be quite efficient in data storage. I'm really surprised how small the data sets are to back up the entire machine. We are saving, considering if we do full image-based backups, anywhere from, I'd say 30% to 60%.

    We save on storage costs. We get a healthy allotment from N-Able to back up, however, there are real limits that we have to match or stay under and we haven't crossed those yet.

    The efficiency of the solution's architecture to other image-based backups seems pretty intuitive from just the handful I've tested out before. It's all web-based, which is really nice. I don't have to download any products or applications. It just seems like they do a pretty good job with efficiency.

    What needs improvement?

    We're really pretty impressed and happy with the product. In full disclosure, we're also a Datto reseller. There is an area of improvement that has to do with a Datto comparison. We do have Datto as our backup and disaster recovery for servers. If we wanted to move Cove into the server arena, having a way to spin up the restores in the cloud, as opposed to having to download them first to some local storage and spinning things up and testing them out would be better. The Datto solution, for example, has got everything in the cloud. You can spin up, you can test servers, restores, and more, all outside of the network. Whereas with Cove, while we haven't done a full restore yet, from what I can tell, we cannot test restores without downloading the backup image from the cloud. Therefore, a disaster recovery console would be an improvement for the product.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used the solution for at least three or four years. I used it back when it was SolarWinds. It then became N-Able and now it's Cove Data Protection.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    What we're really impressed with is the performance. We tried another backup solution from Datto. They're a cloud backup for the desktops and it's very resource-intensive. The one thing we like about the Cove product is that the users really can't tell that their systems are being backed up, as far as feeling any sense of slowness or any performance decrease on their computers.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It seems to scale pretty well. 

    How are customer service and support?

    I'm trying to think of when I talked to somebody. If I did, it was a long time ago. I haven't needed technical support.

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

    We did not have a different solution beforehand. The clients that we've inherited or got over the years, had a smattering of different types of backups. Most, back in the day, were tape-based backups and we tried to push everyone in the cloud to get it offsite. We've seen a whole gamut of different types of backups. We didn't have a particular solution when we first started. We did some research and that's when we landed on the N-Able, now Cove.

    How was the initial setup?

    Starting up and creating a new customer is pretty easy. It's pretty straightforward to go through and create the customer. From there, you're through it in two or three steps. It will ask things like: "do you want to back up Office 365 and SharePoint" or "do you want to back up a local machine", and whether it is a desktop or server.

    There are policies you can apply to it. We have preset policies. They really don't take long to set up initially. We set the policy and then build the installer. Each installer is unique to that client. We take that installer and then if they have a server, we decide if we want to push down with what they call a group policy, a GPO.

    We can manually run it, we can push it through an RMM tool. There are a lot of different ways we can deploy it. Another really nice element is it's a silent installer by default. We run it and the client doesn't even know it's being run. They can still be working on their machine, working away happily and they don't even know if the software is getting installed. Then, suddenly, it's just on their computer and it starts backing up. It's really a very svelte way of installing and getting back up installed on a machine.

    There's no general maintenance needed at all. Most of our clients are managed. If they need something restored, they'll just put a ticket in or give us a call and say, "Hey, we need something restored, that's been on the backup." We'll go back and we'll ask them how far back they want to go. There are snapshots. It takes three backups a day if I'm not mistaken, we go in there and pick a day and the time. Then, we can restore it back to its original location or to an alternate location and away we go.

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

    While I would always love it to be cheaper, it's probably on par with the middle of the pack, especially given the features it has. It's right in the middle of the market, cost-wise.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I was part of the process in terms of choosing the solution in the beginning. When deciding to go with the solution, it was important that it included cloud storage as part of the package. We didn't want to provision any storage on our end, either locally or through Azure or AWS. As long as it had its own storage, we wanted to look at it as it just made things a lot simpler.

    iDrive was one of the solutions we looked at. We fiddled with it a little bit, however, it was more consumer-based. It didn't provide enough features and monitoring and it just wasn't a mature business product.

    What other advice do I have?

    We're consultants. We also have a reseller agreement with Cove as well. On top of that, we also use the solution ourselves. All the products we resell, we use as well.

