EMC NetWorker Review

Multiple Useful Features And Long List Of Supported OSs


What is most valuable?

  • Very nice tools (nsrwatch, nsradmin) in CLI for administration, monitoring, and management. And GUI is available with enterprise level as well.
  • NetWorker’s commands are executed directly from shell/command line (you don’t need to log in to the DB or to any other kind of tool).
  • Very good backward and forward compatibility between NetWorker’s versions. You are not limited by higher version on backup client side.
  • Availability of cumulative hot fixes.
  • NetWorker server is supported on Windows and Linux OSs (unlike Commvault).
  • List of supported OSs and their versions is really long and it is the same for DBs and applications.
  • Provided documentation from EMC is quite good and well organized.
  • Block based backup and parallel save stream features are really helpful for classic backup of big file systems and lot of small files.
  • DDboost protocol speeds up backups and saves bandwidth of your LAN.
  • Possibility to create and use your own scripts in backup process or in administration.

How has it helped my organization?

Backup admins don’t need to dedicate so much time to installation and configuration of backups.

What needs improvement?

NetWorker’s code needs improvement. There are so many bugs in each version, so I have to wait until the last cumulative hotfix of each service pack is released, to be sure that I will not affect production and create more work for myself.

For how long have I used the solution?

Since 2006.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I had some issues in the past, but I fixed them by updating the product. I would recommend installation of new, major or minor releases of EMC NetWorker if the second service pack of each version, and sixth or higher cumulative hotfix of that version, are both available.

How is customer service and technical support?

This is difficult question. Honestly, EMC NetWorker technical support is not very helpful for me, because I have much more experience with it than the engineers who are initially assigned to an issue. I have to wait till my service request is moved to a higher level of support and, often, by the time that happens, I have fixed many service requests by myself.

On the other hand, EMC engineers are friendly and try to help as much as possible, so if you are not an experienced customer they can search in knowledge database for your issue and fix it via a WebEx session. This can be done over a live chat session or via a regular service request.

You can enable notifications (at the EMC support page) for security and technical alerts as well, so you will be informed about any big issues quickly.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I used Hiback from NovaStor a long time ago, but it was not as good as NetWorker. I switched because I was no longer responsible for the Hiback backup environment; I focused on EMC NetWorker.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup of EMC NetWorker is really easy work if you have basic knowledge of OSs, LAN and SAN, if needed. (A basic IT background is really needed). Just a few clicks in Windows or the installation of a few RPMs in Linux. I really like that EMC provides specific RPM packages and not only binaries in its archive, which are installed by installation script.

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

Ask your EMC representative for discount. They can provide really good discounts.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did not do so.

What other advice do I have?

Use EMC Data Domain (DD) system and EMC NetWorker. It really is number one on the market in backup and recovery solutions.

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