Barracuda Backup Review

Quick deployment: Plug it in and be protected.

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is for disaster recovery to back up the infrastructure, e.g., ESX backup. If there are any problems, We can restore quickly or live Boot the most important VMs and get back working in a very short period.

We have deployed an appliance in house (on premise), which backup our local servers. We have virtual servers running on VMware ESXi. Our Backup includes backing up the VMs separately but also backing up the ESXi completely.

We have a second virtual appliance running on a separate system which we use as our secondary backup platform.

We also have Cloud replication which is done from our on premise appliance to Barracuda Cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

Our previous recovery & backup solution did not give us the reliability and protection we were looking for.  The software based platform needed a dedicated storage, which required other skills to maintain and a complexity (with compatibility etc) in the simple task of backing up our data. We needed a backup or secondary Device to ensure reliability. 

With Barracuda backup solutions, we have a complete and all-round data protection in place. The solutions comes with the backup platform and the required hardware for running the backup application and most importantly the storage required for backup. All in one, compatibility, multiple management platform, all this was gone. What we liked also was the unlimited amount of devices that could be backup , it only depended on our storage capacity (Model we purchased). Replication was easy as Barracuda backup comes with box-to-box replication (one simple configurations) , and a third level - Cloud Replication. Based on this, our reliability , availability and data protection was as it optimum. The IT team gained in time managing backups and restores, and could use these time for the development of further projects.

What is most valuable?

For us, the LIVE Boot was quite impressive because we runs mostly on VMware, on one occasion, we had an issue and the time we took to get back online was impressive. We did not have got restore, but to start the VMs directly from the Backup Appliance, and this was a total game changer. We can have our machines up in some minutes, while we keep doing our normal disaster recovery. And the magic is that all works that are being done on the live running machine are not lost when we switch back after completing our restoration. 

The second, but not least, was the management platform which is very easy and very intuitive. It is not difficult to configure a backup strategy, and manage our backup and restore. It is very user-friendly and made to ease the job of the administrator. We let the solution do the hard part.

What needs improvement?

Most of the Management must be done using the Cloud Control. Logging directly on the box does provide some management, but not as much as we want. It is a concern if ether we run in a disaster situation where we have no connectivity to the internet / cloud control.

Our second issue was backing up Solaris / Sun systems. There was no support to backup such systems and solutions and we had to go for another solution for Sun /Solaris platforms. 

Compatibility with all major OS / Platforms is very important as most government organisation in our region uses solutions that runs on Solaris platforms. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for over five years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

For an all-in-one solution, It is a very stable solution. We Never had any issues related to the system itself or any such kind of failures. Most integration were very easy, we used all the included features and had no issues (faults , not working , errors etc). 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The way the solutions has been designed, scalability is not an issue. 

How are customer service and technical support?

They are the best support that we have had so far. When you contact or email them, they are very quick to respond. They always have someone available for us. That's what we want as a customer, we want someone to listen to us. We would generally get a reply and contact in less than an hour , with a support agent ready to take control and start troubleshooting any issues.

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

We previously used a range of solutions including Symantec, CommVault and Acronis. The reasons we opted for the change was for :
1) Cost of solution (purchase , renewals, maintenance )

2) Ease of use - Previous solutions quite complex to manage and maintain, Restore in some cases was so complex and failed.

3) Customer support: Many issues to get support to provide assistance when requested. We had to wait for days, before getting a reply, and further days to actually get someone from the support team to give assistance.

4) Training: Barracuda offers free access to their Training center which provides full training and certification on the solution ! We can then be mostly independent of support and really go to them when the system is really not working !

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. Just the usual configurations to do , networking , connectivity and so on. The second part of actually configuring our backup strategy was more easy than we expected. Reports and simple admin task is very well organised and displayed on the dashboard which makes it a great initial contact with the unit.

What about the implementation team?

Implementation was done in-house. The support that we get from Barracuda support or via their campus / knowledgeable is quite thorough to get anyone started.

What was our ROI?

We are very satisfied with the ROI. We cannot emphasise enough on the "time saving" that this solutions brought us, in terms of pure costs, we were in  2 years already benefiting from our decision to invest in Barracuda solutions. We did not look only at the cost side to count our ROI. 

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

Barracuda comes with a very strong proposition for our chasing the solution. 

Their pricing is very competitive and the renewal costs are also very competitive.

The licensing is very easy to understand ! There is no per user licensing, no per device. We only need to use our choice on the number of Data that will be backup and the features we need (box to box replication need a minimum model), We can then choose Cloud replication as option and this also is very easy.

The solutions is also available through MSP partners, and in this case we can go for an OPEX model where we pay as we use, with all license included (Cloud Replication also). 

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We tested VEEAM and Acronis.

    What other advice do I have?

    Barracuda Backup is a solid contender when we are choosing a working Backup / disaster recovery solution. The features, support and ease of use makes it a very good return on investment. The IR subscription allows us to get a new updated unit every 4 years, lowering down the cost for re-investing in new units. When looking for a backup solution, we MUST consider the restore part ! Barracuda has been the one that provided q quicker and most reliable restore path and time.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Hybrid Cloud
    **Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a direct partner, but also a user of the solution in house. We choose our solutions based on our own experience in house.
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