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Buyer's Guide
Backup and Recovery Software
April 2022
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System Administrator at a manufacturing company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Easy to use with an intuitive web interface, helpful support, good performance, and saves us time
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the Instant Recovery, where we can restore a VM or SQL database or any server or application, and have it up and running on their appliance within a few seconds."
  • "They support Hyper-V and it works with our CloudOut, the cloud DR, but they seem to add features for VMware first and Hyper-V gets added second or sometimes several releases after the VMware feature comes out."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is on-premises backup and cloud DR. We're using the Rubrik appliance with their CDM technology for our on-premises solution. We are also using their CloudOut technology to leverage their cloud DR as part of their offering.

We're backing up Windows infrastructure and on-premises applications such as SQL and Exchange file servers, and we're storing that locally on their appliance. Then, we replicate our environment to the cloud so that in the event of a true disaster, where we lost our physical infrastructure, we'd be able to spin up in the cloud, using their CloudOut technology. This would allow us to be up and running in the cloud until we were able to get infrastructure back online.

The environments that we are backing up are physical and virtual. We don't have any cloud-native environments, so we're not doing any cloud backups right now. We use the cloud, although it is a DR target. Our main task is VM backup, which is between 75% and 80%. We have a few physical boxes that we're backing up, as well. For example, I have the actual hypervisors to back up, and then a few miscellaneous other servers that haven't been virtualized.

The applications and servers that we protect include Microsoft Hyper-V for our virtualized infrastructure, Microsoft SQL server for the SQL side, and all of the other infrastructure, in terms of applications, that is Windows-based. We are very invested in the Microsoft platform and using Rubrik to back all aspects of that up. We do have a couple of Linux-based services running, but I would say that we're 95% Windows-based, whether that's Hyper-V VMs or Microsoft SQL, or Microsoft file servers or IAS app servers. 

How has it helped my organization?

One of the ways that Rubrik has improved the way our organization functions is time savings. Coming off of the backup solution we had before, we were spending several hours a week, every day sometimes, dealing with backups that fail. Other issues include trying to make space or deal with an archive target that was offline. We were just spending a lot of time on it.

Being a smaller team, when we spend time just dealing with the backups, that takes away from us being able to work on other projects that support the business growth and support other functions within the organization. With Rubrik, there'll be weeks sometimes that I never log into it. Maybe two, three weeks at a time, I never log into Rubrik because we get email alerts and they have great error handling. If there's an error or something happens, we get an email.

A lot of times, the appliance will take care of itself and then deal with that missed backup, or whatever happened. But that's very rare. It'll go for several months without having an error. A lot of times, the errors are not a Rubrik issue. It's always that Windows did something that caused the backup to fail and Rubrik reruns it, then it works.

Not having to spend any time in the console because we can rely on the alerting and automated reporting has allowed us to focus on other areas of the business and not deal with backups. Essentially, it gives us peace of mind that Rubrik works. It was definitely a change to get used to, not logging in to it. We buy this really cool piece of technology and turns out that we're not in it a whole lot, but that just goes to show Rubrik has a robust solution that we can depend on.

This product has definitely increased productivity because we're not dealing with backups. They work on their own and it does its thing. We made the investment into Rubrik to not have to deal with backups and it delivers on that. This leaves us time to focus on other things because we're not dealing with a backup that failed.

It is difficult to put an exact number on the amount of time that we're saving by using Rubrik, although, with our previous solution, there were weeks where we had to spend several hours dealing with failed backups. On a bad week, it may have been between six and eight hours. On average, by not dealing with backups at all, we are saving several hours a week.

Using the SLA-based policy automation has simplified our data protection operations. We are no longer scheduling backups or trying to figure out availability, or time slots, where we can back up our systems. For example, we don't have to consider things like we've got backups running at 1:00 AM, 2:00 AM, or 3:00 AM, and we're trying to find a slot. Instead, the SLA engine that they have is super easy to use and does that job for us.

It was really good for us to move to the SLA-based approach from a traditional backup because we were able to, for business use, cover tasks such as retaining email for one year. In their SLA engine, it's very easy to find that. Another example might be backing up a set of test-SQL servers where we only need 14 days. Through the policy engine, you set what you want the retention to be and it takes care of scheduling and managing those backups.

Once we have them set, they are stable and continue to work because we don't change SLAs often. We define the retention that we need for each app and each service, and then it just works. Overall, the SLA-based approach makes it very easy to achieve your backups.

Luckily, we have not used their ransomware recovery. We've not had any incidents or ransomware where we needed to, but we have tested recovering assets in the event that happens and we've always been able to recover in our test scenarios, in our tabletop exercises. This is the type of feature that you never want to rely on outside of testing because it means that you're having a bad day, so hopefully, we never have to use it. That said, if we do have to, we're confident that it would deliver.

Similar to the case with ransomware, we have been lucky in that we haven't had any major disasters where we had to fully recover anything. In the usual case, where files are lost because something is overwritten, or something gets deleted, it has definitely saved a lot of time with the instant recovery.

