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Joe Carney
Service Manager at Computer Guild
Real User
Top 5
Drastically reduces the time spent on backup administration; we can manage every computer from one easy console
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature by far is the Virtual Disaster Recovery. On top of that is the bare-metal recovery. The recovery options that we have are great. We have tested the Virtual Disaster Recovery and the bare-metal recovery in just about any scenario you can think of. We have even restored bare metal, a full server, to a laptop, and had full functionality. It's just insane how well it works and how simple it is. It does most of the work for you."
  • "A better default view on my dashboard would be great. There is a lot of useless information there that it pulls up. They could present the dashboard slightly better, in terms of the extra information after the first five columns. The first five columns are awesome. After that, I don't care about the rest, and there are another seven things after that."

What is our primary use case?

We use MSP Backup & Recovery for just about any backup system, as long as it is running Windows or Windows Server.

We also have a couple of clients that have databases to back up. It does a very good job of automatically picking up an SQL or a MySQL database. If we need to restore just the database to another machine, although we don't have too many use cases for that, we have been able to do it when we tested it.

We use it for virtual machine backup and recovery as well. It does a great job of that. So even if a client has a host system and, say, one VM running on it for a special purpose, but they don't have the budget to pay for two backups for some reason, it does a great job of backing up the virtual machine itself, and it can be restored independently. 

How has it helped my organization?

A nice part about the SolarWinds backup and recovery solution is that I get to pick how it's deployed, and it's per-client. They really give you a lot of options with that. They pretty much have any feature that I, as an MSP, could want, and they let me choose how to provide their product to the client. I could cut out features if I wanted, which I don't, or I could add features as tiers to make a pricing bracket for myself to sell to them. I have one client that has a full, second dedicated server. It runs the virtual disaster recovery console, so it's constantly getting all the new backup images every day. If the first system goes down, the second system is able to bring it right back up.

I have other clients that just don't have that kind of budget. They simply need one workstation, not even a server, backed up. And they want me to be able to get either the files or the full image down from the cloud to put on a new machine. If the first one fails, they don't have the budget to have a disaster-ready plan where, if everything goes down, they have something running that takes it right back up. They have a spare computer onsite we would move things to. SolarWinds gives me the options to do both things very cleanly and to please those different levels of clients, without having to jump through too many hoops.

It does everything I want. I feel a lot better with it because I've already used it in the recovery scenarios and know it works and I've got guys testing things on a regular basis. The clients are happy because they know that I'm happy with the solution, because I'm usually going to suggest it over something else. It just makes everything so much easier on the backup. There used to be so much anxiety with other solutions because they were so much harder to manage.

This gives me a dashboard with a bunch of green, yellow, or red lights based on how things are going. I can put technicians into action based on things failing or not updating properly. And the few times we have had things go wrong, it has been easy to communicate with the client quickly and make them feel that we're very on top of it and aware of this process, just because of how the system is set up to work.

In general, we used to have to have that "backup conversation" with a client, every once in a while, to see how things were going. Now, because this is our baseline of how we expect things to work in a perfect world, even if they don't have this, it's made our backup documentation process easier. We tell the customer, "Hey, this is how it would work in a perfect world, but this is how your system works. If you want to get closer to where it could be, here are some things we can do." It has made it easier to talk to the clients about the options that they have.

Before, I didn't have a whole lot of confidence in the solutions we had, compared to the confidence I have in this. That lack of confidence in the products we were using made it harder for me to even have that conversation with the client. SolarWinds has just completely flipped that around, and that's true for other people inside our org as well. Other people were having the same grievances I was. It was hard to find a good backup solution where it didn't feel like we, as the MSP, were getting shafted in some way and we were having to charge the client a lot more because of that. It was especially true when you get into how a lot of vendors price their cloud backups compared to SolarWinds. It's absolutely crazy when you look at the cost comparison. So having that extra confidence and being happy with the solution has really changed the entire game and that's because of how it is priced and how they let us present the product itself.

The cost for the customer has gone down because we don't have them buying as much. We don't run a second recovery computer at many locations, unless the system is vital to every operation, because we have the Local SpeedVault that we use. It's either an onsite NAF or an external hard drive that stores all the stuff locally for the machine it would need to restore to. It gives us a really good, fast solution, compared to pulling it down from the cloud and messing with their bandwidth, especially if they have VoIP phones. The cost of investment has gone down. For a few niche customers that are much larger, the cost has gone up, but the return on investment, as far as data security goes, is much bigger. Previously, if I would have had them invest that much in another product, I wouldn't have felt good about it. But asking a larger client to put in a second server, so I can always push their stuff out right away if there is a failure, is a pretty big deal. By comparison, with Carbonite I actually had that set up, but when I tried to use the tool not only could I not get help using it properly, I never got the thing to work. With SolarWinds it was so simple, it felt almost too easy.

In addition, there is much less of a time investment from my techs, compared to before. That's the nicest thing it has changed in our everyday operation.

And for me, it has drastically reduced the amount of time spent on backup administration. We had people spread out on different odds and ends for different customers, for whatever solutions the customer wanted. We didn't have one solution. Between keeping things documented as well as I could, as a one-man show on that end, and actually being able to test stuff, if I could test stuff, and always trying to figure out the products, I'm probably saving a good 10 hours a month, if not a lot more just on that. If I had kept the solution we had before and grown to the number of customers I have now, I don't doubt it would have required another whole employee to manage things, with the amount of backup and the different solutions that we had to use. This one ended up bringing together any use cases somebody has, because most of our customers are running in a Windows environment. It fits their needs perfectly.

As for backup time on the computer and how long it takes to run, it's insane how much quicker it is compared to constantly having to check back and forth between what's going on on the computer and what I see in the cloud. Carbonite had poor solutions for looking at what was actively happening. With SolarWinds, after I install it on the computer, I never have to log in to the computer again, if I'm working at a higher level where I'm not interacting with customers. I can always pull up these backup systems remotely from the cloud. I pull up the system, it pulls up a webpage, and it gives me the percentage it's processing and how much data that actually is.

And if my local is synchronized with the cloud, I get to look at all this data in one place, compared to going back and forth between a local computer and maybe a website and one other thing. It's all in one spot. I can manage every computer from an easy console. It has probably saved 55 percent, if not more, of actual employee time. It's not something I've actually calculated, but I am the person who was spending that time before, and that's when we were supporting way fewer clients. We've grown this product with us as we've added people to it. I don't think we have many customers with an important local system that we haven't gotten to move to SolarWinds, unless they've outright refused to back up what they have.

