Commvault Review

Provides us with one product, one console, and one license for our VM backups


What is our primary use case?

We are mainly using it for backing up our VMware environment, some file servers, and some SQL databases. We also use it for some replication.

How has it helped my organization?

Before Commvault we had one product for backup, one for replication, and a few consoles. That was hard to manage for the administrator. With Commvault it's just one product, just one license. It does not require a special, separate license for deduplication or other stuff. It's easy to manage everything now.

Commvault provides us with a single platform to move, manage, and recover our data across on-premises locations. We usually have daily, incremental backups and a full backup weekly. That leads to reduced storage space for our Commvault storage. It's saving us about 30 percent.

The fact that the solution is a single platform has enabled our company to accelerate growth. We have a database and there are some major changes that happen to it at the end of month, or sometimes the developers have done something to change it in a whole different way. Before they apply those changes, we take a backup with Commvault so if something has gone wrong with the update, we can always revert it back.

Also, because it has alerts enabled, the solution helps our admins to minimize the time they spend on backup tasks so they can spend time on other projects. We don't monitor the backup system all the time. We only look at it when we get email alerts. If something has failed, then we'll look at what the error is and what's happening. There are daily backup reports configured so that at 10:00 am, every day, I get a backup report. It says what has been backed up and what has not.

In addition, we have had a few crashes of our VM environment and we have had to restore some VMs, as well as some files that have been deleted by users off our file server. We had another solution before, but that was before I started with the company. People say it was pretty crappy and that sometimes, when they were doing recovery, it took about eight to 10 hours for a VM. But with Commvault, the last time I did a recovery of a 500 GB hard disk with a VM, it took about one-and-a-half hours. That is good.

Finally, Commvault has helped by telling me there are outdated tools in the VM environment.

What is most valuable?

The most important feature is that everything can be controlled using a single console. That is the best feature of Commvault.

What needs improvement?

The user interface is a bit tough, to be honest, but once you get the hang of it, it's okay. In the beginning it was tough, but now I know what I'm doing. We had free training but after that, just to learn the interface took me four to six months. There are still things to learn because with every service pack there are changes. Service Pack 18 was recently released and there are some features that I haven't even seen yet.

I would like them not to push Command Center. It is good, but I would like them to enable all the features for the Java console. Some things are not in the Java console, like Office 365 agents. In fact, they are there, but one of the engineers had to show me how to configure it. It's not done the same as in the Command Center.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Commvault since 2018.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. 

Sometimes the Java console might not respond. It might happen one out of 20 times that the Java console might crash. And then we have to use Task Manager to end it and reopen it. Other than that, the server has never crashed nor has the database ever crashed.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have actually moved into 365 recently. We had to buy some licenses but they agreed to give us some trial licenses for testing, but it is based on the user base. Commvault is supporting everything that we are doing.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support in the India region is a bit disappointing, but after 6:00 pm it is switched to the U.S and European teams, and they are much better in supporting and understanding the issues and fixing them. Sometimes the Indian team is also good, but we don't usually raise a ticket until after 6:00 pm. If it's a small issue that doesn't cause any harm to the production environment, we will go to the Indian team and some of them are good enough to help us.

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

Our company switched to Commvault because it had some issues with recovering data and the recovery time was high. Also, the local support team for our old product was not available when we needed them. That's why they were looking for something new and they found Commvault.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward. We didn't have many complications. When we had to install the agents on the servers, there were some issues with authentication with the SQL database, but that was from the database side. That was sorted and there was nothing much more than the usual administrative stuff.

The initial deployment took about three weeks because we had some complications with database servers. Some of them had to study the user account permissions. After that was sorted out, it was fine.

Our strategy was to install it on critical servers. After the vendor installed the physical servers for Commvault, we had to download about nine to 10 GB of their setup files. After that, they installed and there were some prerequisites to complete such as .NET. After that, it was pretty easy. Once we installed we had some local support. We also had to plan and provide retention periods.

What about the implementation team?

We had support from the local distributor. They were very friendly and they were cooperative and concerned with our requirements. They addressed them properly. Overall it was a good experience. 

And they provided us with the training after the deployment. We played with our environment for two to three months after the deployment, and then they gave us the training. That approach was better because we had an idea about what we were learning. We had questions when we went to the training so it was very good.

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

Commvault licensing is a perpetual license so only the support is being renewed yearly.

What other advice do I have?

I don't like the solution's Command Center. I don't know why they have pushed it. The old Java console is much better. Maybe it's because I was used to it. One good thing about the Command Center is that it has reduced the steps we have to take. If we had to do 10 steps on the Java console, it's been reduced to four or five steps in Command Center. But I'm confused about whether I'm doing things right because there are some steps missing. For a newcomer, Command Center would be good. But for me, I still prefer the Java console.

Currently, there is only me, as a system administrator, and another guy on the database team who use Commvault. That's all. We don't have many administrators.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**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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