Using the predictive file search, we're able to put those files or directories back or roll back a database in a few minutes. It's very quick and has definitely reduced our recovery time. We've not had to do a lot of restores, but when we do have to restore the occasional file or put a database version back, it's very quick and has saved us quite a bit of time from what the old Unitrends system would have looked like.

This product has also saved us time with respect to managing backups. Prior to Rubrik, every day of the week, we were spending an hour or two hours or sometimes longer dealing with backups, and that's now completely gone. There are some times that we go for weeks and don't even log into the appliance because we get the reports and they tell us everything we need. We trust Rubrik because we've had it long enough now that we know that when it says it completed the backup, the backup's there, and if we need it, we can get it back.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the Instant Recovery, where we can restore a VM or SQL database or any server or application, and have it up and running on their appliance within a few seconds. The recovery time of the instant restore is instantaneous and there is no complexity to it. What we're recovering doesn't matter to them, and we don't have to wait for it to mount a recovery image or do anything like that. When they say instant, they mean instant.

The ease of use is important to us, as well. It's super easy to get set up. Within a few hours of them deploying the on-premises appliance, we were backing up data locally into the cloud and able to test restores.

Rubrik is really good about releasing updates and we have had no issues with the process. They make it very easy, working with their support when they do put out an update, and they assist with doing the health checks beforehand to ensure that there are no issues. They do a pre-flight check on those updates to ensure that they're compatible with the appliance. Then, we schedule a time off-hours to apply it. They are normally pretty quick and we've never had issues where we had to roll back. They've always been flawless updates.

The CloudOut technology allows us to replicate data in our environment to the cloud, and then it can be spun up and used in the cloud if our physical environment is not available.

The VM backup and the SQL backup are blazingly fast for both backup and recovery.

The web interface is really good. and it's only gotten better with every update. It was good, to begin with, but they've improved the speed and added features in each update. It is a modern interface that works in any browser, and we can get to it from a tablet or computer. The type of device you access it from doesn't matter because it fits all screens, and it's intuitive and easy to use.

The archival functionality is very good. It is very easy to archive data to the cloud, and this is something that we were looking for. You can do it all from their web interface, which is a plus. You don't have to jump into the command-line interface or run scripts or anything to make it work. It is all configurable in the UI and very easy to dump data off to the cloud and pull backups back from the cloud archives.

We have used the predictive search functionality and hands down, it's the easiest way that I've ever recovered files. It's just like searching Google, but it searches your own files for recovery. It's easier than if you told somebody you could use a Google-like search to recover files, I don't think they would believe you until they've used Rubrik, because it does work that well. It's quick to search, no matter if you're searching a VM or even a physical box, it works across them.

With their new global file search in the latest version of their CDM, you don't even have to know what host that file was on. You can just type in a file name or a part of the file name and it'll find it. When a user comes and says, "We lost the file and it was called something like this," with any other solution, I don't know how you would find it. I think it would take a lot of work. With Rubrik, within a few seconds, you have file results. It's a pretty great feature.

What needs improvement?

We would like to see more support for Hyper-V. They support Hyper-V and it works with our CloudOut, the cloud DR, but they seem to add features for VMware first and Hyper-V gets added second or sometimes several releases after the VMware feature comes out. Seeing more support for Hyper-V would be a plus.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Rubrik for about a year and a half.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is very stable, dependable, and reliable. We've had it for a year and a half and nothing has ever happened with the appliance, or come up where we'd think differently.

Their updates have been really good and we've never had an issue after applying an update where something didn't work.

Knowing that Rubrik has built a robust platform, which is what we're dependent on, gives us peace of mind.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is highly scalable. You can add nodes as needed and expand the environment. There are no limitations to it in terms of hardware or Rubrik's support.

In order to expand, you would have to purchase licensing. Depending on the company's budget, that could be a limiting factor. As long as you can afford the licensing, if you grow then Rubrik can grow with you.

There are three of us in the company who use the product from a management standpoint. I am the system administrator, the CIO has access, and then the support tech has access to the system. I am responsible for maintaining it.

It is integrated 100% within our organization. We have no plans to do anything more with it because it's being used in every aspect of the business for backup and protection. We're fully invested and committed to it.

How are customer service and technical support?

The vendor has world-class support, and some of the best support we have for our solutions. Rubrik support has been great to work with when we do have to work with them, which isn't often.

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

Prior to Rubrik, we were using the Unitrends solution for our backup. We switched because we couldn't depend on the Unitrends product. It was missing backups, for example. There were some times where every day, every week, five days a week, we'd spend a couple of hours a day, or maybe an hour a day, in Unitrends trying to get backups to run because they would miss a whole set of SQL servers or miss VMs.

We also couldn't do cloud archiving with it. It just wasn't capable of that.

I think we had outgrown the Unitrends solution. I think Unitrends is great for a small company, but anything small to medium and larger, Unitrends just isn't a good solution.

It seems like a very traditional backup solution. It's not forward-thinking and innovative and new like Rubrik is. So, we just knew that we needed something that we could depend on because, with Unitrends, we knew that if there was a disaster, we couldn't recover and so that's why we started looking at something else. We were very happy when we found Rubrik. It restored the peace of mind that we didn't have with Unitrends.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. Rubrik sends out a technical engineer when you get the appliance to help you get it online. Within a couple of hours of them being on-site, we were backing up data locally, as well as to the cloud. By the time they left, we had tested restores and our environment was backing up locally and into the cloud.