The backups themselves seem to run much quicker, even though they're going to the cloud. It has two different phases. The time it takes to process the backup on the computer is quicker, especially if I've got my Local SpeedVault there, or my secondary system that is acting as a speed vault to bring it back up quickly if the system fails. Having either of those there, it gets done within minutes, most of the time. There have been very few times where I've seen it go above 30 minutes, and that's on a bigger system and when they had a lot of stuff going on that day. On my old system, I'd be watching this program take time to launch, run the backup job usually it would make the shadow copies first. This seems to do all that stuff so much quicker.

On the other end, it uploads to the cloud. If I did have a manual upload to the cloud before, or was using something like Carbonite, this seems to get to the cloud quicker than those. And if it's going to a local hard drive or a local secondary system that is a failover, it's stupid-quick. It's the difference between looking away for a little bit at another task while it runs, and it's done, compared to keeping another computer up or another page up with a loading bar for a bit, while I'm constantly going back to it and waiting for it to finish. That's the difference it's made in my every-day.

When it comes to recovery times, I'll give you two different scenarios. In the small scenarios, where just files or folders have been lost or deleted and we need to find them and restore them from within the last 30 days, it's gone from 10 minutes down to closer to seven or five minutes, because we know exactly where to go. Every one of our techs who is trained on this can get there super-easy. They're not having to memorize three systems.

The other end is the big scenarios. I've had an entire server go down or a natural disaster that has stopped the business from functioning, and I needed to get them up and running one way or another on a completely separate computer. I was only relying on my cloud data to do this. In those scenarios, it has reduced our recovery time by a minimum of 12 hours.

The difference is quite crazy. Before, even if I could get stuff down to another server, I had to install the server OS and get stuff running. I had nothing else that did a good virtual disaster recovery in the big cases. Virtual disaster recovery is so big because for any system, no matter how complicated it is, I can already have a server running that has Hyper-V installed, and I can get this thing up and running with Hyper-V within a matter of hours. Sometimes, it's less than an hour, depending on how quick my download is. Really, at that point, I'm limited to: Do I have local data I can source from as far as the backups go, or am I only going from the cloud? If it's only the cloud, my biggest limit is my bandwidth. Going full-blast at our shop, if we let that server do that, we can get somebody up and running in less than an hour, even if they have something like a 200-gigabyte setup. On a larger server with multiple terabytes, it does take longer. There's no way around that, unless they have that secondary system set up onsite. But for the people that do have that, I manually log in and start that secondary server up. I literally click a button and configure one or two things and I'm good to go. It's insane compared to before. I did not have a solution that came even close to that, a couple of years ago.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature by far is the Virtual Disaster Recovery. On top of that is the bare-metal recovery. The recovery options that we have are great. We have tested the Virtual Disaster Recovery and the bare-metal recovery in just about any scenario you can think of. We have even restored bare metal, a full server, to a laptop, and had full functionality. It's just insane how well it works and how simple it is. It does most of the work for you. I don't feel like I'm thinking too hard when I do this. I understand how the system works on the back-end, and what it needs to do, but I don't want to concentrate on that when I've got so many other things going on. This really does just so much of the legwork for me.

In terms of other types of recovery scenarios, it covers something as simple as somebody who has access to a shared folder and they delete a file on it because they weren't thinking about the fact that it's for everybody, not just for them. That's the scenario where, if it's within 30 days — because this has a 30-day history for backup — they call me and tell me that they deleted the file. I just ask them for either the file name or location or as much stuff as they can remember. I log in to the backup system from my console, get into the recovery part remotely — I don't even have to log in to the workstation hosts or the server host — I find yesterday's file and folder lists from a nice calendar view, and then I find the file that was there. I click it and restore it to the machine. I can restore it to a different spot if I want, but I usually just choose to restore it in place. I call them and confirm it's there. I've never had to take more than five minutes. It's quite nice for doing basic stuff like that.

A more extreme case was when we had somebody's entire system go down and we were able to virtually restore it, no issues whatsoever, getting it running offsite. We were able to link them up on a VPN until we got a temporary server there and fixed things, because they had a catastrophic failure. Luckily it was a simple server, so it wasn't too much work, but it was nice to keep them up, with their domain, in the meantime.

The most complicated recovery scenario is a host machine running multiple VMs, where we only have the host machine, itself, backed up. This is somebody who doesn't want to pay for the second server onsite, so our company has temporary servers. We're very physically close, meaning we can do a bare metal restore or a virtual disaster recovery and get everything they have up and running within about an hour after the failure. That is one where we have the file folder system state and VSS backup recovery running and, no matter what fails on their system, we can get it back out. Even if it's not full system failure, we can restore most things remotely. If it is full system failure, even if we have to bring it to a different site, we can get the data down within about an hour and then get it to wherever they need.

SolarWinds is very flexible and lets us do things the way we want to and we can do them quickly. For the clients that don't want to pay for that extra stuff to get it done quickly, we can explain to them that it's going to set things back this much. We really let our clients choose how they want to do things like this. So if they want a backup and recovery system, this one is very easy, because it's paid month-to-month and has very specific data caps and overage charges for those caps. It's super-easy to lay it out for any level of client, be it a one-person operation or a business that has 300 users and allows "bring your own computer."

Depending on what they have, we can give them an easy projection of what their investment in a system like that would be. There won't be any surprises such as, "Oh, we went over 1 terabyte, we now have to get to the 5 terabyte cap," which is something I had to deal with when I used Carbonite. Instead, if I go a gigabyte over the standard cap for a server or workstation, I pay a set amount of money that doesn't scale up or down. I know exactly what I can do with this solution for any client. I know exactly how much I can charge them and it's done monthly. It's easy for them to drop in and drop out on a monthly basis if they're nervous, because they're not dealing with that annual commitment that a lot of solutions shove at you, even if you get to pay monthly. That's a really big advantage in terms of peace of mind after it gets running.

And all of that is aside from the fact that they give you free archiving, which is really nice. Not many other solutions do that, cost-wise. I get to do as many archives of a system as I want and it doesn't count against the data for that user or customer.