    In terms of using an image-based backup, I would say we’re going to store a lot more data doing an image-based backup, however, it'll catch everything. The problem we've had in the past, seeing other colleagues' backups, and then being unable to restore certain pieces, is due to the fact that they're only backing up the user's profile, documents, downloads, music, pictures, et cetera, as opposed to backing up an entire machine. Google, for example, stores its Chrome bookmarks in a nonstandard location. If we don't know where that is, the chances are they're not going to get backed up and not get restored. However, an image-based backup will catch everything on the machine.

    I would give them a good solid nine out of ten. The only reason I wouldn't give them a ten out of ten is we aren't able to restore in the cloud and test everything out as we can on Datto, without having to download the full image onto bare metal hardware.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Other
    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: MSP
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    Richard Muniz - PeerSpot reviewer
    Systems Admin at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    I can look at a single dashboard and know who has backed up recently and who hasn't
    Pros and Cons
    • "Because the package includes cloud storage, we don't need to worry about hosting it inside. That was very important to us. And because the vendor has data centers worldwide, our reps in Europe and other places can get to what they need quickly and easily."
    • "One area I don't like has to do with the agent that goes on the system... if a system stays offline for some length of time, say for a week or so, I may have to go back in and reinstall the agent to get it back in business. I don't know what's causing that."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for backup of our remote workstations.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Cove Data Protection has given us a fresh start in data backups. One of the problems we ran into was that the previous tool we were using wasn't really built for a large environment. It also didn't have the visibility we needed to administer it properly. Now, I can sit down and look at the Cove dashboard and I know what's going on in my environment. I know who's backed up recently, who hasn't, who's still here, who isn't. It's one pane of glass for me to run to and look at.

    It has also made administration much easier. Our company didn't really administer the previous solution and that's one of the reasons it was such a mess. But because this solution is so simple to look at and know what's going on, I'm able to take about three hours out of a day, one day a week, and take care of my entire environment. It has given us the tools we needed to improve on what we were doing, so that we can actually administer it and take care of it.

    What is most valuable?

    All its features are valuable. Perhaps the biggest value we've gotten out of it is the backup and restore of anything a user happens to lose.

    Another feature I really like is that we can stagger our backups a little bit. By that I mean we can download whatever needs to be backed up to an external disk, or do it locally and then load it up. That has proven to be very valuable in a couple of cases, especially with people who have bad connections.

    It's also very important to us that Cove provides cloud-based data protection. Disk space is something we always fight for, whereas this solution is out there and secure. We don't have to worry about it. And to make matters even better, our users can get it from anywhere in the world, if they need to.

    In addition, because the package includes cloud storage, we don't need to worry about hosting it inside. That was very important to us. And because the vendor has data centers worldwide, our reps in Europe and other places can get to what they need quickly and easily. Those local data centers also mean we were able to meet legal requirements.

    And the cloud-first architecture, in addition to eliminating the need to worry about hosting the storage, is very convenient because we have a very mobile workforce. Our people know how to get back what they deleted, quickly and easily. And, of course, the redundancy helps.

    What needs improvement?

    One area I don't like has to do with the agent that goes on the system. Deploying it is a piece of cake, but something I have noticed is that if a system stays offline for some length of time, say for a week or so, I may have to go back in and reinstall the agent to get it back in business. I don't know what's causing that. That's the only issue I have had.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using Cove Data Protection for six to eight months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's pretty stable and runs very well, except for that one little glitch with the agent. If the systems are online every day, like mine is, I almost never have a problem.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scaling it is very simple and it scales very well. If I have a system that I need to put it on, it takes two minutes and there it is. It grows well.

    Currently, we have 150 to 220 laptops scattered around the world and that's what we're backing up every day. Our extent of usage of the solution is stable. If we ever start growing again we will increase our usage.

    How are customer service and support?

    Their technical support is great. They deserve a raise, every one of them. Any time I have had a question, they have always had an answer. If they don't know the answer, they'll admit it and they'll try to find the answer for me.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

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

    We used CrashPlan. Part of the reason we switched was that it was a lot more expensive. The other reason was that it was so difficult to administer. There wasn't one pane of glass you could look to know exactly what was going on in your environment.