We did not have an implementation strategy and just followed Rubrik's guidance on how to implement it. They had a plan that was based on information that we provided them about our environment. That way, when they were on-site, we maximized our time with them to get it deployed. We really just trusted Rubrik with it.

What about the implementation team?

There were two people from our company and one person from Rubrik involved with the deployment. I was on the technical implementation side, and our CIO was involved in the purchasing, decision-making, and ultimate sign-off on the solution.

The deployment was handled by Rubrik's technical support engineer, who is assigned to you during the sales process. They are somebody local, in fact. They are based in Iowa where we are.

You work with them through the whole sales process and then they help you get the appliance set up and then they're even your contact even after it gets set up. This means that if you ever have questions or you need assistance, they're the person to help and they're very knowledgeable. Our engineer was able to answer any questions we had.

What was our ROI?

In the sense that we're not spending IT resources on managing the solution, that's really been the return on investment.

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

Rubrik is definitely a premium solution, but if you can afford it and put it in your budget, they're definitely the way to go. They're not the cheapest solution on the block and I don't think they would tell you that they are. You pay a premium for Rubrik, but you're getting a premium service that comes with immutable backups, instant recovery, and world-class support. It's well worth the investment into Rubrik.

In the subscription, they have an appliance renewal program, and the maintenance is set up so that you know, upfront, what the potential increase is. They give you a range.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing Rubrik, we evaluated other solutions including Dell Avamar, which is their data protection solution. We also looked at Cohesity and with respect to Unitrends, we knew that they were out, so we didn't re-evaluate the product.

The results of our evaluation showed that Rubrik really outperformed the others, with just their support of Hyper-V. They all seem to support Hyper-V to some extent, but Rubrik seemed to have the best support for it at the time.

The speed of Rubrik and the ease of use also stood out, compared to the others.

The Dell solution was very much a traditional backup system and we wanted to get away from that. We wanted to go to something that was cloud-ready for archive and DR. We also wanted a product with great support for virtual machines because that's where our infrastructure was going. We just didn't get that feeling with the Dell solution. I'm sure that it is a great product and they probably sell a lot of it, but it wasn't the new solution we were looking for.

Then with Cohesity, we just didn't see it as a good fit. Overall, Rubrik just looked better and fit our needs better. We had to consider the infrastructure and the workloads we were protecting, as well as the features that we were looking for in terms of the easy backup and the immutable backup protection for ransomware, the CloudOut, and cloud DR technology. It all just was a little bit better in Rubrik and just beat out Cohesity.

We are heavily virtualized and have lots of SQL as well, which is why we picked Rubrik. These are two things that they are very good at.

They're definitely a forward-thinking and future-thinking company in terms of offering their VM backup and their SQL backup, so they really shine over the competitors we looked at.

What other advice do I have?

Although the updates are really good, we are a little bit behind for some compliance reasons. However, we have access to all their features and we try to stay as current as possible. We're on almost the latest version.

My advice for anybody who is considering this product is that it's a world-class solution. If you want peace of mind at night, immutable backups, cloud-native support, cloud DR support, all within a single solution with world-class technical support, Rubrik is the way to go. If you can afford it, you're getting the best. You're getting a premium solution and everything that they say they can do, they can do. They can prove it to you or customers can prove it. They've never oversold on what they can offer.

My biggest takeaway is that it's a good investment in your backups. It's not the cheapest solution, but the investment you're making protects your business and ensures that if you ever need your backups, they're going to work. You can trust Rubrik.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

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.
Chris Slaby - PeerSpot reviewer
Network Administrator at a educational organization with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Restores files much quicker and offers continuous data protection
Pros and Cons
  • "In terms of the most valuable features, having the failover tests where you can see where your actual RTO and RPO would be is really nice, especially for the management level. I really liked the ease of when I need to do a file or folder restore off the cuff. Usually, it takes me less than five minutes to do it, including the mounting of the actual image. That was one thing with Unitrends, it was a similar process but if that backup had aged off of the system, then you had to go to the archive and you find the right disks, load them in, and then actually mount the image."
  • "In terms of improvement, it would be helpful if the implementation team had a better best practices guide and made sure things like the journaling are very clearly understood."

What is our primary use case?

Right now, everything is on-prem including LTR. We are looking at adding the Azure features but we're not quite there yet.

We purchased Zerto to replace our Legacy backup system that still had disks, Archiver Appliance, and everything like that. We had wanted to do something that was diskless but still gave us multiple copies. So we were utilizing both the instantaneous backup and recovery, as well as the LTR, Long Term Retention, function. We do our short-term backup with normal journaling and then our longer-term retention with the LTR appliance, which is going to dedicated hardware in one of our data centers.

We use Zerto for both backup and disaster recovery. It was fairly important that Zerto offers both of these features because Unitrends did provide the traditional backup piece. They also had another product called ReliableDR, which they later rolled into a different product. Unitrends actually bought the company. That piece provided the same functionality as what Zerto is doing now, but with Unitrends that was separate licensing and a different management interface. It wasn't nice to have to bounce between the two systems. The ability to do it all from a single pane of glass that is web-based is nice.