It also gives me a single dashboard for all types of different sources it's backing up, such as databases, files and folders, system state, etc. It gives you your entire client list. It gives you a daily update of green, yellow, or red. Yellow means something kind of went wrong and maybe you should look at it, but wait. Red means something definitely went wrong and you need to take some sort of action to adjust. Green means every single thing worked properly, nothing had any errors.

I get a daily email that I'm able to integrate into my ticket system. The tickets come in only if anything fails. If something fails, my technicians get details of exactly what failed with an error code. And if I go into the console and look at the error itself, it gives me details and a resource center, from SolarWinds, where I can look it up. I can Google from there and figure it out.

That kind of information has made our backup operations much smoother, especially because the few times the Help articles haven't answered something for us, support has eventually gotten it to work, even if it seemed like a niche situation where we've got five other clients deployed like this yet one of them is having this really odd issue. SolarWinds support has been able to dig down. I have sent them logs and they've looked through them — hundreds of lines. They highlighted one, showed me what was wrong, told me what to fix, and it worked after that.

What needs improvement?

A better default view on my dashboard would be great. There is a lot of useless information there that it pulls up. They could present the dashboard slightly better, in terms of the extra information after the first five columns. The first five columns are awesome. After that, I don't care about the rest, and there are another seven things after that. You can customize it, and I do have my own customized dashboard, but it doesn't give me any option to make that the default view.

They could work a little bit on how they present you with your landing page. The first time I log in to this from any login window, I want a page that's a little bit more useful. This one gives me great info as to if my backup is good, up and running, or if it's had a certain number of errors. But after that, it tells me stuff like my product, which I do all-in for all our customers, so I don't care. It tells me my profile and I usually do a manual setup for most customers that's documented on my documentation system, which is also with SolarWinds. So I don't care about my profile version. All that stuff which is extra, that I really don't care about, is on this default view, and they don't let me save my custom view as my landing page. I have to go and find it again. It's deep down inside a menu at the very bottom and I can't make it go anywhere else.

Another point to be aware of is that the initial cloud backup, if you've got more than a terabyte of data, can take quite some time, because it's completely dependent on the customer's internet speed. That is one thing that we have run into. When I asked SolarWinds about that they noted they already have a solution for that.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Since deploying it, there has only been one weekend where there was a stability issue, and that only caused a problem for one of our 24 clients who are on the solution. It cleared up the next day.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability has been nice. I have had a system grow with this and I've had no issues. I'm not going to pretend that I've got a customer that has nine different servers or that I have 50 clients. But when I've had a single host server scale up its usage, this has handled it just fine. I've also scaled up the number of customers I have on the system. Both have been easy to work with. Scaling up the number of customers I support on my end has been easy, and scaling up the load on an individual host, running a large backup, has also been easy.

We're actually making a large push with most customers, if they have a system that requires it, to use something like this. Our criteria for them "requiring it" is that they have some sort of locally hosted program that is accessed by people at the business and that it's required for everyday use. If we've got somebody running QuickBooks off of a workstation, and they're really worried about backup, the workstation backup is priced well enough that it's worth having that always-up availability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I generally don't go to tech support until I have a really serious issue. But the times I have gone to tech support, they have given me good information. Even if it didn't directly solve my issue, it helped me to solve that issue and it was good info to have in the first place. If they needed to escalate the ticket, they did so properly and fairly quickly, if not quickly enough in all cases. It's definitely better than a lot of other tech support I've dealt with.

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

We have been using SolarWinds MSP Backup & Recovery since the middle of 2018, when we started to need a recovery solution that was a bit better than what we had. Before we were using a custom solution of saving Windows backups to the cloud and to a local device. We had options there for bare-metal there and file recovery, but nothing that was overly reliable or easy to test.

How was the initial setup?

I have found the initial setup to be incredibly straightforward, especially because of the tools it provides you with. There are "how-to's" everywhere. I'm logged in to my dashboard right now. My name is up in the top, right-hand corner. There's a big question mark right by my name. I click on it and I immediately have two big sections: Help and Resources. Help has all the manuals, how it works, and a live chat if I get stuck. Resources has my sales guide, my downloads for any product I need, and my About The Product section.

Any info I need about these products is immediately available, just like most of SolarWinds' other products. They do fairly decent documentation or, if they've bought the product, they keep the documentation and move it over to their systems pretty well. And they give me the live chat when I get stuck, which has been helpful.

Setting it up generally takes me about 10 minutes, even if the system is large and complex. It's 15 minutes, tops, if I am dealing with it taking a long time to spin up or download something.

Because I do the training on this in our company, for the most part, I have already set up training for the standard operating procedure for deploying this backup. It's a four-minute video with some notes that the techs can use if they get stuck. It shows the entire process, from creating the customer inside SolarWinds, to adding the device, and getting on the device and deploying the backup itself. The nice part is, if there's a person who needs to work on the computer — because you can do this on workstations that people need to use and it works super-great — we just download it and install it really quickly. Because it becomes available in the cloud to configure, all my configuration can be done remotely without interrupting a local user.

To deploy the solution for one customer, it requires just one person. With all the customers we currently have on this, about 24 customers, I've got three techs handling it, including checking on the system, running restorations on a quarterly basis, and physically testing those restorations. If I didn't have to run the restorations, and that's something our company just chooses to do, I would only need one person for this whole thing. As it is, it's me and two other techs, one who is a level-2 and one who is a level-3.

What was our ROI?

It's a set price for servers and workstations, so we're able to charge our clients an amount that is a fixed percentage above our cost.

The previous backup and recovery methods cost so much that we would mark up our cost to the client quite a bit less, in comparison. For example, with Carbonite, we were probably only marking it up a fraction of the markup we can charge now and, when I needed Carbonite to work, it didn't. We want to treat our customers right. We have really good relationships with them. We know a lot of them, even though we have so many, and we don't want to feel like we're doing them wrong. At the same time we have to pay our guys.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had previously tried out using Carbonite for Windows and Windows Server backups, but we were getting very poor recovery results. The backup always gave a green light, but when we actually went to recover in tests or real-world scenarios, we were missing stuff. And there was not much help or explanation as to why, if we reached out to support. That went really poorly. We made a hardcore switched to MSP Backup & Recovery after. Because it's able, for a really good price, to recover in just about every scenario — even crazy ones, in the real world and in testing — we switched over to this and just didn't look back. If it's running Windows Server or Windows 10 or Windows 8, etc., we're going to use this to back it up if the client needs a backup.