    How was the initial setup?

    One of the problems we ran into was that we used JumpCloud. We don't use Active Directory to push our software, so there was a little bit of a learning curve. The good news was that the Cove guys were there, hand-in-hand, with us, as was JumpCloud staff. That meant we were able to put a PowerShell script in there and push it out from there.

    With JumpCloud, the system has to be online to push something out to it. A lot of the implementation involved seeing if a system was online and, if it didn't have it, push it to it. But now, it has become part of our build system, so we're in pretty good shape.

    The other problem, of course, was Mac. I can deploy it just fine to a Mac, but somebody then has to do some stuff on the other end. Unfortunately, that's just how it is with Macs. Some people have responded and done the work we needed for them to do, but we're still "fighting" with others. 

    Overall, deploying it wasn't that terribly difficult. It just involved a few learning curves. We had it about 95 percent deployed within three or four days. If everybody had been online at the same time, we probably could have done it in a couple of hours.

    In terms of maintenance, I have to stay on top of it a little bit, but that's not a big deal to me because I have a dedicated maintenance day. On that day I look at the systems and do what I need to do with them. Part of that is looking at the systems that haven't been backed up in a while and asking why. If they're online, I get in there and try to do a backup. If the agent won't respond, I either use a script to try to restart the agent or I redeploy the agent to it. It's the nature of the beast. You have to stay on top of any solution.

    What was our ROI?

    There's less of a chance of losing our data and, in the instances where we have had to restore, or migrate people, it has worked beautifully. You just can't put a price tag on that peace of mind.

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

    I like the pricing and licensing. The only option I would like to see is an adjustable scale. Right now we have 250 seats and we're not using all of them. It would be nice to be able to save that little bit of money by being able to buy just what we need.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at Acronis. Part of the problem with that solution was the cost. With N-able we get more bang for our buck, and it is also easier to administer.

    What other advice do I have?

    I'd tell a colleague who says that image-based backup is the only way to go is that there's a place for that, but you usually don't have to do an image-level backup. Sometimes, all you have to do is to get the little bits and pieces.

    Cove Data Protection has a bit of a learning curve and it involves your users. How do they take care of themselves? You need to have those processes in place. Users should be able to restore their own stuff if they need to. Train them on how to do that and make documentation available out there to explain how to grab one little file, if that's all they need to do.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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    PeerSpot user
    Chris Soutar - PeerSpot reviewer
    Vice President of Managed Services at Entré Computer Solutions
    Reseller
    Top 5
    Enables us to recover full systems correctly and properly the first time
    Pros and Cons
    • "It provides a single dashboard for all types of data protection, we monitor everything through a single dashboard. It simplifies everything overall. It allows us to see everything, whether passing or failing any issues, any problems through a single pane of glass that we don't have to click through or adjust as we go forward."
    • "The reporting feature and functionality need improvement. We would like to see a little bit more detailed reporting that offers more CEO or C-level focused reporting options."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our primary use case is for all of our backup needs for the companies that we support throughout our area. Anybody who's looking for some sort of a trusted offsite backup solution, this is what our lead product is. It supports all bare-metal, offsite, cloud replication, the whole deal.

    How has it helped my organization?

    SolarWinds has improved my organization due to the way that we've been able to recover and not have any problems or issues within recovery. This has been key in making sure that we can get our clients back up working correctly, as well as making sure that the data is recoverable at any point in time.

    It has reduced the amount of time that we spend on a day-to-day basis, as far as the admin side of the backup. We've probably been able to save a couple of hours per day, making sure that everything is working and working correctly the first time.

    It has also reduced recovery times, as well as backup to the cloud itself. We've been looking at the recovery times. We have been able to save around eight to 10 hours per recovery, around an hour or two per week. And then as far as backup goes, we've been able to save around four to five hours. 

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is the recovery piece itself. Our ability to recover full systems correctly and properly the first time is what makes SolarWinds our most important piece.

    The overall ease of use is fantastic. We have people who have very little knowledge who we've been able to teach how to do recoveries. Making things work has been very easy for us.

