What is most valuable?
We rely on generating daily reports on our stocks for auditing purposes. Those reports are useful; so I would say they are the most valuable feature.
It is also very good that you can use it either from the command line or from a GUI. It depends on who is using it, what they want to do with it, and on their preferences.
Our data footprint was constantly growing. We couldn't back it up according to the backup schedules we had, so we needed a solution for this.
How has it helped my organization?
We have used Data Protector for as long as I have been at the organization. We're a huge HPE house, so all of our technology for backups is HPE. We were hoping to leverage as much of our current HPE technology as possible by keeping all our technology and software within one software house. Over the years, the ratio of capabilities in terms of what we wanted compared to what it was able to give us has changed.
What needs improvement?
A couple of years ago, I said that the reporting wasn't sufficient. There should be better reporting within Data Protector, rather than making you turn to an additional HPE software application.
I think that no company can get reporting right. Whatever software I use, we are always looking for reports that they just can't provide.
Our data footprint has grown massively, and we're asking a lot more of it than it can do. When I started back in 2012, it was perfectly fine. It was the hardware that was not capable of providing us with what we wanted, not the software. Now it seems that the hardware is providing us with what we want, but the software is not.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
If I base my evaluation on the conversation I had recently with my SME for backups, the software is not very stable. Maybe that's because it is integrated with the hardware layer. I would say that it runs, but there are always a lot of errors. The software's stable, but the actual components are not stable for doing what we want.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have scaled out and, therefore, needed the software to scale with that technology. We have a global backup solution, so it has been scalable in that respect.
How is customer service and technical support?
Based on a recent conversation, technical support has been working to fix a problem for six months, but still haven’t actually fixed it. With the process that he says he had to go through, they need to look at it, and start getting their third-line engineers working directly with the customer much faster.
How was the initial setup?
The professional services department is excellent in terms of the setup and configuration. We updated the hardware technology to work with the software. I definitely couldn’t fault them in that respect. The issues are with troubleshooting and when you need support.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We are looking at other vendors now. With the announcement that the software layer is leaving HPE, we need to make sure we can protect our assets; so, unfortunately, we will be looking at other backup vendors.
- We had a chat with Veritas because we are already a Veritas customer. We are going to check with them first because we already have that relationship with them.
- We looked at an offshoot called Navigator. We felt this was going to give us everything that we wanted from a reporting point of view. I had to provide reports for our stocks, but I also wanted to provide reports for our CEO on how our data footprint was changing. Navigator was incredibly expensive.
If you’re looking to move from one software to another, you need to understand how well it can be integrated with your legacy information and be backward compatible. If it’s not backward compatible, you must be given a clear strategy or process to follow.
From an auditing point of view, or a needs discovery point of view, the most important thing to look for in a vendor is the capacity to understand your environment; and provide you with the right solution and a process to follow.
What other advice do I have?
Go out to your network and ask people. If you've worked in IT, I always say it is worthwhile reaching out to old colleagues. If you're still in contact with them, ask them what they are doing, why they are using that software, and what the benefits are of using that software. You're going to understand more from someone’s first-hand experience.
A company can come in and say, “We have all these customers that can be references for us; but they just pick really small customers who it has been easy working with. They're not going to tell you about a customer like us who has been currently having lots of difficulty. So I'd say: Use your network and ask them if they can help answer your questions.