Before I licensed SolarWinds, I looked into Datto and Veeam. The differences between those solutions and SolarWinds MSP were commitment and pricing. The features were there. I'm not going to say that the products aren't as good, but they were not priced competitively when I consider my customer base. 

I'm sure it is much different with somebody who has super-large organizations that they support. I would guess that they would end up going with Veeam, because Veeam is, honestly, a good solution. But when it has to account for anybody, from the small, one person operation, to the organization that has a domain and 300 users on it, Veeam doesn't work for me because I can't price it well for everybody. That's especially true when it comes to including the cloud backup solution. I liked Veeam as a solution but I did not like Veeam's pricing, comparatively, especially when I added cloud. The big differentiation was that cloud is automatically included with SolarWinds' solution. Not only that, but the cloud and the cost of using the software is all bundled together. If I go over the set amount of cloud storage, I pay an amount per gigabyte, so I can gauge that really easily. 

On top of that, when it comes to the pricing structure, SolarWinds does things that it seems would be counterintuitive to their making money, and that was impressive to me, because I'm used to most vendors doing the whole "cash grab" thing. First, they have incredible deduping. If duplicate files on the system get uploaded, they make one source file that gets uploaded and it links back to the multiple spots that it was copied from. This saves time and this also saves money. It's crazy that it works this well. These are scenarios where I was worried about restoring them, at first. I thought, "It doesn't seem like all the data is there; it's only backing up one-third of the total storage on the server." But no, it all worked perfectly. Everything is there in the full amount. So they even reduce the amount of money they could charge you for data overages by reducing the amount of data that they put on their servers.

With Datto and Veeam, it felt like I was paying for the software, and that once I got the software I would have to figure out the rest myself. With SolarWinds MSP, it felt more like I was being given a solution. Everything feels like it's tailored and included. With the other systems, I really felt like I was on my own. Datto's prices were not so great, so I went away from them really quickly and looked at Veeam. The impression I got from Veeam was, "Hey, we're Veeam, we've been around forever. Everybody knows us. Figure out how to use it." And if I wanted cloud storage it was so much extra. And it wasn't per gigabyte. I really didn't like the pricing structure and model they went with. Because it felt like I was paying for the software and everything else was an afterthought, something like SolarWinds, where the software is bundled with the cloud storage was really nice for me.

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson I've learned from using MSP Backup & Recovery is that there are options out there that I can be confident in, and I don't feel like I have to break a customer's bank to offer them. It's a really big deal for us to be able to do that. Having tested it and used it at this level, it's changed so much how we view what can be done, for keeping even our small customers' data safe. Before, it felt like I had to do a lot of extra things for the smaller places, because they couldn't afford the solutions that were better. Now I have something that I can trust to just do that for them. And it's so easy to maintain that it's really hard to look back and see that we were using other stuff before.

My advice would be to understand that the features are there. Price it out, compared to the other solutions. Because they give you such clear-cut pricing with the system itself, it's really hard, when you get down to dollar and cents, for anybody else to compete, in my opinion. The only use case where that changes is maybe where many terabytes or petabytes of data are included, and you do not need a cloud solution. In that case your cloud solution is some sort of data center or solution you've set up yourself. If you need to back up to the cloud, and this goes for any size organization, and a data center is not an option, SolarWinds is something you have to consider. At least to price it out, especially considering you're never under any commitment, even if you want to try it for a month on one system. The worst case would be that you would get charged for a month of trying it out. 

What I did for us, beforehand, was that I tested how it worked on our systems. The R&D for that, for researching that and figuring it out, is $10 on a workstation, or $50 for that one month. How are you going to compare that to anything else, where you have to sign a contract? You might get a trial, but it's unlikely that you are going to be able to figure everything out in that time. It's so much easier to work with, in all aspects that I can think of, specifically as an MSP. It's not that I think this is the solution for everybody, but for MSPs that don't support incredibly large organizations, this is perfect. It is exactly the solution that I wish I had found years ago.

When it comes to resource and bandwidth use in terms of backup recovery, for the most part I have not yet run into an issue. The one thing I have seen is a light blip on the VoIP. One time, when I was new to this and I restored a grouping of folders for a customer, while it was pushing stuff down we had some reduced phone quality. That download was taking up some of their VoIP. People could hear them fine but they were getting some static. 

What I found out is that there's an option to limit bandwidth during the day. For every customer now, when I install the product, I just do a quick audit of their internet speed. Based on what they can get, I give the download and the upload a percentage of that, so that it won't affect other systems. The bandwidth usage is completely customizable. If you want it to, it'll use your whole connection to get something important, and you can change that on the fly. It's not like it takes time for those settings to push down. But if you want good, everyday operations, you just limit it to a healthy percentage of the bandwidth during the day, and you're good to go.

I am not using it to sell the automated recovery testing and I do not like that feature. I believe it has more of a risk for a false positive than anything. I have done the testing internally up until now with a team. When we have issues, we work on it as a group. We're all very aware of some of the pain points of restorations. One of those pain points is that, sometimes, that virtual disaster recovery is so good that even if I had a technician that did not configure a backup properly, if an error was made on our end, I don't get to see it because the virtual machine will spin up almost no matter what, Windows 10 and past. This system is that good. Even if I have a messed up computer that got backed up, it will still run and work and I've got to do a little bit more digging to figure out if it has an issue.

I had exactly that happen; not in a real-world scenario, but when our team was testing. I could have just said, "Okay, I'm going to do recovery testing and give you a green light when the VM turns on." It can do that. This system is so great that it can turn almost any VM on. This is more of a personal philosophy for how our company runs stuff, as opposed to the viability of the tool itself. SolarWinds does the most that it can really do, without manual interaction from a human being. It does a good image test to see if all your stuff is there and if the VM turned on. But if you do that and it allows you to become complacent, you could miss backing up the drive and never know it. We actually almost had that happen and it might have if we didn't do our own recovery testing and check for stuff like that.

Overall, I would give SolarWinds MSP Backup & Recovery a good 10 out of 10. There is not another product in the SolarWinds line of products that I'm happier with. This is the best of what they have, and I use almost every product they have, except their antivirus.

The highlights of this solution are the way that they price it, how easy it is to use, and how customizable it is. I get to choose exactly how I want to use it, since it comes, default, with every feature. I get to choose how I present it to customers, if I want to do that. This is a good product that's really fair, and it's not complicated.

