What is our primary use case?
We previously had two different backup solutions, one that covered physical machines and another one that covered the virtual machines. We decided to go ahead with an enterprise tool and we chose Commvault to back up both. It's backing up more than 1200 VMs and more than 150 physical machines.
How has it helped my organization?
We can follow any backup or restore situation in a granular way: Who did it and which files were restored. If they did a local restore or if somebody restored to another server or another location, we can see it down to a granular level. We can follow each action, including all the administration actions.
The fact that the solution is a single platform has enabled our company to accelerate growth. With the migration from Veeam and NetWorker to Commvault, the whole environment has become easy for us because we have one tool. It has helped to accelerate the growth because it's easy to expand the whole environment. As soon as we have more data to back up, we can easily change the way we back up the data or increase the storage devices for that data.
It is also a single platform to move, manage, and recover our on-premise data. It's not only easy to manage physical and virtual machines, it's easy to manage where you want to put the data and where you want to recover the data. It's clear to everyone inside the organization.
Another benefit is that Commvault minimizes the administration time. Administration that I personally do takes about two hours a day for the whole environment, and that is about a three-to-one reduction.
The solution has also helped us to optimize infrastructure usage by reducing storage space. With the deduplication option, we have reduced the end storage devices we need significantly. We need 70 to 80 percent less storage.
We do regular restore and recovery tests, five to 10 times a month, for files, folders, and whole machines. We haven't had an actual attack or virus situation. In terms of the time it takes to restore data, at the physical layer, it's four or five times faster than it was when we used EMC NetWorker. At the virtual layer, it's about 50 percent faster than Veeam.
What is most valuable?
I've worked with backup software for the last 25 years. I know NetBackup, Tivoli, NetWorker (Legato), DataProtector (Omniback) and Veeam. I have found that I can cover all what we need with Commvault.
The solution also provides us with a complete view of our data. I wrote scripts to report information from the Command Center daily.(A bunch of predefined reports are also available). I report them in HTML and have the status of the last day for the whole environment. Using the interface, I have predefined links to open daily or to send to my supervisors so they can see what's happening. They find it easy.
What needs improvement?
What I need is deeper CLI documentation for both QCommand and SQL queries.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using Commvault for about 12 years. Starting with Simpana
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
When you talk about backup it must be stable. If not, we would change the tool.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We are increasing the capacity because we have an increase, on average, of about 20 percent a year. It's really scalable. With Commvault, you have a lot of possibilities. You can use your hardware or you can use dedicated hardware from Commvault. There are a lot of options for how you back up your environment. It's really good in this area.
How are customer service and technical support?
One of the best points recently with Commvault is that it is a really good support organization. Overall, from one to 10, their tech support is between nine and 10. I used to place calls just to get know-how from the technicians, and sometimes because I really needed it. They always come back with fast and really accurate answers. It's really good.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
As described before, we use NetWorker and Veeam and the idea was to consolidate the whole backup environment with ONE enterprise tool.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was not complex for me. If you know the tool it's not complex. It could be a little complex for newer people because there are a lot of features. For a beginner, it's really not the best tool. It's not a tool for small business, it's more for medium and big companies.
We deployed Commvault, in this company, about four years ago, so I don't recall exactly how long it took. I think we needed three weekends to deploy and move all the data.
In terms of an implementation strategy, we have a team that takes care of backups. We first planned the whole architecture, what we wanted. Then we voted on the pros and cons of the architecture elements and decided where we were going with it.
In addition to help from Commvault, we had an external analyst from a third-party who helped us with the initial deployment. Our experience with them was very good. I really appreciated it.
Internally, there are two of us in the organization who share the backup roles.
What about the implementation team?
The implementation took place with our resources, but we have also a contract, with a vendor and also with a technical partner.
Two eyes see more than one! And if you have a problem, ussualy, you are part of it :)
What was our ROI?
From a licensing point of view, we now have one license which covers backup for the whole organization. And we spend less time administering the whole thing.
The solution's model is cost-efficient, but it depends on your environment. For us it was cost-efficient because we reduced the number of licenses. We came from two backup solutions, covering two types of servers, to now having a global license based on the amount of tera or petabytes we have. We cover all this with our license and that is cheaper than other options.
Overall, we have seen ROI in terms of both time and money. We started saving 40% of our resources and covering more each day.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
As I once heard from a car salesman in California: every car has its girlfriend / boyfriend.
Here it is more or less the same, for each case it is necessary to study which is the best backup tool, basing ourselves first on the technical aspect and then on the financial one.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
At the time we evaluated other options: NetBackup, HP Data Protector, and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager.
There were two key points when we decided to change. One was the licensing type that was best for us, because the cost could have a big impact on our budget. The other point was internal knowledge of the tools. I cannot say one of these solutions is worse or better than the others. We chose what was better for our environment at that moment. We wanted a solution to cover our whole environment, including at the OS level and the virtual layer, and one with a license that worked with our budget.
Licensing is a key point when you decide to change or to buy new software. The licensing type has an enormous impact on your budget and your decision. If it doesn't work with your budget... And it's the same technically. If the tool is not good for you, then you cannot choose it. On one hand you have the budgets and the licenses, on the other hand, you have the technical needs.
What other advice do I have?
If you don't have know-how regarding this solution, you will need assistance from certain parties, providers or the company itself. That's not only for Commvault, it's for backup tools or any other kind of implementation, in general. You can really make wrong choices at the beginning that are not easy to repair when the whole system is in production.
Commvault has two interfaces, a Java interface and a full HTML interface. People who use the tool must have the know-how, so internally we teach the people who use the tool how to do backups and restores; we focus on these situations. For me, with my know-how, the tool is really simple, both the Java and the HTML. But for newer people, it might be a little bit complicated.
The biggest lessons I have learned using this solution are about the different ways to back up a virtual environment, and the different types of deduplication options there are.
The product is really good for us. I can't say that it would be really good for someone else, it depends on your environment. For us, Commvault is between nine and 10 out of 10.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?