Out of the box root level migration between Avamar appliances. Currently, you have involve Professional services for such a migration. Only client level replication/migration is possible by oneself which shows the replicated backups under Replicate tree.
Dell EMC Avamar is a very complex product. It took a lot of time for the IT admins to get trained on how to use it. It is not very user-friendly, and we won't be using Avamar anymore. It needs a lot of improvement in terms of how the backups have been configured, and the reporting is too complex. There are a lot of improvements that should be done in the reporting feature and how the endpoints are getting added to the console. These processes need to be a little more simplified. It is not that easy to get an immediate report based on our requirements. It is too complex. We have to write some scripts and things like that. There are predefined scripts, but they aren't very user-friendly for the customer.
The user interface still needs to have some level of improvement. It could be more user-friendly and intuitive. The reporting aspect of the product could be better. For example, I'd like to have reports on the daily failure of systems. If I have more than 1000 systems, if I want to know that how many systems failed yesterday, I'd like to be able to pull that information in a single click.
Avamar does not offer the tape-out, meaning that what a person backs up can only be kept on a disc based appliance, one which is supplied by Avamar. The tape lacks connectivity, which means that if a customer wishes to take tape-out, Avamar is not a fit. He must look for a networker which offers up to tape. The solution should improve its tape-connectivity features.
The UI is a complete mess. It is graphic, but it might as well be a CLI considering how difficult it is to work with. It takes an entire person and a significant amount of time to manage backups within the company. It really shouldn't be that hard. When you get down to doing certain things, such as somebody wants a particular file restored, the process by which you do that is stupid. You kind of have to know exactly where to look for in order to find it. Even on older backup products that I've used, I didn't have that kind of problem. If we were looking for a file with a particular kind of a name, the solution would find that file anywhere irrespective of where it resides within the backup system. So, we didn't have to know the name of the specific server, the specific timeframe, almost all the characters of the file name, and all kinds of data in order to find a file. In Avamar, we got to know these details. We've gone around and around with them on that, and their attitude seems to be that it is working just fine. There is nothing for them to improve. The organizational system of other products that I'm working with, such as Zerto and Cohesity, seems to be centered around the tasks that you would most commonly do and want to do, as opposed to we've laid it out in a really neat technical hierarchy. There should be some kind of greater granularity in the way it is storing backups. The reason why we're using things like Zerto and going to Cohesity, at least in the DR environment, and this will work in terms of backups as well, is that we need to be able to have a recovery point objective with some kind of granularity, such as every 15 minutes, every half hour, or every hour in case of a disaster recovery scenario, ransomware scenario, etc. We're pretty much allowed to do our once-in-a-day backup every 24 hours or however we schedule them. In most cases, we don't do anything different for basic backups, but it seems very difficult within Avamar to do anything if we want to have an image of a system every so often or at least an incremental point of reference or an RPO point. The other thing is that the way that it locks files seems to make those systems unavailable while it is operating the backup. So, we have to very carefully schedule our backups after hours or over periods of time when there is low bandwidth of the transactions happening. With the other products we have, we don't have this problem. I certainly don't have that problem with Zerto. I've got a recovery point of every few seconds, and it doesn't seem to take a lot of storage room to do that. Storage is a big thing for us. It is very expensive, and that's always an issue for us. So, things like deduplication would be really nice to have.
The problems are, that it has issues with support. Dell has issues in that area. I think the other problem is, that when we've had to do upgrades, it's a bit problematic. Dell hasn't done a good job at handling these upgrades, or the way EMC used to handle them. EMC was very thorough and if you got a piece of software that you had to upgrade, you knew that it had been thoroughly tested and it was going to work well. We have had issues with the consistency and the reliability of the code that is coming out for upgrades and enhancements.
It is very scalable, and that's its claim to fame, but that also makes it hard to make changes. Anytime there is a large piece of software, changing that piece of software is harder. You've got a larger install base, so you can't just rapidly change. We also use another product called Veeam, and it has this new feature called Continuous Data Protection, which basically lets you get very close to the way the system was in time. We have a system or two up there on which we have set 10 minutes Continuous Data Protection. So, we can roll it back to whatever it was 10 minutes ago, 20 minutes ago, or 30 minutes ago. This feature doesn't exist in Avamar Data Domain. That's the one feature I'd like to see first. It can maybe have customized automatic routing. We have a Cisco ACI network. It is like a point-to-point network for everything, even multiple locations. It is flat, and that confuses Avamar Data Domain because it changes underneath Data Domain. It has some problems. They could do a little bit more on having an adaptable network or what's called a dynamic route network where it can be given a route and not care about it, as opposed to having to predefine it.