    It provides a single dashboard for all types of data protection, we monitor everything through a single dashboard. It simplifies everything overall. It allows us to see everything, whether passing or failing any issues, any problems through a single pane of glass that we don't have to click through or adjust as we go forward.

    We've noticed no difference between managing a simple or a complex backup or recovery, which is another reason why we liked the product so much. There have been no problems or changes as far as speed goes. We think that it's definitely an adequate or amount of time to recover those situations.

    The efficiency of the resource and bandwidth use when it comes to both backup and recovery has been excellent at this point. We have not noticed any problems, issues, or changes within bandwidth and our ability to manipulate the amount of bandwidth that's taken at any point in time is another great feature.

    The cloud storage feature has made us much more efficient, as well as profitable because of the ways that the software changes and deduplicates the amount of storage that is used at any point in time.

    What needs improvement?

    The reporting feature and functionality need improvement. We would like to see a little bit more detailed reporting that offers more CEO or C-level focused reporting options.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using SolarWinds Backup and Recovery for roughly four years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I am very impressed with the stability. I haven't seen any problems or issues as far as corruption, stability, or anything along those lines.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's very scalable and very friendly as far as scalability goes. It allows us to use whatever hardware we like and work in a variety of different situations.

    Internally, we have about five or six dedicated technicians that we have using the solution. They are fully responsible for all deployment and maintenance.

    In our organization, SolarWinds is used very extensively. All new backup opportunities go through and are sold as the SolarWinds Backup Recovery product.

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

    Before SolarWinds, we used Barracuda Backups. The biggest reasons we switched to SolarWinds are because of the price, flexibility, and scalability.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was very straightforward. It was very easy to use, very easy to understand, to sell, and to maintain.

    We spent around a day or two learning how to back up, how things worked, how things got onsite/offsite. Then, just over time, we are continuing to look at ways to improve so, we spend a couple of hours per month learning new ways of doing things.

    Our initial strategy was based on a cost-competitive situation and we were looking at something that was straightforward, easy to use, but also relatively inexpensive. This fit the bill for what we were looking to do. The strategy was to provide an offsite backup solution that would work for a client, in terms of a tape backup.

    What about the implementation team?

    We had done the deployment ourselves. Any help that we needed, we got directly from SolarWinds. They were very good, very easy, and very willing to help. They're still very willing to help as we work through any hiccups or things that we see that are abnormal.

    What was our ROI?

    We have seen ROI. When we get a much more quick and scalable solution where everything works. We have been able to definitely increase our profitability within that.

    We're about 40 or 50% more profitable than we were before.

    The total cost of ownership given the inclusion of cloud storage and the absence of proprietary appliances has been great so far. The costs that they have in place are very fair and very justifiable.

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

    The best thing about the SolarWinds solution is the ability to price or scale on a case by case basis. You're not buying into a full block of how many licenses you need. You're not signing up into a contract where you have to buy so many licenses, which has been great for us so.

    If you're looking at doing a local storage device, then that is a one-time cost that you usually source from a third-party. They're outside of the initial software costs. There's nothing else that goes along with it.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    The only solutions we looked at were Barracuda and Symantec Tape Backup solution. It wasn't very competitive. For Barracuda, the biggest pro for us at the time was our experience with it. We've worked with them for a number of years and a couple of different opportunities and situations. The con was the pricing. Then it was also the scalability where we were able to look at something that would allow us to grow along with the product versus having to buy an expensive piece of hardware. For Symantec Backup Exec, it was a pretty easy situation where it's either an onsite tape backup or an offsite cloud-based, more secure solution.

    What other advice do I have?

    If you're looking for something that's going to be easy to use, cost-effective, but also provides a great backup and more importantly, a recovery solution, this is definitely something that you should look at and keep in mind. It's a great product. It works very well and I don't have to worry about if a backup is working or not.

    Make sure that you don't undersize things. It's okay to oversize a local storage device. It's easier to come and oversell the opportunity or the option versus underselling it.

    I would rate SolarWinds MSP Backup & Recovery a nine out of 10. I'd give it a 10 if we had a little bit better reporting. For the functionality and the feature set within it, I would give it a 10.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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    Download our free N-able Cove Data Protection Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: August 2022
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