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.
Director of Technology at a financial services firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Reliable, easy to automate tasks, good PowerShell support
Pros and Cons
  • "We have a great success rate for backups with Rubrik and because of the ease of automating tasks, we also run periodical restores to check the quality of the backups."
  • "I would love to be able to just get from the dashboard to a file that I need, or a system that I need."

What is our primary use case?

We are a financial company and we have redundant data centers, with a VMware Metro Cluster staged between the two locations. We have Rubrik running in our data center and it is used for backing up our on-premises infrastructure.

We keep the backup of the environment on-premises for two weeks, just to be able to restore in case we lose or corrupt part of the virtual infrastructure. We also send copies of some of the data into the cloud for long-term archiving because we're under a regulatory requirement to store certain parts of the business data for up to seven years.

At this point, our environment is probably close to 90% virtual. We use physical servers for market data and essentially, there is nothing to back up on those systems because there's no data that's worth saving there. Should one of these servers fail, we just put a new one in place. It would be deployed, including the operating system, and it would start processing market data for us. We consider these as compute nodes and there is no persistent data on them.

We are highly virtualized, so Rubrik is used to back most of the VMs up. We are running VMware ESXi for our VMs, and application-wise, we are a Microsoft shop so we backup SQL Server, Exchange Server, and Microsoft file shares. We also back up a lot of business data, which is contained outside of that server.

How has it helped my organization?

The biggest impact that Rubrik has is that it allows us to have the reliance on the backup, knowing that the data is there and that the ability to restore is there. It provided the safety net we needed to deploy faster. This is because it played a great role in convincing developers and operations to do rapid releases, as opposed to doing it the old way where we didn't have reliable backups. It meant that we had to wrap all the releases in the solid recovery plan in addition to just the rollout. Now, we have the confidence in the backup and can release faster.

Rubrik has saved us time with managing backups in general. For recovery testing, the SLA policies have greatly reduced the time that we have to babysit backups. This is simply because Rubrik put thought into designing their system the right way. Instead of adding a server by creating jobs and creating schedules on top of the jobs, you're just dropping them into an SLA and all of the legwork is done for you, so adding the systems is easier.

The fact that they're SLAs, I don't need to go through the job log and analyze it to figure out why there was a job failure. Similarly, I don't need to look into the impact of the failure. This is because I know that if the machine is protected within SLA guidelines, I will get an alert in case of a problem with a machine. In this case, it means that I need to act and somebody needs to take a look at it. Essentially, it has reduced a lot of repetitive babysitting steps that don't really produce any business value.

We have never had a problem such that Rubrik has saved us downtime. But, it's certainly a great thing to have this additional safety net, which is a reliable backup solution. Everything we have is redundant, so even there is a hardware failure, another piece of hardware kicks in. We won't rely on Rubrik specifically for disaster recovery, but we do rely on it for business continuity. If for whatever reason, both of our data centers lose power or lose internet, or are inaccessible, then Rubrik will help us rebuild the environment. What we don't rely on it for is daily disaster recovery.

As we moved away from our previous solutions, using Rubrik has improved our overall efficiency. These days, we rarely have to do anything with the systems. Most of the time when we have to resolve an issue with the backup it's because the target system has become unavailable or has been taken offline for maintenance. It may also be the case that we have another restore request. These are the only two reasons that a restore might be delayed. It is not the same as we had with NetBackup, where we had to update the agent and software. We don't have to do anything of that nature. Backup is now pretty much gone from our weekly schedule.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are reliability and programmability. We have a great success rate for backups with Rubrik and because of the ease of automating tasks, we also run periodical restores to check the quality of the backups.

Rubrik makes it really simple to automate the restore task, which is important because I don't care about the backup. I care about the restores, and Rubrik did a great job of assuring restore reliability.

Our time spent on recovery testing has improved simply because we're able to automate it. It saves us between two and four hours per week, whether it is simply adding a new machine or going through the logs and seeing what failed.

We don't do recovery on a daily or weekly basis. We receive between two and four recovery requests per month. Because it is mostly manual stuff, it is comparable to the old system if we're talking about restoring something within a two-week timeframe when it's still on disk. However, if we're talking about restoring from the cloud versus restore from tape, the timeframes are not even on the same level. This is simply because we use the offsite storage for tapes, so sometimes the restore task from tape will take weeks.

The web interface is easy to navigate and pleasant to look at.

The SLA-based policy has simplified our data protection operations tremendously. It goes back to caring about restores instead of backups, and the fact that it allows me to easily drop systems into the SLAs greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to set up the system for backup.

It allows me to create a protection policy and while it's running, I know that the systems that I've assigned to that policy are being protected accordingly. If that is not happening then I get an alert or a notification telling me that the systems are outside of the protection horizon. It's a great approach.

The archival functionality is impressive. Just by eliminating reliance on the tape technology, it's greatly improved the rate of successful restores that we were able to perform. In two and a half years, I can't remember a case where we couldn't locate data that was backed up using Rubrik.

We have not needed to use the ransomware recovery function but I know that Rubrik backups are essentially immutable. Even if an intrusion does happen, we'll be able to restore the data quickly.

I have used the rapid restore functionality and I noticed that on many occasions, I was able to mount a virtual machine or database on the Rubrik cluster itself. So, I know its high-speed connectivity options are excellent and support VMware well.

With the previous version, we had to do some Python scripting because the API was better and more developed than the PowerShell support. However, with the new version, it seems that PowerShell covers all of the functionality that we need, which is great, especially because we are a Windows shop.

The restore success rate is very good. I don't care so much about improving the time spent on the resource. Rather, it's the success rate. At this point, we have a 100% success rate, which was definitely not the case with any prior system that I've used.

What needs improvement?

I would love to be able to just get from the dashboard to a file that I need, or a system that I need. I believe that right now, there's the ability to search by system name, and then it will take you to the system. It would be great if I can reduce the number of clicks that I need to take in order to do a restore, or maybe to a system and the file, or maybe just directly to the file. It would be like continuous integration with PowerShell.

