What is most valuable?
The best thing I find with Data Protector as opposed to other products was the inter-compatibility with all different OSs. It's very OS agnostic; doesn't matter whether it be Linux or Windows or AIX or whatever. It just seems to work. That's useful, very useful. The GUI interface is very intuitive as well, I find. It's very easy to use.
How has it helped my organization?
The centralization of all the backup data is a valuable asset, and the ability to recover data quickly. It doesn't happen very much these days, to be fair. It's not very often we have to recover. We don't use Data Protector for data recovery. It does have that functionality, but because we're a 95% virtualized company, we use VMware replications for DR. But there is DR functionality within it. It needs work. It's not a simple thing to roll out. Of course now, it offers de-duplication which is big. The backup functionality is very, very good.
What needs improvement?
One of the things that they need to look at is the scheduler. At the moment, there are two ways to schedule a backup. There's a simple scheduler and an advanced scheduler. You have to do one or the other. Using the advanced scheduler is the only way to prioritize the backups. I'd like to see that merged into just one single scheduler that allows you to prioritize the backups. At the moment, backups come in and they queue with no priorities. For example, if you have four backups queuing, you can't say I want backup one to run before backup two before backup three. If they're in the queue, you can separate them with start times, but if they're all in the queue and all their start times have passed, any of them can start in no particular order. So that's one thing I would like to see.
I haven't looked at the VMware integration yet, but I'm just about to. I understand the VMware integration is quite good. That's obviously an essential thing for us.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using it for about 7 or 8 years. We started at version 6. We're at version 9 now. Version 9 is very stable.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It's very stable. It wasn't in its earlier guises. But now it is.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is scalable. It's not as scalable as HPE would like to think it is. I think the biggest problem we have with backups now is network utilization. Most backups will throttle your network, because you're shipping a lot of data around. Because of that, I've had to break up the whole service into smaller segments in order to back it up more easily. You've only got 24 hours in a day, ultimately, so you can only backup so much data in that time. That was a problem we were having, where backups were taking more than a day to run. As we scale, the backups are more challenging time-wise. Now, there are ways around that. I'm just about to start a new project on Data Protector to look in at the VMware plugin because we are virtualized. I believe that will help a lot with my network throughput.
How is customer service and technical support?
The technical support for Data Protector is good actually. I have no problems with that. We log calls, and they get back to us straightaway. I've had a couple of P1s that have moved around the world with the time zones, so it's always been worked on. That's been good.
Which solutions did we use previously?
At various companies that I've worked for, I've used different backup solutions. I've used Veritas NetBackup and Backup Exec. That was a proprietary backup. They're the two main ones that I've used recently.
The most important criteria to me when selecting a certain vendor is not so much the vendor as the product itself.
How was the initial setup?
I've been involved in redesign and all the upgrades, not the initial setup. It's quite straightforward.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I know that Veeam is becoming a market leader in backup software. But, I haven't recommended anybody else but HPE. It just works for us at the moment, so no need to change.
The most important criteria to me when selecting a vendor is not so much the vendor as the product itself.
What other advice do I have?
I would recommend it, absolutely. Just check your network can cope with the product and the backup throughput.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Dec 26 2016