Micro Focus Data Protector Review

We now have a common enterprise backup product across all our infrastructure and services, although Granular Recovery doesn't work as smoothly as it could.


What is most valuable?

  • VMware level backup
  • Exchange integration
  • Flexibility
  • Cost

How has it helped my organization?

We now have a common enterprise backup product across all our infrastructure and services. We have also extended this by deploying HP Data Protector VMware level backup capability VEPA, (Virtual Environment Protection Agent) across both Data Centre and Divisional services.

What needs improvement?

For me, the main weakness of Data Protector now is the Granular Recovery integrations, as they just don’t work as smoothly as they could.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used up since March 2013.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Not really. However, I have extensively used HP Data Protector in other roles with other organisation so I know the product very well. This was key consideration in the initial selection as it reduced costs and risks for the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did experience a major issue when we first deployed Data Protector 8.10, but HP support were able to help.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, we still two Data Protector installations, (known as Cells in in DP terminology). One cell manages the Data Centre backup/restores and the other the divisional side of things. At some point in time, we will probably consolidate into a single cell, (or manager of managers) configuration, but we have no current technical or business driver for this move.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It's excellent.

Technical Support:

It's excellent, very prompt and professional.

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

In autumn 2012, we had two important backup issues in our enterprise data centres. The organisation was about to deploy MS Exchange as our corporate email system, (replacing Novell GroupWise) and our portfolio of VMware guests was increasing. We needed MS Exchange integration and NDMP backup capabilities to meet our data centre backup needs. At that time our IS organisation had a split between remote sites, (divisions) and the enterprise server data centres. We used Symantec NetBackup in our Data Centres and Symantec Backup Exec in divisions to meet our backup requirements.

The cost to license Symantec NetBackup for MS Exchange and NDMP was too large. So, we looked for alternatives. I had used HP Data Protector in a previous organisations and I knew it was a cost effective drop in replacement for NetBackup. So we looked at HP Data Protector and EMC offerings and eventually chose HP Data Protector and cost and functionality. This is just for the enterprise/data centre environment. Data Protector did all we wanted for our data centre backups.

As stated earlier, our technical IS had two teams/areas, data centre and divisions, (remote sites/hospital). The divisional team supported site based infrastructure and local services, (file & print etc.). The divisional servers were backed up using Symantec Backup Exec, and following an upgrade to Backup Exec 2012 we had several critical issues with backup at our divisions and the team evaluated HP Data Protector as replacement for Symantec Backup Exec and selected HP Data Protector.

How was the initial setup?

For us, it was easy, as I had extensive previous experience of the product. I first used the product when it was called Omniback I, (not Omniback II). And, as stated we deliberately built the initial deployment as a drop in replacement for NetBackup in the Data Centre.

What about the implementation team?

Just me.

What was our ROI?

It's difficult to calculate this as we didn’t have a plan to implement an enterprise backup infrastructure, we just used the cost and in-built flexibility of the product to meet our needs.

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

Initially in the data centre our first quote for NetBackup licenses for exchange integration and NDMP was about AU$200,000. Our complete Data Centre HP Data Protector deployment was AU$46,000.

Since our deployment HP has introduced capacity based licensing for Data Protector. I would advise any potential customer to look at this option, it may work better for their organisation. On balance if deploying today I would tend to prefer the capacity based licensing model. But do the sums and make sure it work for your organisation. The other point is even traditional Data Protector licenses is very flexible and relatively inexpensive, this allow an organisation to build an Enterprise backup architecture over time and allows in to evolve to meets changing requirements.

What other advice do I have?

Plan, and call in outside help if required. Get the production evaluation mode and try it (it comes with a complete 60 day trial license). Get to know the product and plan. One other really nice feature of HP Data Protector that I haven’t mentioned up to now is Reporting. Data Protector has a whole load of built-in configurable reports, it really covers most use cases and when it doesn’t Data Protector has an extensive CLI, for when you just need that extra special something.

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