Avamar is dependent on the hardware. It can't be implemented with ordinary storage. It can only be implemented with an EMC product. We want to have a backup solution that allows us to use independent storage and other hardware. It would be good if they can simplify its technology and make it possible to implement it with another storage. This is probably not possible because Avamar is an EMC product, and EMC would like to sell its own products. It should be simplified because currently if we want to upgrade Avamar, it requires us to assemble too many EMC products. For upgrade, we have to ensure compatibility with Data Domain, proxy, and firmware for storage. There are many dependencies and many steps that we have to take if we want to upgrade the services, which is a weakness of Avamar. It should also have support for reporting. We have too many reporting challenges. We cannot get information from the console about how big is the data of customer A, customer B, and customer C. EMC should think about providing reporting for the backup solution. Our customers use the basic reporting, but inside our infrastructure, we should be able to see and then analyze the data consumption by different customers. We should also be able to split information and see data consumption within our organization. Such analytical reporting will help us in planning our usage for the future, such as for the next two years. It will be useful for customers and service providers. Its price should be reduced, and it should have a flexible and pay-per-use licensing.
The user interface needs to be improved. It's not as good as it could be. There are certain bugs in terms of support. It's too slow. It needs to be more responsive. We've found the product to be a little costly.
Compared with Cohesity or Rubrik, which have some continuous data protection for backup and replication, this solution tends to lack in this area. When we propose this solution to a customer, the customer always asks us "Okay, can I have backup plus replication as well?". The performance backup, I know it's good, however, some customers ask about the backup plus replication, continuous data protection, or something like that. That's where it falls short. Avamar should help protect against ransomware or maybe offer some sort of monitoring. It would be great if they had monitoring protection from the ransomware added into the overall offering. Some customers are asking about an appliance model. It would be nice if they offered that.
The product could be easier to troubleshoot. When I had a problem with the software, I invested a lot of time to find out what the problem was. Once I found the problem, I realized that it was a simple solution, but there were no helpful indications. As an example, with Avamar, you have a different storage node and if one of these nodes had a problem with an NTP server and there was a different time on the node, nothing would work. Finding the solution to this problem involved many steps, which was not easy to determine.
It would be better if we could integrate easily with other platforms. I would like to see better integration with VMware vCenter. We normally integrate Avamar with VMware vCenter Server and virtualize Avamar within the VM. Once, we wanted to backup only a few VMs within the vCenter, without integrating it to the vCenter. But we come across some problems. Without adding the vCenter directly, there was some difficulty in adding the VMs. When we replaced more clients in the OS, this problem was solved.
They have come up with Data Protection Central. We have multiple different management layers. For each product, we have a different management interface, so if they could merge all of them into one single-pane view of management, that would be extraordinary. Technically, they've done that but it's still not a single-pane view like in Commvault or in Rubrik, or another one of these new-age unit products. With a single pane, you can manage everything. If you have to manage your network, it's a different console — It's not easy to manage. They've introduced a Data Protection Center to basically make it easier to manage everything from one console, or at least to report everything on one console which is very good. All the statistics appear, the health and the scheduled services, all of that appears on one screen. Still, to manage it, you have to click and invoke each separate console. If they could just integrate all of that into one console, one HTML Sybase console, then our lives would be much easier. There also needs to be single sign-on support. We need single sign-on support to access all these different tools instead of having to login individually, which is the current problem — it takes too much effort. You have to go into each one and authenticate separately. You need to enable LDAP authentication for each of these and then proceed to what they need. They don't have role-based access, which is another problem. For example, if you want one person to have less access compared to another person, you can't do that easily. Management and data analytics could be improved. I would like to see a lot more customizable reports, without coaching professional services regarding the Data Protection Advisor — it's not that simple to do. Also, I'm looking for analytics, for instance, something that tells us about the structure of the data.
The interface has room for improvement. It's not ideal right now. The product needs to have compatibility with more advanced systems such as Oracle ASM files. The automation and orchestration features need work. Other products like Vain, for example, lend themselves to better automation and orchestration. If you want to set up integration with a cloud environment, for example, it's very difficult to do that. Avamar doesn't work very well in the cloud environment. The solution requires better ease of use and compatibility. It would be ideal if it could work with Oracle on an ISM environment. There needs to be better iintegration into the public cloud environments. It would be better if the cost of the product was less.
This solution is approximately 10 to 20 years old. The technology behind it is very good but the trends are increasing and Avamar and NetWorkers are outdated. They brought in vProtect solutions, called it PPDM, and rebranded it. In my opinion, they should destroy all of their products and create them from scratch. The technology is behind and they have millions of codes. I think that it should be recreated or they should hire another backup and archive company. The UI is not easy to use. There are other products such as Veeam that are easy to use for the end-user, which is why they are moving away from Avamar or Networker. Recently, they recreated the HTML 5 interface, and it has abilities but it is not mature yet.