It's definitely not going to save us money. It'll be a peace of mind thing, that we have another copy of our data somewhere. Our DR site is approximately 22 miles away. The likelihood of a tornado or something devastating two communities where our facilities are based is pretty slim. It's peace of mind and it does not require additional storage space on-prem. We know that the charges for data at rest are not free in Azure. We get good pricing discounts being in education but it definitely won't save money.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto was fairly comparable to what Unitrends was offering with multiple products. We didn't gain a ton of extra features. If anything, in the very near future, it will give us the ability for Cloud backup and retention to have some of that sitting out in the Cloud as an offsite backup. We have a primary site, a backup site, and a recovery site. We have multiple copies already, but we want to have one that's not on any of our physical facilities so we will be setting that up shortly. We just need to get our subscriptions and everything coordinated and up to par. That would be the main improvement that it's going to provide us. But we're not quite there yet.

Zerto has reduced downtime. Speaking specifically to the file restores, it's definitely restored things much quicker. Instead of waiting for half-hour to get a file restore done, it's a matter of five minutes or less to do it where they can keep rolling much quicker versus with Unitrends. Other than that, I can't say there are any huge differences.

The difference in downtime would cost my organization very little. We're a small technical college, so we're not loopy on making or losing thousands or millions of dollars if something takes five minutes versus an hour and a half. Higher ed is a different breed of its own. 

What is most valuable?

In terms of the most valuable features, having the failover tests where you can see where your actual RTO and RPO would be is really nice, especially for the management level. I really liked the ease of when I need to do a file or folder restore off the cuff. Usually, it takes me less than five minutes to do it, including the mounting of the actual image. That was one thing with Unitrends, it was a similar process but if that backup had aged off of the system, then you had to go to the archive and you find the right disks, load them in, and then actually mount the image. Our main data stores are close to two terabytes. It would take 15 to 20 minutes just to mount the image. Whereas with Zerto, I don't think it's taken longer than a minute or a minute and a half to mount any image that we've needed to go back to a restore point on.

With Unitrends, some could have taken a half-hour. I'm the only network administrator here, so it usually was a multitasking event where we would wait for it to load. I would take care of a few other things and then come back to it.

Switching to Zerto decreased the time it took but did not decrease the number of people involved. It still requires myself and our network engineer to do any failover, back and forth, because of our networking configuration and everything. I know that Zerto allows us to RE-IP machines as we failover. However, because of the way our public DNS works and some of our firewall rules, we have purposely chosen not to do that in an automated fashion. That would still be a manual operation. It would still involve a couple of people from IT.

Zerto does a pretty decent job at providing continuous data protection. The most important thing that I didn't clearly understand upfront, was the concept of journaling and how that differs from traditional backup. For example, if you set journal retention for seven days or whatever, in your traditional backup, it kept that for seven days, regardless of what was happening. You had it versus the journaling, where coupled with some of the size limits and stuff of the journal size, if you don't configure it correctly, you could actually have less data backed up than what you think you do. I also found out that if you have an event such as ransomware, that all of a sudden throws a lot of IOPS at it, and a lot of change rate, that can age out a journal very quickly and then leave you with the inability to restore if that's not set up properly.

We have requirements to keep student data and information for seven years. We need long-term retention for those purposes. We don't typically need to go back further than 30 days for file restores and everything. There has been the occasion where six months later, we need to restore a file because we had somebody leaving the organization or something like that and that folder or whatever wasn't copied over at the time they left.

Zerto has not saved us time in a data recovery situation due to ransomware because we did not have it correctly configured. When we had an event like that, we weren't able to successfully restore from a backup. That has been corrected now. Now that it is configured correctly, I anticipate that it will save us weeks of time. It took almost two weeks to get to a somewhat normal state after our event. We're still recovering somewhat from rebuilding some servers and stuff like that. To get our primary data and programs back up and running to a mostly normal function, took around two weeks.

We also expect that it will reduce the number of staff involved in that type of data recovery situation. We ended up having to hire one of our trusted partners to come in and help us rebuild and remediate. There was at least a dozen staff including our own IT staff, which was another 10 people on top of that. Provided that we do now have this set correctly, it would really drop it down to maybe two or three people.

What needs improvement?

In terms of improvement, it would be helpful if the implementation team had a better best practices guide and made sure things like the journaling are very clearly understood. 

Speaking directly to our incident, we did have professional services guide us with the installation, setup, and configuration. At that time, there was no suggestion to have these appliances not joined to the domain or in a separate VLAN from our normal servers and everything. They are in a completely isolated network. The big thing was being domain-joined. They didn't necessarily give that guidance. In our particular situation, with our incident, had those not been domain-joined, we would have been in a much better place than what we ended up being.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for about two years

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is quite stable. I haven't had system issues with it. The VRAs run, they do their thing. The VPGs run, so as long as we're not experiencing network interruptions between our two campuses, the tasks run as they should. In the event we do have an interruption, they seem to recover fairly quickly catching up on the journaling and stuff like that. It's fairly stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is pretty good. We have 50 seats, so we will just be starting to bump up against that very shortly. My impression is that all we need to do is purchase more licenses as needed, and we're good to expand as long as our infrastructure internal can absorb it.

