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.
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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?
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