Commvault Review

Good engineering, great technical support, and quite stable

What is our primary use case?

Generally, we use the product for backup capabilities as a primary function, and we also use it for disaster recovery.

How has it helped my organization?

Previous to this solution, we were on tape. Its restorations were very painful. We've been able to accommodate more use cases for restorations now that we have this product in play.

What is most valuable?

The backup feature and the live sync are both really good aspects of the product. Live sync is for databases. 

Commvault doesn't store in an immutable state unless it's in archive-form. That's an advantage. We have found several instances that we have backed up a server and it started encrypting data after we started the backup and it was trying to recount the Commvault. It is very sensitive, and is positive as is very sensitive to ransomware, however, you need to understand it's not a ransomware alert; you need to understand the alert in order to figure out if it's ransomware, however, it's a good heads-up.

The solution has been quite stable.

Commvault can actually come in and assist you with aspects of the implementation - and they are quite helpful.

What needs improvement?

The only problem is that some of what we snap most of is the VMs. We found about 10% of the VMs that we can't snap because they're too interactive. It actually causes the application to crash.

It would be ideal if there was usable file states. Live sync is not live sync. It's not really live, it's live to the back it up, however, it's not keeping it up to date within seconds. We have an environment that is very transaction heavy, and the lowest we can get to is about 15 minutes. However, we need second RPOs. 5 second RPOs, 10 second RPOs.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution within the last 12 months. I've used it in total for about three years or so now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable unless you have to use Symantec Enterprise Protection. That comes into major issues. We've had corruption due to Symantec.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability capabilities depends on which version you get. If you go to hyper-scale, it's infinitely scalable. If you go to an IBM object storage, it's scalable only up until a certain point.

We have approximately 50 people that have access to do restores. Ten of those having the additional responsibility of initiating backups for databases. And we have one engineer and two administrators.

We're considering going to the hyperscale version and then expanding it to have it distributed through three sites.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've dealt with technical support quite a bit. 90% of the time they're really good. However, the other 10% of the time they disappear when the problem is too hard.

Overall, I would rate them eight and a half out of ten. They are pretty decent.

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

We previously used Spectrum Protect.

There were ongoing configuration problems and they continued to increase as everything was a dependency. You had to have the client and the right version with the firmware updated to the hardware and the hardware to the right version. It was a very, very complicated mess. Once it ran, it ran really well. However, when you had to upgrade, you had to upgrade everything. You couldn't do some iterations.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex only due to the VAR we used. That we have since moved all away from.

The deployment ended up taking a year and we called in Commvault to actually finish the deployment. We contracted directly with Commvault and got rid of that VAR. Once they were involved, it took less than a week. They really helped speed up the process.

We only need one engineers and maybe two admins to handle maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

We brought on Commvault in the middle of the implementation process. They helped us get rid of the VAR, which was giving us trouble. They were good to work with and we were glad for their help.

The team was very great. They actually provided us an engineer and he engaged remotely for probably 30 hours of that week.

What was our ROI?

It saved time. It didn't pay for itself, however, it saved time. Where it saved a lot of money was the cost of tapes and maintenance contracts with IBM.

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

The cost was one of the reasons we went with Commvault, however, that said, I can't give exact pricing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Pure Storage. I don't remember what package they had for backups. However, there was one other competitor as well and I don't remember who it was.

In the end, the technology and the cost pushed us towards Commvault.

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers and end-users.

We are typically one version behind the latest. We don't usually have the latest version of the solution.

We're using a private cloud on-premises as a deployment model.

My advise to other companies would be to just do your homework. Make sure it's the right solution for your company. We really didn't think about enterprise architecture. We put it in and then had a change how we operate. So make sure it's the right fit.

Our biggest lesson was the realization was that we need enterprise engineering and the enterprise architecture.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. They have some really good features. They have really good engineering. They have very good support. However, they're missing on some of the innovations that some other companies are coming up with. They either need to create their own innovation or buy it from somebody else and integrate it. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

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