I just recently learned from Zerto Con that they are coming out or have just come out with a Zerto for SaaS applications, which gives the ability to back up Office 365 tenants or Salesforce tenants. I am very interested in learning about that. We have been researching and budgeting for standalone products for Office 365 and Salesforce backups. From my understanding, those products would be backed up from the cloud to the cloud so that it wouldn't have impacts on our internal, long-term appliance, or any of our storage internal infrastructure. That's very appealing. 

It will depend on costs. If it's something that I can't absorb with the funding I have already secured for Office 365, then it would have to be added to our next year's budget because we run from July 1st to June 30th. Our capital timeline budgeting has surpassed us already.

How are customer service and technical support?

For the most part, the technical support is pretty decent. I've only had to open one or two tickets and the response time has been pretty good. Our questions were answered.

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

We previously used Unitrends. We switched solutions because we were at the end of our lifecycle with the appliances we had. At that time, Unitrends was not quite as mature with the diskless and cloud-type technologies as Zerto was. We were pursuing diskless where we had to rotate out hard drives for archiving. We wanted to get rid of that. That brought us to Zerto and it was recommended by one of our vendors to take a look at it.

Unitrends had replaced Commvault. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly straightforward, deploying the VRAs to the VMware infrastructure and stuff like that was point, click, and let it run it. It was fairly quick. The VRAs took a couple of minutes each, so that wasn't bad at all. Setting up the VPGs is quite simple. There is a little bit of confusion where you can set your default for the journaling and stuff like that and then modify individual VMs after the fact. If you want different journal sizes for different VMs in the same VPG, there are a couple of different spots you can tweak. The setup and requirements of the LTR were a little bit confusing.

We purchased six or eight hours of implementation time but that was over multiple calls. We stood up some of the infrastructures, got some VPGs together, and then they left it to me to set up some other VPGs. Then we did a touch base to see what questions I had and things like that. We had six or eight hours purchased but it was spread over multiple engagements.

For the most part, only I worked on the deployment. Our network engineer was involved briefly just to verify connectivity via the VLANs and firewalls. Once we had established a connection, he was pretty much out of it.

I'm the only one who uses it strictly for our district backups. We're a small college. Our IT programs, HR, or business services, don't have their own separate entities. It's all covered under the primary IT department.

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

I don't know that we've saved a ton by replacing our legacy solution with Zerto. I think there's a little less overhead with it. Setting up the VPGs, the protection groups, and everything is a little bit easier and the file restores go much quicker. Fortunately, we haven't had to perform full system restores, but I did not need to do that with Unitrends either. It's usually a folder or a file here and there. We're not really intense on restoring. It has saved a little on management, but not a ton. 

Pricing wasn't horrible. I can't say that it was super competitive. We definitely could have gone with a cheaper price solution but the ease of use and management was really what won me over. Being the only network administrator, I don't have a ton of time to read through 500-page user manuals to get these things set up on a daily basis. I needed something that was very easy to implement and use on a daily basis. In the event I'm out of the office, it would be nice to have simple documentation so that if somebody needs a file restore while I'm gone, it can be handed off to somebody who is not a network admin as their primary job.

I have not run into any additional costs. Obviously, if you're going to utilize Azure for long-term retention it is an additional cost, but that's coming from Microsoft, not Zerto. To my knowledge, there is no additional licensing needed for that, that's all included in the product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Commvault was another solution we looked at even though it was against my better judgment. We looked at Veeam and Rubrik as well.

In terms of ease of use, Veeam was pretty similar but at the time we still had some physical servers that we no longer have now. We are all virtual now. Veeam couldn't accommodate that, as I understood. I liked the features of Zerto and the ability to get the RTO and RPO reports and see where we're at. The ease of file restores was really nice.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to make sure that you clearly understand what you require. You must have retention and recoverability. Make sure that your journal configurations correspond to accommodate that in an event like ransomware or something like that, that a high change rate can happen. Also, utilize long-term retention for instances like that. 

I appreciate the continuing education that they provide. There is Zerto Con and they have different customer support webinars. They do the new product release webinars and stuff like that, where they're very open on what features they're adding, what they've released, and what improvements they're doing. Whereas it seems like most companies, say, "Okay, we have an update available. Here are the release notes." And, it's up to you to go through that.

I like that Zerto takes the time to sometimes do live demos. We're migrating from 8.0 to 8.5. We're going to do it in a live environment and show approximately how long it takes and all the steps to go through it. Make sure you check this box if you're upgrading from this. I find that very helpful. I'm a visual learner, versus learning from reading. Seeing some of those step-by-step upgrades, releases, and feature demonstrations is very helpful.

I would rate Zerto an eight out of ten. 