As we go into the Cloud in addition to Polaris, I would love to see a future where I can back up pieces of the Cloud, perhaps ARM templates or Azure Active Directories from the Cloud to on-prem. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but just as the Cloud becomes more popular and used on a daily basis, I would love to have just a single pane of glass to provide visibility into the backups.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Rubrik for approximately three and a half years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In addition to just great recovery rates, we haven't had any unforeseen outages with Rubrik itself, due to hardware failure or anything like that. Even the Rubrik software upgrades are non-disruptive in the sense that because they're multiple nodes in the chassis as the upgrade happens, Rubrik never actually goes down and can continue doing the backups on the nodes that are not directly affected by the upgrade.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a well-designed product, so adding more space is as easy as adding another chassis. It is great functionality because adding more storage is like adding more bandwidth and more connectivity. That's a great design.

We are a fairly small organization, so probably five to six people have access, and there are probably three or four who use it. We centralize Rubrik to our IT systems and IT help desk, so it's all managed internally. There is enough flexibility to extend it to developers and give certain people rights to certain restores. It's just that the workload is so light that it doesn't make sense for us to constantly keep training users on how to operate it. By the time they need to perform a restore, they'll forget it all and have to come back to the help desk anyway.

If in the next version of Rubrik they announce new ways to back up Azure or Office 365, I would jump on the offer. The main driver for us to purchase additional Rubrik units would be if we were constrained on storage. As of right now, we have sized it correctly so we have plenty of storage to satisfy the SLAs for the data that they need to store in-house.

If our data consumption or data storage requirements increase, and we suddenly need more storage for data protection, we will look into adding units. At this point, we are properly sized for the performance.

How are customer service and technical support?

Our experience with technical support has been great. We had a couple of questions in the beginning, so we interacted about two and a half years ago. You would email them and would get somebody from there, without having to exchange many emails.

They will do the upgrades for you, so lately, probably over the past year, the only interaction we have had with support is when we needed to do an upgrade. It's a great experience where you just open up a support ticket with them, they open up the secure remote channel, and they come in to complete the upgrade.

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

Prior to Rubrik, we used Veritas NetBackup for the backup and CommVault for the tape system. We switched to Rubrik because our success rate was poor. The restore rate was horrendous, especially when we had to go to the tape system. it was hovering around a 75% success rate.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is extremely straightforward. We went through the exercises and were provided configuration details that were required from us. I think that they were as simple as supplying IP configuration information. Then, once they assembled all of the racks and wires, the Rubrik technician showed up, configured the system, and it was all done in probably less than 20 hours in total.

Because we're virtual, it meant that our implementation strategy was simple. Essentially, once the Rubrik system had been configured, all we had to do was to point it to VMware vSphere vCenter servers and from there, it automatically picked up all of the virtual machines that we had. Then, it was just a question of assigning them to SLAs and removing them from the old backup system. That final piece is not included in the 20 hours because 20 hours was just to get the Rubrik running. But, it was extremely easy to integrate.

What about the implementation team?

We worked directly with Rubrik to help with the deployment.

For maintenance, you really don't need more than two persons, and that's for redundancy purposes. You can have a single person manage terabytes of backups.

What was our ROI?

By now, we have probably made the money back in reduced support costs. Beyond that, we don't value this type of product by how much money it produces. Simply, the compliance requirements come with steep fines and other repercussions if they are not adhered to. Because this product gives us assurance in our ability to restore data if needed, it satisfies our compliance requirements.

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

You get what you pay for. Rubrik was probably the most expensive solution but in the long run, it's justified by the value of the data that it protects. We were able to make a case that it's a good investment.

They have a very straightforward pricing model.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated a couple of other solutions, but Rubrik offered the best appliance. We looked at products from Veeam and the present solutions from Veritas and others, but it looked like Rubrik was the most modern solution.

What other advice do I have?

I am familiar with the predictive search but we're not employing it. Usually, when we need to restore, we have to restore the whole machine or we know the location of the file or data that was deleted.

We've considered using the Polaris SaaS-based framework as we're looking into leveraging the cloud a little bit more. Polaris is definitely on our radar, but we're not using it in our day-to-day operations.

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.
Datacenter Engineer at Al Ittefaq Steel Products Company
Real User
Top 20
Great automation and very good data deduplication but lacks good reporting
Pros and Cons
  • "Data Protector is very good at automation. From the time of the backup, verification, and copy to tape, it is very good. I don't need to touch it, it will do it by itself."
  • "If you compare the solution with the same specific features and enhancements on another solution, Data Protector is expensive. This is especially true when compared to, for example, Veeam."

What is our primary use case?

 We primarily use the solution for data backups.

What is most valuable?

On the interface level of managing the backup, especially the history of the files that we are backing up, Data Protector is pretty good.

Implementation is pretty easy, depending on the number of clients.

The data deduplication is great.

The solution offers easy device detection. It's great for detecting devices you attach to the network. It doesn't matter if it's HPE StoreOnce or Data Domain, this solution will pick it up.

The catalog if very complete. Even if your file is eight years old, you'll be able to see it there.

Data Protector is very good at automation. From the time of the backup, verification, and copy to tape, it is very good. I don't need to touch it, it will do it by itself. 

What needs improvement?

It's annoying that you actually have to pay for the deduplication feature in order to use it.

Starting at around 2010, they haven't really changed their interface or added many new features. The console is dated. they need to make it more modern, add colours and better UI to make it more user friendly and attractive.

If you compare the solution with the same specific features and enhancements on another solution, Data Protector is expensive. This is especially true when compared to, for example, Veeam.

They are starting to create a cloud version of the Data Protector. The thing is, it's very hard to convince an administrator like me to switch to it, due to the fact that they are basically a hardware designed software. It was designed by a hardware engineer, that's why it looks and feels and operates like hardware. To change it to a software doesn't sit right. In comparison, when you use Veeam, you feel like you are managing a cloud. You feel that you are managing something on the top. When you're using Micro Focus Data Protector, on the other hand, you feel that you are directly communicating with the device. It's just as bumpy and not as satisfying as compared to Veem, which is compact and light.

Every time there is a backup running, I cannot predict anything, so I cannot say if it will back up the first time. Data Protector has a status bar. You need to wait and see.

Their flexibility of their reporting needs improvement. You cannot save. You need to copy/paste. It may have appeared flexible in the 1990s, however, it's 2020 now. We need a flexible reporting of all that is happening on the Data Protector. We don't need to focus too much on the data, we need to focus on the maintenance of the machine. There needs to be a focus on analytical reports. We need answers to questions like: "Am I going to lose capacity?" "Do I still have enough space?" "Do I still have enough capacity for the cloud?" Data Protector should analyze these things for you, and alert you if you need to increase capacity.  

