Micro Focus Data Protector Review

Allows you to restore backups and verify them. I would like to see faster updates.

What is most valuable?

  • Ability to manage
  • Ability to integrate with various products such as VMware, MS SQL, MS Exchange, and MS SharePoint
  • Ability to automatically verify backups

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to have confidence in our backups and our ability to restore them.

Data Protector is a very mature product that allows custom backups, scheduling, and copying in a manner that reduces the amount of time spent with backups from an administrative point of view.

What needs improvement?

I am not happy with the support structure within HPE when things go wrong.

It takes longer than competing products to get updates to cover a new OS version or product version (i.e., a new version of SQL). This is necessary so that backups within those environments work properly.

The update to Data Protector to cover Windows Server 2012 for backing up the file system took months longer than many of Data Protector’s peers.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have administered Data Protector for almost 14 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I did not encounter any deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had no stability issues since version 9.05 came out. There were some issues with versions 9.0 to 9.02 that caused a month’s long engagement with HPE support to get a patch to fix it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did not have any scalability issues.

Each cell manager can handle hundreds of clients and dozens of backup jobs. If you need more, then you can add another cell manager and create a "manager of managers" setup to allow for clients to easily be moved from one manager to another. It’s hard to get the appropriate scale on the disk or tape backup system.

How are customer service and technical support?

When a complicated fault occurs, it can take a long time to get a resolution. I have had a few cases that wind up with the programmers and it can take months to resolve in those cases.

While fixes that come from such cases have resolved the problem every time, it is maddeningly frustrating to have such long waits.

In one instance, we had to keep calling support to get updates because they would not provide them otherwise.

Once you get beyond Level 1 and wait a long time for a hotfix or patch from Level 3 or beyond, I would give them a rating of 8/10.

Considering the long waits for fixes, if it’s more than an existing patch can handle, and the near worthlessness of Level 1, I would give technical support a rating of 4/10.

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

We have used this product for the last 13 years. I do periodically review other solutions. Many have great features, but are too limited in scope for a shop that does not have a dedicated backup administrator.

Having to administer a different solution for each backup type would take too many resources for that kind of company.

Solutions like VEEAM are hard to justify.

Veritas NetBackup, while sporting much of the same feature set as Data Protector, does not have any compelling feature for my company to switch to it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty simple for anyone technically minded.

We took these steps:

  1. Built a server to host the Cell Manager (Windows, Linux, or Unix)
  2. Installed the cell manager (Windows executable or Linux/Unix package)
  3. Entered the needed information
  4. Installed the needed components to the clients.

It only really gets complex when you start using integrations such as Zero Downtime backups or VMware.

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

Data Protector can get expensive. Each integration component is a license, mostly per client, that you have to buy,

If you are using disks for backups, it is licensed by terabyte.

If you are using tape drives, it is licensed per drive.

Once you are licensed and as long as you are paying support, the licenses can be transferred from version to version.

I have used the same licenses since Data Protector, Version 6, for my current employer. Other than adding licenses for capacity or have more integration, the base set has been the same for nearly 10 years. They are still in use with Data Protector, Version 9.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I didn’t evaluate any other options in my current job.

What other advice do I have?

Read through the manuals and best practice guides. They are well written and will get you up and running smoothly.

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