Commvault Review

Scalability, and the ability to back up on-prem and restore to the cloud and vice-versa, are key for us


What is our primary use case?

We use it in the most traditional way: for backup and restore. We don't use it for all the other things that are also possible with it because we are quite a big company. We have all the specific tools we need for specific purposes.

We tested Commvault in the past for archiving, but in those days it was not really stable yet. So we selected other solutions for that.

We use Commvault on everything. We are using it in our own data centers but also in the cloud. We use Azure for most things, but we also are working on testing some things on AWS.

How has it helped my organization?

The benefits to our company are the performance and scalability and the willingness of Commvault to connect to talk with us about any requests we have for changing the product, and to do understand what we're looking for. If possible they also implement these things in quite a short amount of time. If a new feature is needed, or it should be doing A instead of B, they're always willing to listen to requests and build them. That's great.

The fact that the solution is a single platform has enabled our company to accelerate growth and drive innovation. We're using it in a traditional way but our resources and services are moving to the cloud. It helps that the way the product works, what we are used to doing in the traditional way on-prem, can be done the same way in the cloud. That makes it easier overall and makes the transition easier.

There are ways the solution helps our admins to minimize the time they spend on backup tasks, but in some ways, the solution doesn't. But that's more related to our way of working and not related to Commvault. Using it saves us about 40 hours in a month, thanks to its automation features.

In terms of saving on infrastructure costs, in our environment that's not measurable because we have a dedicated platform and dedicated infrastructure for it. But we see the benefits of the deduplication. It's saving petabytes in our environment.

What is most valuable?

The backup and restore activities are valuable and being able to use it in a hybrid space. You can easily back up on-prem and restore to the cloud and vice-versa. The scalability is also good.

The solution's interface is easy to use. For manageability, it doesn't matter where the resource is coming from or going to. That's the great power of the Control Panel: It's easy to use and does not matter if you manage on-prem or cloud resources.

What needs improvement?

Commvault works quite well as it is. But we are an MSP, so for us it's fairly hard to customize it for branding it.

There is also room for improvement in the multi-tenancy and security. That's been a hard thing for us and for Commvault as a vendor. Sometimes it's hard to implement new features in multi-tenancy environments. The new features are great, and it's good that they are there, but they are not always usable in an MSP environment.

The solution's breadth and depth of cloud support are good but could be better. Some cloud features that are common-sense, especially on AWS, are not completely integrated yet in the product. They are a work-in-progress. Overall, cloud is moving and innovating also very fast. That also makes it very hard for Commvault to comply with all the new features. Sometimes a cloud provider like Microsoft changes something and a feature is broken in Commvault.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with Commvault as a backup product for about 12 years now. As an MSP, it's very hard to switch from vendor to vendor. But the solution also works great. We have no real reason to switch to another product at this moment. We are always looking at the competitors, but not all the competitors can comply with all the things that we need.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We have some little issues with it, but when we have issues they're always related to the application we want to back up, not to the product itself. We ask a lot of the product; we use it in a fairly hard way on several things. Sometimes we hit the boundaries of the product and we encounter issues. But in day-to-day business, we don't see any real issues related to the infrastructure or the load we can give it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales very well. If we need more capacity or more power for performance, then we add additional nodes without needing to do a complete redesign of the product or the environment. We can easily add extra power.

We have about 10,000 clients running with approximately 2 petabytes of data being backed up. That will double in the upcoming year to two years. We also have about 1,000 end-users of the product and most of them are doing restore activities.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is very good.

But a hard thing for them is understanding how to work with an MSP. They assume, sometimes, that as an MSP, we have access to everything. But that's not the truth and it's not possible. That makes troubleshooting hard for us and for them as well. But they are quite fast in responding and try to help as quickly as possible. Still, most of the cases that we have with customer support need to be escalated directly to development.

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

We previously used an IBM solution. The main reasons we switched to Commvault were cost and complexity.

How was the initial setup?

The setup of Commvault was complex but that's related to our environment. As an MSP we have very high security guidelines, so that made it hard. But that's not related to Commvault, it's related to our security environment.

Our deployment took almost a year. We had to make sure our design was good before we did anything. Most time of the implementation time was in the design phase. The actual building-up of the solution was quite fast. We were done in a month, starting from scratch.

For deployment and maintenance we need four to five people who are backup system admins.

What about the implementation team?

We did it by ourselves.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI in several respects, but not as fast as we want.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We look at everything on the market. Every year to two years we do a new evaluation of the new techniques and products. We are always comparing it with Veeam, for example. We have Veeam running in several places. We test the two solutions and compare the results with each other.

Out-of-the-box, the manageability is one of the big differences. For end-users, sometimes Commvault is too complex and, while it's getting better and better with the latest versions, it is still not there. The most important thing is what my end-users say to me about using Veeam. It's very straightforward, easy-to-use, and does what it needs to do. Veeam and other competitors are point solutions. They are very good in specific situations and specific environments.

On the other hand, Commvault is a product that can manage a lot of things, and most competitors don't have the scalability and the large support-matrix for as many products, versions, and applications. Commvault allows us to use one product for almost everything. It's better than the competitors. We want to have everything in a single console, if possible, and that's what Commvault does for us.

What other advice do I have?

The biggest lesson I have learned from using Commvault is to take your time. Especially in complex environments, the design stage takes a lot of time, but you need to do it well. Otherwise, you will have trouble in your implementation. We learned that the hard way. We wanted it built fast but, when the design was ready, we needed to rebuild several times.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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