The solution needs more mobile capabilities. If I cannot see your product on my mobile, you're not worth considering. Nowadays, that's a basic requirement for an administrator.

There is no place in the world that is not connected to the internet or IoT. There is a lot to be done that the competitors are already doing for the last four years. 

The solution needs to change their support agreement. It was changed from traditional to capacity. That means the product is now only targeting big companies. As it stands now, they cannot really market to smaller organizations because their capacity is not that much. Licensing should be flexible for small businesses all the way up to enterprise-level businesses.

Once you perform a backup for a huge amount of data, you cannot browse it. You cannot browse a specific characteristic of that data on the database in order to find a file. If the file is large, you need to restore it. With Veem, you can view it even if it's inside the archive. It gives you the assurance it's actually there. The solution needs to have a good explorer for administrators. I need to have the flexibility of viewing where I put my data. When it is going to the tape, the tape is totally encrypted. You need to restore it before you know what is inside. It's a big waste of time.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since 2007. It's been well over a decade.

How are customer service and technical support?

When the Micro Focus acquired this product, they changed the way it was supported. Before, when HP was doing it, technical questions were handled by after-sales support. Usually, they would take three days, at the minimum, to get help if you have of any trouble. 

The good thing about Data Protector is that they now have levels of support. They have three levels and you can request it personally. Basically, if the first agent doesn't detect your problem or solve the issue, the customer can take the initiative to say to the agent, "Now, we want to go level two". The agent does not make that call for the customer. 

As of just this year, technical support has really stepped up their game. They've changed. They're amazing.

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

We have had backup solutions before, with another vendor, before we started with this solution in 2007

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is mostly straightforward. An example of a complex installation for me, would be Microsoft Exchange. Micro Focus Data Protector is still a bit of a gray area, but it's easier. It's not modular. You always need to copy the whole SAN in order for you to achieve success.

It's an easy deployment. It's a basic server from the client to the device. It's a little bit of a two-step pattern compared to the Symantec Back Exec deployment, which is the simplest way to install your backup solution. With Data Protector, there are a few additional steps. That said, implementation is easy once you know what you're doing.

The length of time it takes to deploy is approximately 45 minutes for a single server. With clustering, it might take two hours. Now with SAN storage, it might take you a half-day, due to the configuration.

Give me a basic set up, and I can do it within 30 to 45 minutes. I can set the servers up, install the binary, have it detect the media, and then I can deploy the agent and backup any machine.

I don't have the storage inside my server, the storage is connected somewhere else. Connecting the configuration, depending on how I presented the device to the Data Protector, could be 30 minutes to half a day.

For maintenance, ideally, one site should have three engineers. However, in our environment, I am the only backup administrator for five sites. I would say that's understaffed for the solution.

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

Recently, we've seen a huge improvement in the licensing team. They're now phenomenal.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I've also looked at Veem and have downloaded both solutions for free.

What other advice do I have?

We have a service level agreement with Micro Focus.

I cannot say that Data Protector is the perfect tool for my aim. Data Protector is losing to the competition day by day due to the fact that there are so many other features on the market. Data Protector doesn't need to copy their competition, but they at least have to have an offering that's equivalent. Especially now, looking at the console, there's been no money put into updates or UI, especially if you compare it from 2007 until the present day.

The technology itself is proven and it is working fine. 

I have a lot of machines, so I have room to play with the solution. Data Protector is great, however, after using Veem, I can see now where it could be improved. I'd rate it overall seven out of ten. If Data Protector offered a cloud version with better graphical interfaces, plus more analytics and reporting, I'd give it higher marks.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Senior Software Manager/Chief at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10
Easy to setup and use, this is a flexible, viable, and inexpensive alternative to familiar solutions
Pros and Cons
  • "It is flexible."
  • "It is affordable."
  • "It is easy-to-use."
  • "The interface might be improved, but the interface of every product might be improved."

What is our primary use case?

I use it for my VM (Virtual Machine) backups. I logged into it, created myself an account, and then I created my backup jobs. Then I can run the jobs to do the backups when I want. I can schedule it to run when it is convenient — say at 10 o'clock at night — or I can say run it right now, or whatever. It is pretty intuitive in that sense. Pretty easy to set up and use.  

What is most valuable?

What I like most about it is their solution runs either on Windows or Linux or even on something like Synology. Nakivo is versatile and able to work with other systems.  

The lack of that capability is one of the big reasons that I do not like Veeam. Veeam is strictly a Windows solution. That is a big negative in my opinion. Plus Veeam is good — it is not that it is not good, it works great — but it is also expensive.  

What needs improvement?

I do not know that I see a lot that needs to be improved with Nakivo. It seems maybe that the interface could be a little bit better, but it is what it is. You can always improve on the interface on anything.  

For me, I just work with the product in a simple way. For instance, I have not even looked into whether you can hook it up with Active Directory which may be helpful if you are going to add different users and give them the capability to back up or do certain other tasks. You might be able to do that already now. I just have not had the need or opportunity to look into it. If it is not there it is the type of thing that might be added.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Nakivo for a couple of years on-and-off.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability and performance can depend on how many VMs you have and the volume of what you are backing up. I think I set it up for one customer in their lab and they had 50 or 60 VMs running and set it up to kickoff at say at 10 o'clock at night and do the backup. Nakivo just does its thing on schedule. Here when I back it up, when I back up my Atlassian tools, I will back up three of those VMs at one time. 

So it is pretty stable when it comes to carrying out what it is supposed to do. Again, it depends on how fast your network is, how many transporters you have, and where you are backing it up to. Although I do not do it myself, Nakivo has the capability to back up directly to Amazon S3 if you choose to do that. The flexibility for working in various environments is really valuable, and in my case it saves money.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think the scalability of the product is good. All you have to do is basically just install more transporters. If you only got one transporter installed and you are trying to back up 100 VMs at the same time, you are pushing everything through one little teeny pipe, but if you have more transporters, then it will actually use all of those and the backups and restores can happen faster.  

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not really used technical support because I have not had any issues or problems with the product. It is very easy to set up and very straightforward to use. I can not vouch for that fact on Windows because I have never tried it on Windows. I choose not to do that. I run everything on Linux and I like that better.  

