Dell EMC NetWorker Review

User-friendly GUI and fast support, but container support should be improved


What is our primary use case?

The primary use cases are file system backup, endpoint backup, and virtualization backups.

We are using it with Quantum and Dell Data Domain.

What is most valuable?

The GUI is user-friendly.

The performance is improving. It used to be that NetWorker's performance was not very good but after integration with Data Domain, and after they switched to a quality-based network solution, the performance increased.

Over the past five to six years, the speed that NetWorker connects between networks and servers has improved. It used to take a long time.

We are using DD Boost and it is helpful.

What needs improvement?

The integration of the web API should be improved. There has been new functionality added to the API but it should be easier to understand.

The Backup module should be improved, especially the functionality for SharePoint and SQL Server. We are having issues when we are trying to backup up Microsoft applications, and it happens when the data is very large. For example, our database is 19 terabytes and this is very large for NetWorker, so it runs slowly. We are not able to tune it and segment it. If it were a file system, then we could split it into smaller pieces. In cases like this, it is very fast. However, because we are not able to divide it, the backup is slow. This is one area that can be improved because often, people don't need to take a full backup. Sometimes, then just want a snapshot of some data.

The capability of incremental backups should be included. As it is now, when DD Boost tries to compare the current backup with the previous one, it has trouble with the large versions and it can take three to four days. They cannot perform an incremental backup using VSS technology for SharePoint or MS SQL Server. Definitely, backup for Microsoft applications needs to be improved.

They should improve the support for backing up containers.

The process of upgrading versions should be improved because as it is now, you have to completely uninstall the old version first, and then install the new version. If we compare this to another product, like Veritas NetBackup, it also has good features but when you upgrade to the latest version, everything is automatic.

I would like to see better cloud integration, such as with AWS or Azure.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Dell EMC NetWorker since 2007.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I am not in the operations team right now, but my impression is that it's stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is easy to scale and I have not found any issue in doing so. However, there can be issues when a proper sizing tool hasn't been used. We have had trouble with giving requirements based on what the sizing tool reports.

We have approximately 100 people user NetWorker and supporting the customers.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support from Dell is very good and very fast. We have a very good collaboration with Dell, and we are one of the valued partners.

I have been dealing with issues related to one of the solutions that we have provided. One of the ones in the past two months is that the SharePoint Backup was supposed to be done using the Microsoft SQL Server writer. They do not support the third-party's product, which is fine, but it's an accountability issue. Ultimately, I don't think that they do all of the investigations properly.

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

We are currently using EMC Avamar in addition to NetWorker.

I have also worked with Commvault and Veeam, and the integration with virtualization is better with these products. They also support backup using VPN, which is something that NetWorker lacks.

I cannot name a feature that NetWorker has that you don't find in other products. There are, however, features lacking in NetWorker that do exist in other products. They need to keep pace with the ongoing requirements that are in the market.

How was the initial setup?

I have been working with this product for a long time, so I find the installation very easy. This is also an area that has improved over time, as it has because easier than it used to be.

The length of time required for deployment varies between environments. Recently, I deployed it and it took approximately 20 minutes end-to-end, with configuration.

What about the implementation team?

We deploy with our in-house team. Our operations team is responsible for maintenance.

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

The pricing for NetWorker is in the mid-range. It is not very expensive and not very cheap. There are some extra features that required an additional license. For example, we save a separate data protection suite (DPS) license.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have been evaluating EMC PowerProtect to compare the performance of it with EMC NetWorker.

What other advice do I have?

For a file system backup or one that is on disk or in a tape library, or for virtualization, I recommend using NetWorker. I say this because of ease of deployment, ease of use, and the user-friendly GUI. 

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

19.3
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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