The solution is actually moving over to a new PowerProtect solution. I'm not sure, in terms of the roadmap, how long they'll have Avamar and NetWorker as they have now launched a new PowerProtect backup solution. Therefore, the concern really is what the future will be with another product. Will we have to migrate, for example, and will it be easy or hard to do so? It would be helpful if there was cloud support.
My biggest thing for improvement would be support for either Azure Cool Storage or AWS Glacier. Right now they don't do that. They don't have official works for those peer solutions. It should go hand-in-hand with the solution.
Everyone is now talking about hyperscalers like AWS, Azure and Google, so I guess Data Domain and others are coming in a native format, but the pricing is really expensive compared to the rest of the competitors' software. Beam and maybe Commvault are providing cheaper solutions compared to Avamar and Data Domain on software hyperscalers. They should really move to cloud and reduce the price. It's not a portal service, so we have to buy the devices along with it. That was the problem we kept facing in the market. Nowadays every backup solution has more features compared to this, but I can't think of anything that needs improving in Avamar because it's already an enterprise tool.
Its use case is for the VM machines because Avamar is not integrated with the backup and it's much more useful for the bare-metal VM server backup and recovery. It is integrated with the databases but it's not the best solution for big databases.
EMC has discontinued their Avamar hardware version. They only advertise the Avamar virtual edition. I think it would be hard to deploy Avamar in the future with the virtual edition as we are protecting our large environment. We would not like to protect our environment in the virtual edition of the Avamar. We would like to protect our environment in a physical version of a new data protection suite that EMC offers - a server solution in the physical form. They should bring back the physical implementation of the Avamar. In addition to that, they should also add the BMR for Linux that includes AIX and Solaris because right now the BMR for AIX and Solaris is not available.
The configuration and expansion aspects of the solution need improvement. They're complicated and don't really integrate well. The solution requires a remote site application in a future release. I believe they are currently working on this.
The price is the main thing I'd like to see them change. If they can come down in price, that would be a good thing. It's very cost-competitive in the entry-level range because Veeam pricing is much cheaper than Avamar. I think they could also move more towards cloud solutions. It already has some cloud tiering, but I think that could be more extensive. They should work with all cloud providers and I think in the future they will be on all cloud platforms.
It was challenging to back up our Exchange database, which is one of the reasons we did not continue using this solution. It was very tough, and a case of having to contact the Microsoft Partner Network. Technical support needs to be improved. We could not integrate this solution with our tape backup.
We found some difficulty around co-locating with restructuring. I think the co-location between Avamar and vCenter, in my opinion, is not the best. We like the easy integration with VMware and vCenter, but we'd like to click a button for any kind of virtual machine and then click on backup and restore. It would make things easier if this could be done in a few clicks. Right now, it's a bit more in-depth.
There are limitations when trying to use this solution with Hyper-V. The limitations exist when trying to restore a backup from Hyper-V. This solution needs to have full integration with Hyper-V, like the way Veeam has. In the hub, the DBA cannot restore the backup directory directly on the host. They have to restore the data disks and then deploy to the VM after this is done. I would like to see an open-source learning platform for this solution.
It would be nice to have a truly native SQL backup solution. All of our DBAs are looking for a truly native solution. They are satisfied with the current solution but would really like a truly native solution like the Oracle RMAN solution. What we mean by true Native solution, is that no Data Protection product has a true MS Native solution to protecting data. What we have been doing for years is have the DBA script in the Native MS to do a dump of the DB to a file. Then the backup solution would come behind and pick up those dumps. Then the DBA would have to request a restore of the dump files, and then use a script to pull that information. Where with RMAN, the DBA can write a script to backup and restore directly to the Avamar. It is a much cleaner and less costly solution. With the SQL dump and scape, we need so much MORE storage space to help them keep all of their data protected.
* Stability has improved since we first started using it, but it still has a ways to go. The systems also collect metadata that builds over time. It will build until it cannot build anymore and fills up your nodes. I have plenty of space on my Data Domain, but I'm running out of space on the nodes due to metadata creep. * It could also benefit from a web-based UI. The Java UI is clunky at best.
Hi PeerSpot community members,
Currently, I'm researching these three Backup & Recovery products: Dell NetWorker vs Dell Avamar vs Veeam Backup & Replication. What are the main differences between them? In particular, I'm interested to understand the differences in the license models.
I... Read More »
We all know it's important to conduct a trial or do a proof of concept as part of the buying process.
Do you have any advice for our community about the best way to conduct a trial or PoC?
How would you conduct a trial effectively? Are there any mistakes which should be avoided? Read More »
Gary-CookI am not sure if this question comes from a vendor or customer so the response… more »