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.
Bill Vierow - PeerSpot reviewer
Systems and Network Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Allows us to do point-in-time recovery and mount the whole server and saves quite a bit of time
Pros and Cons
  • "Probably the point-in-time recovery is most valuable. The other piece that is really nice is that you can mount a whole server at any point in time. So, you can mount the server with all the drives to a Z drive or something like that. It will just mount it all up, and your data is accessible right there on one drive, which is nice."
  • "For the most part, it is really good in terms of flexibility and choice of recovery methods. What we found lacking was being able to back up virtual volumes that are clustered. We ran out of luck there. There should be an option for backing up clustered virtual volumes."

What is our primary use case?

It is basically used for everything. It is used all the way from files recovery on a simple basis, where one user accidentally deletes a file and we need to replace it, to a server crash, where we need to bring it up virtually on another unit because the hardware crashed or something like that.

It is deployed on-prem. We have two units with Rapid Recovery. So, we have two DL1300s. It was sold as an appliance package at the time.

How has it helped my organization?

Previously, in order to do a restore on a file, you had to go through and find the file on a tape or whatever your medium is. You had to go through and dig until you found it, which used to take forever, whereas now, you can mount the whole server in a few minutes, and you can go down and dig into the file you're looking for. If it is not in that directory, all your other directories are available. Doing it this way saves you a lot of time versus the old way, where you find that one file and restore it. If that doesn't turn out to be the file that the user wanted, you got to go back and do it all over again for the other file that they have guessed as being the one. It saves you a lot of time because you're mounting the whole server to a point in time, and then you can grab any file from that point in time and then give it to the user. You can copy/paste it or use some other preferred way. So, it is very easy to use, and it saves hours on each restore.

We spin up all of our machines as virtual machines. They have a feature called virtual standby that allows you to keep all of your virtual machines in a state where they're basically standby virtual machines. All you have to do is spin them up, and then that machine is up and running. So, we test that functionality quarterly to make sure that it is working. We need to know the backups are working. Otherwise, we get alerts if they're not working. The backups go between every hour, every four hours, and every 24 hours. In terms of doing recovery, once every couple of months, we have to recover a file or do something similar. This virtual standby feature would save us quite a bit of time if we have to recover specific servers that have crashed and bring them up with Rapid Recovery. It would save us approximately four to eight hours.

What is most valuable?

Probably the point-in-time recovery is most valuable. The other piece that is really nice is that you can mount a whole server at any point in time. So, you can mount the server with all the drives to a Z drive or something like that. It will just mount it all up, and your data is accessible right there on one drive, which is nice.

It is very easy to use when it comes to recovery. It has got a couple of buttons. You click restore, and then you click the machine that you want to restore. You can mount a point-in-time recovery of that server if you're just looking for a file, or you can just restore the whole server. It is very intuitive.

What needs improvement?

For the most part, it is really good in terms of flexibility and choice of recovery methods. What we found lacking was being able to back up virtual volumes that are clustered. We ran out of luck there. There should be an option for backing up clustered virtual volumes.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been great and spot-on. I haven't had any issues with it yet.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is pretty scalable. If you want to increase the amount of space you need, you can just add some licensing. It is pretty straightforward. It seems pretty scalable to me.

In terms of users, it is pretty much just me, so it is just the Systems and Network Administrator.

In terms of usage, we probably use it 70%. We restore once every couple of months if somebody needs something, but that's about it. I don't see that changing. Its usage will remain the same. We may just need more disk space.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have used their Premier Support. They get back to us pretty quickly. They usually have somebody knowledgeable who is able to help us resolve a situation pretty quickly. 

Their Premier Support costs money. I am not sure if it is worth your money if you have to call and get help with the product just a few times a year. I don't really see too much of a difference between their regular support and Premier Support. They seem similar. Their Premier Support hasn't been an influence in purchasing additional licenses or products.

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

We've used a few in the past. We used Symantec Backup and probably Unitrends. We have also used eFolder. We switched primarily because of the cost and technology. Quest offered some options. Their bare metal recovery was a little easier to do, and spinning up the virtual machines was pretty intuitive. You didn't need extra software to do it.

How was the initial setup?

It was pretty straightforward. The software is pretty intuitive, and you can do agent or agent-less installs. If you have a physical virtual machine, such as a physical VMware hypervisor, you can back up all the machines on that hypervisor, or you can install agents. With the agents, you can get a little bit more granular with the reporting information. So, it is pretty easy, no matter which way you want to go.

The deployment duration depends on the method you choose. If you're doing it agent-less, it can take as little as a few minutes. With an agent, it would probably take 15 to 20 minutes per server because you usually have to install the software, and then you have to reboot. So, it includes the reboot time.

Our implementation strategy was to back up all machines and then synchronize the two units with each other. We have an onsite unit and an offsite unit, and they back each other up. So, we had to back up all machines and then synchronize the two units so that they back each other up, and the offsites are stored at each other's location.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it ourselves. In terms of maintenance, we upgrade it very often. It is currently on the latest version. So, anytime a new version of the software comes out, I'll upgrade it on each server, and then, of course, you want to test the backups as well. 

What was our ROI?

It is really hard to quantify. We've done some tests, but they don't give you any ROI. I don't know of any backup solution that has ROI in terms of saving money to the bottom line unless somebody had a major disaster from which they've had to recover. Even in that case, you're not really quantifying your ROI because you still have to spend money on that backup solution. That's really hard and a tricky one.