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

I have used other solutions and I wound up sticking with Nakivo because it is more versatile and it is able to work with systems other than Microsoft. You can get it running in many different ways. I am just running the previous build VM, but I also have a 12 terabytes Synology NAS unit here. I can actually install it directly on that and not even have to create a virtual machine. It runs great without any extra setup. So I am using Nakivo for versatility, mostly.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup and installation are very straightforward. It depends on how many transporters you want to install. You can install more than one transporter. If you are doing lots of backups, multiple transporters will make it go faster. In my case, I do not need that. I have actually tried using multiple transporters at customer sites and it is a functional solution.  

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

I just use the free version — if you will — it is kind of free. You can buy a one-time perpetual license, or you can do subscription-based leasing, or you can do it based on how many VMs you want to back up. If you want to only buy it for 50 VMs, then you only buy it for 50 VMs. You have a lot of different options when it comes to pricing and the pricing models are pretty flexible and affordable.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have tried Veeam and I have tried a few others. I forget their names. Nakivo just seems simpler to me. It is simple to use. I like the fact that I do not have to have a Windows license to run it like I would with other products like Veeam. That is just another something that I have to pay for and maintain on top of what I already have. Nakivo is a work-around for that situation.  

What other advice do I have?

I like the product because it is doing exactly what I need it to do, and that is reliably backing up my VM. I have actually had to restore some VMs. Sometimes the power just goes off here and something will get corrupted and it works well for that. It has been reliable in restoring exactly what I needed to restore.  

Based on my experience, the advice I would give to people considering it is to go for it. I think it is a great product. But there is a problem with customers — especially government customers — resisting adopting anything new. They get hung up on one thing and they like to stick with it. They buy a license and they just have it set in their minds that they do not want to try anything else, even though the solution they have might be costing them a fortune. Getting them to adopt a change can be difficult.  

It is like when someone is committed to Cisco. I tell government customers not to buy Cisco under any circumstances. I tell them just to never get involved with it. Then they will complain and say that Cisco is all that they know. Arista beats the hell out of Cisco and it uses the same interface. Guys who know how to use Cisco already will not have to go to school at all to learn how to use Arista, and it ends up being half the price. My complaint about Cisco is not that it does not work. It depends on what you are doing. But in my opinion, Cisco solutions just do not have the necessary throughput for certain situations.  

I have tried to get a lot of clients to buy this and show them the advantages. Some of them just say they already have a license for something else and they want to stick with it. People need to be open to the advantages of considering other products and how that can make a change in their efficiency and their bottom line.  

On a scale from one to ten (where one is the worst and ten is the best), I would rate Nakivo as a nine-out-of-ten. I would never give anything a ten.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Senior Storage Architect at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
MSP
Top 20
Extremely scalable with great GUI and easy to use
Pros and Cons
  • "Their GUI has improved quite a bit. It's made the solution a lot simpler and less complex."
  • "They took some of the funding off of it for a while. Therefore, instead of being a market leader, they took their position for granted. Then some competitors developed new bells and whistles that they advertise, and due to that lag a few years ago, there are not the resources to explain the differences."

What is our primary use case?

Our clients use it for consolidated backup and mostly for guests on the VM.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution significantly improves a client's restoration times. They also do complete backups now. Some of the things clients used before couldn't really provide complete backups. In that sense, it's been great for organizations.

What is most valuable?

The solution actually does a lot. It's really powerful. The value of Spectrum Protect is it does everything. It does tape and it does disk. It's easy to migrate. You don't need any other software. It's basically an all-in-one solution, which is its most valuable aspect.

Their GUI has improved quite a bit. It's made the solution a lot simpler and less complex.

What needs improvement?

The solution has a Spectrum Protect Plus product, which is more for Windows-only VM. However, it doesn't really do tape. It requires IBM to do things to the Cloud, which adds costs. They're starting to integrate the products together. That said, right now, it's like two implementations, it's not one product.

We've tried to sell Protect Plus from time to time, however, then you need Protect if you want to do tape. It's kind of clunky. Once they integrate the products, it will be pretty powerful.

Spectrum Protect is still an industry-leading product across multiple operating systems. It still runs best on an AIX server and does remember Windows or Linux. The install base is more AIX as far as hosts because the AIX server is more powerful.

They should be able to integrate the products so that you don't have to do two system installs.

The solution should have a better way to deal with the system state files in Windows. They should do that better where it doesn't try to walk the file system and you have to use in image mode.

The experienced people still use the CLI. You shouldn't have to use a CLI to use this product.

They took some of the funding off of it for a while. Therefore, instead of being a market leader, they took their position for granted. Then some competitors developed new bells and whistles that they advertise, and due to that lag a few years ago, there are not the resources to explain the differences.

They're outsold. IBM is outsold because people do not understand the product and it had a reputation of being complex.  That said, with the new GUIs and other improvements, it's really pretty easy. The problem is they've got to deal with their old reputation of being difficult and complex. Still the GUI could still be more robust.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for 20 years now. It's been two decades.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is extremely stable. There are no issues with bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or fail. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We work with all sizes of businesses from Fortune 100 insurance companies to small colleges and universities. We have all sorts of customers.

The scaling potential of the solution is huge. This is an enterprise solution compared to some of the smaller options. It also scales down when you do less than 100 terabytes. It has very favorable pricing. It's competitive with other products.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is not as good as it could be. It's not as good as some of the competitors. IBM has put more resources into it recently. However, they had a stage about two years ago where they kind-of stopped spending as much money on Protect due to the fact that they had so many other IBM products. 

Overall, I'd rate their technical services at seven out of ten. It's not too bad, however, it could be better. They are quite responsive. Now that IBM is more focused on improving the product it may improve as well.

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

I have some experience with Veeam as well. I really like it compared to Veeam. You don't have to have media servers. It's nice compared to Veeam that ­clients don't have to do a media server.

We've had customers who have used other solutions, however, they've been weak and not as scalable as IBM.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. It's straightforward. It's easy.

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

The pricing is quite good and very competitive in the market.

What other advice do I have?

I'm a reseller and a system architect. I'm not really a user. I'm a project manager and architect. However, we have people on our team that use and install it.

We're using the current version of the solution.

I'd advise other companies to not forget tape. With ransomware and everything else, it's hard. People forget tape is cheap. Tape gives you an air-gap, and, if you properly use it, you get a good hybrid solution.

Many people think it's disk only, and that's just for yesterday's restore, however, for a long-term solution, tape is so much more cost-effective.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. It's a full-feature product. It's hard to be perfect with full-featured products. There are compromises due to the fact that they do so much.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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