Carbonite Server Review

Granular Restore feature has been a lifesaver, but the support for object storage isn't quite there yet

What is our primary use case?

I am using Carbonite Server Backup to protect my VMware, vSphere, and vSAN configuration, which is a 7.0 vSAN 4 node cluster. It provides application consistency and data protection for my virtual environment, but most importantly, it also protects my complex servers. We have a hybrid deployment. It is deployed on the cloud as well as on-premises.

What is most valuable?

The Granular Restore of SQL feature has been a lifesaver more times than I can count. One of the main reasons for looking at Carbonite was their support for platforms like AIX and AS/400 Series.

What needs improvement?

The support for object storage isn't quite there yet. Its public cloud support can be improved. I would love to see the public cloud support for object storage, and it would be great, but what I always hear from the folks at Carbonite is that in a lot of cases, it directly competes with their cloud offering. So, I don't know when or where that will go or if that will go anywhere, but we are hopeful to see something.

The dashboard is a little outdated. If they gave it a facelift and put some better design around their dashboard, that would be tremendous. I generally care less about the visual aesthetics of an application as long as it does what it needed to do, which is true in the case of this solution.

We also have the Microsoft 365 platform. Because they're two separate platforms, I have to log in to my Microsoft platform to manage it, and I have to log into my Carbonite server backup platform to manage it. Having these two coexist together in one management console is really what we're looking for, but we went for it knowing this. We also knew that there would be some integration coming down the road. So, we're again hoping to see some of that coming in 2021.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for the better part of a year now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, so good. We've currently protected about 35 terabytes with them. Every now and again, we get a hiccup or two, but it is usually to do with the volume shadow copy services.

It has been pretty easy for us to manage. We have four users. Two of us are in it on a day-to-day basis. My manager checks on it every now and then.

How are customer service and technical support?

I had to interface with their technical support only once. It wasn't a bad experience. I wouldn't grade it as an outstanding experience either. There are certain things that you have to go through in their tier one to finally solve your problem. 

We also have a technical account engineer assigned to our account. Because we have that technical account engineer assigned to our account from their customer success team, it has made things much easier for us in trying to solve issues when they come up.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward. It is not too hard to install an application these days. However, there were just a couple of things that took us a while to figure out. 

As we were going through this transition and installing and configuring everything, we noticed that the documentation wasn't really publicly available on the web. That has changed since then, and it has made things tremendously easier for us when searching for how to set up an API call to pull a report. The documentation was there. It is just you had to log into Salesforce, and then you had to go find the document. Now it is all searchable in the knowledge base on their public website.

What about the implementation team?

We used professional services from Carbonite.

What other advice do I have?

I would absolutely recommend this solution. We've had a really good experience with it so far. We've already gone through an audit to leverage their platform to actually clear that audit. The reason for purchasing professional services from them wasn't necessarily because we needed assistance in installing it. It was more because of the documentation of the environment after it is installed, which bodes very well for organizations like ours where you've got regulatory compliance that you have to adhere to.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from using this solution is that you should know different types of backups before you start implementing them because there are so many.

I would rate Carbonite Server a seven out of ten just because there are things that we would like it to do.

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