If there was a situation where we needed to use it, it would save money and recovery costs, but as a whole, I don't believe it has saved us any money. It is like an insurance policy. We wouldn't consider living without such a solution. We have to have some kind of backup system. It doesn't have to be this specific product. There are other products that will do the same.

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

I believe the basic license comes with six terabytes, whereas a lot of the other ones are four terabytes. From the price point, it seemed a lot better than the comparative models, such as Datto, Barracuda, and some of the others. I believe Barracuda was about $15,000 for four terabytes, and Quest was around $12,000 for six terabytes.

Pricing is based on the period. There is just the maintenance fee that you have to pay annually, or you can pay for a three-year or four-year contract. This includes Premier Support.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to always test your backups. It doesn't matter which product you're using. You need to test them.

In terms of the recovery at the attribute level, as long as you have the decryption key, you could mount the server, and then you can grab whichever file you need. We back up the whole server, so technically, we could just do a restore. We could just mount that server and grab the files that we need and that were a part of that active directory piece, or we could just restore the whole server at a point in time. I've never had to do it. We've done tons of restores and file restores, but I've never had to restore an active directory. I would rate this feature a three out of 10 because we never had to do it. Of course, when you do need to do it, it is probably a 10 out of 10, but it gets really messy when you try to restore some of that stuff, so we've tried to avoid that at all possible costs.

It claims to provide Microsoft compliant bare-metal recovery and active directory data restore, but I never had to do it. I have spun up virtual machines. We spin them up all the time. It is basically a server at a certain point in time, and then you bring it up on the virtual machine as a virtual machine, and it pops right out. Nowadays, pretty much everything is a virtual machine. So, I don't see why you'd ever need to do a full restore or bare-metal restore when you can just spin up the virtual machine at any point in time. If you need specific files off it, you could do that, or you could just use that virtual machine and just read it back to that point in time and then restore the files you need.

We use its malware detection, but we also use other pieces. We use Comodo for antivirus and malware protection, and we also use Microsoft, so we are kind of double protected. Its malware detection capability is important, but it comes at that point where it is too late, which means that something has already pretty much gotten past your antivirus, your Defender, and everything else. If you go to restore a machine that has been affected with ransomware, by then, it has already got past your malware detection, your antivirus, and all those things. So, you're pretty much toast at that point anyway. It isn't easy to recover from that unless there are definitions, and then you need to restore the machine with the new definitions, grab the files, and move them to the new server.

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. It is a pretty intuitive and straightforward product. It does a pretty good job overall, and it does quite a bit, but there is definitely room for improvement in terms of backing up clustered virtual volumes.

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.
Christopher Stucke - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Manager at a healthcare company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Fire-and-forget solution and it has a good portal when I need to dig into it
Pros and Cons
  • "Its Critical Server Insurance feature for protecting physical and virtual servers, including Windows, Linux, VMware, and Hyper-V is mandatory for me and it makes me happy. If I had a backup solution that didn't do that, it would not be a backup solution and would not be any good."
  • "They set me up as a vendor, not as a client. So sometimes I end up in the wrong portal and I'm doing vendor things instead of client things, and I didn't realize that right away. Once I figured it out I just changed my favorites on my desktop to go to the client-side."

What is our primary use case?

I have remote users and I needed to be able to back up their stuff. So all my remote people have it. I needed a backup solution that was distributed, just like my workforce. It is 100 percent cloud-based, and fire-and-forget.

I have also set it up for a few of my high-profile users, which includes all of my management team. Because we're a hospital, there isn't a lot of data on the nurses' workstations, so there's no real need to back those up.

What is most valuable?

The fire-and-forget aspect is the most valuable part, and it sends me reports when I key them up. I also like the portal when I need to dig into it. It's all web-based, so when I'm working from home I can just log in and poke away on it.

Its Critical Server Insurance feature for protecting physical and virtual servers, including Windows, Linux, VMware, and Hyper-V is mandatory for me and it makes me happy. If I had a backup solution that didn't do that, it would not be a backup solution and would not be any good. For example, if something is just backing up Word documents and putting them somewhere, I can get a million products that do that, and half of them are free. But if I'm going to pay for a service, it's got to be automated. It's got to be able to hit all my infrastructure and back up everything I need backed up. If it can't do all that, then I've got no interest in it.

When it comes to the ease of management of Infrascale using the Infrascale Dashboard, it's pretty slick. You smash buttons and check the stuff you want to back up and you pick your deployment. Smash more buttons and it happens.

The speed of Infrascale's backup functionality is fine. I don't notice it running and it doesn't impact the performance of my machines.

What needs improvement?

They set me up as a vendor, not as a client. So sometimes I end up in the wrong portal and I'm doing vendor things instead of client things, and I didn't realize that right away. Once I figured it out I just changed my favorites on my desktop to go to the client-side. It confused me for about three days, when I was setting it up and deploying it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I picked up the Infrascale Platform around September or October of 2020, so I've been using it for about nine months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability seems fine to me. I've not had any issues with it yet.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaling is fairly straightforward. If I run out of space, I call them and they add more space, and they up my bill.

I don't know if I'm going to add any more clients to it, but that's not because I don't like the solution. It's just because I don't think I need to back up those machines.

How are customer service and technical support?

I haven't had to contact Infrascale's tech support.

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

I've used Unitrends and Datto and dozens of others. I've been doing this for 30 years. We used to have 12 or 13 local servers that we backed up and we're now down to two. I didn't need a backup solution that costs $20,000 a year anymore. Since everything is cloud-based for us, I was comfortable with moving to a small, distributed backup solution. I didn't need the big dogs anymore.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. I did my whole configuration in less than 30 minutes. That covered the base install, what I'm backing up, who it applies to, and what the general rules are for the backup. Picking the who, what, when, and where took about 30 minutes. Then the actual deployment took maybe 10 minutes per machine, if that. I set up 15 to 20 machines.

The Infrascale Dashboard is pretty and it works when it comes to centralized deployment and configuration of the solution. It's like driving a car. Most of the steering wheels are round. Most of the interfaces are cookie-cutter. They're all the same these days. They have what you need to do and you smash the buttons and you go. I didn't find anything missing or lacking.

My implementation strategy was to make sure I hit my managers, my servers, and my remote workers; to get those things covered. Anybody who is important, I put them on it. We're a small hospital, we've got 10 beds and 100 employees. I do run a couple of other backups on my servers and snuck this one in there as a tertiary. The more backups the better.

I'm a one-man IT shop. I do everything. I manage all vendor relationships that affect computers, our medical machines, and our firewalls, among other things, in any way. But Infrascale is a fire-and-forget solution. That's why I like it. I set it up and I walked away.

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

You get unlimited clients and buy a bucket of space. In addition to the standard fees there were setup fees.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at some of Datto's newer, smaller stuff. I had a conversation with Unitrends. But since my organization is so small, they wouldn't even return some calls.

Datto had more bells, whistles, and features than I needed. They have the one-touch, instant bootup of a server on a local appliance or the cloud. I didn't need that feature anymore and you pay a fairly good premium for that. That's why I went with Infrascale.

What other advice do I have?

I'm using SentinelOne for my antivirus malware stuff. They're one of the best in the industry. I don't have a lot of events where I need to pull from backup or recover. I just needed a system that I could use to back up my remote users. I'm not too concerned with  Infrascale's malware detection stuff. It was one of those fancy little things they throw-in. As far as the time it would take for a boot-ready failover, it would have zero effect on my operations. My stuff is 100 percent cloud-based, including my EMR, Outlook, and Teams. But I'm utilizing 95 percent of what Infrascale offers, for the package I bought.

Overall, I set it up, configured it, deployed it, and walked away from it. It just chugs away happily.

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.
Brian Lippold - PeerSpot reviewer
Network Administrator at BROCKPORT CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
An intuitive interface that provides successful backups without needing to tweak or do any adjusting
Pros and Cons
  • "It has an intuitive interface, and it provides us with successful backups without needing to tweak or do any adjusting. We just set it up and like their ad says, "It Just Works.""
  • "The one downside to Veeam is that they don't have a cloud product of their own."

What is our primary use case?

We're using Veeam for our on-prem backup of VMware vSphere environment and a couple of physical Microsoft servers. We're using version 10 of Backup & Replication.

What is most valuable?

It has an intuitive interface, and it provides us with successful backups without needing to tweak or do any adjusting. We just set it up and like their ad says, "It Just Works."

What needs improvement?

The one downside to Veeam is that they don't have a cloud product of their own. They partner with people and they support vSphere 7 and our cloud backup doesn't, and neither do many of the cloud backups that they partner with. I've looked at a couple of them. We partner with iland and they don't support version 7. They only support version 6.7.

Iland is our cloud backup and it utilizes Veeam. Veeam supports version 7 of vSphere, so they stay pretty up to date. They lag behind, but everyone lags behind a little bit. Once vSphere VMware does an upgrade, it takes a little while for places to support that upgrade. Of course, we always wait until our backup product supports it. But Veeam does a pretty decent job of keeping a short window, and they're able to support a fairly current version of VMware.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using this solution for two years.

How are customer service and support?

They don't have a dedicated support person for you, like ExaGrid, but their support is decent.

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

We've used Symantec, Veritas, and Arcserve years ago, and those interfaces were awful. Veeam is hands down the best interface that I've dealt with for a backup solution.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was very straightforward.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I wish Veeam had their own cloud product. We are looking at a company called Infrascale, and I've seen that they have a lot of benefits over the other solutions we've looked at. I also want to look at Unitrends again because it was a pretty good solution when we were using it, but it had some drive failures. Plus, their GUI was all over the place.

With Infrascale, you can boot up your VM in their DR site, just like I can in vSphere, and log into it and look at it. A majority of our VMs are Microsoft Server products, so we could log into it and test that the data is there. That would make it great for testing our backups, which is something we need to do because our New York state auditors require that. It would make it so easy to test the environment, and it's not so easy with Veeam. You need a VMware and a vSphere environment in place to bring those VMs up, but here you don't.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate them a 10 out of 10. They probably have the best product I've ever dealt with.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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