Micro Focus Data Protector Review

Brick-level restore helps me process daily restore requests.

What is most valuable?

The granularity of brick-level restore functionality is very valuable. We receive approximately 10 restore requests on a daily basis for your typical file/folder restore, with the odd Exchange mailbox restore request thrown in, just to keep me on my toes.

Backing up to disk (HPE StoreOnce 4900) has been valuable in reducing the man-hours in managing the backups, with the added bonus of backup replication for all jobs to the opposite HPE StoreOnce. Historically, all our backups onsite backed up directly to LT04 tapes. This method brought a lot of its own challenges: tape management, costs, man-hours; not to forget having to ensure all our backups completed within the scheduled backup window throughout the week/weekend was tight.

What needs improvement?

The reporting capabilities of HPE Data Protector are very limited and is the main area I feel that HPE Data Protector needs to improve on. The standard report options available with the product are adequate for generic reporting.

However, if you’re like me and want to get customised reporting, you then have a problem and you will need to purchase another licensed product: HPE Data Protector Reporter.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used HPE Data Protector for six years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Deployment of our new HPE Data Protector 9 environment went quite smoothly, even with the addition of our HPE StoreOnce appliances, which were new to me and required a lot of planning in regards to scheduling/creation of backup stores, etc. Our HPE consultant was very helpful in assisting me in the execution of the new environment.

Part of this project was a requirement to migrate all the servers and data from the legacy Cell Manager (DP7) across to the new Cell Manager (DP9). This project has been very frustrating, as it has been fraught with technical issues. The main issue was a corrupt IDB (DP7). HPE support had worked on this issue for a long time. They had our entire environment in their labs and to date have not been able to resolve the IDB corruption. Currently, we are working with one of the HPE consultants to manage the export of the data via a custom script. Time will tell how successful this migration will be, but until then, I will just have to continue managing two onsite production DP environments.

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I rate them 4/5. I cannot fault their customer service. Luckily, our customer service team is in the same locale as us, which is very helpful. Small things like this make a big difference to the customer service experience.

Technical Support:

Technical support gets 4/5. Mainly, the technical support is very good. You kind of have your preferred support guys working on your cases, than some of the other guys. Some of my own company’s users probably say similar about me and our team, but hey, that’s the way it goes!

What about the implementation team?

The implementation team gets 4/5. Implementation was through HPE consultancy.

Over the course of the deployment I had two different consultants. The first consultant got a promotion within HPE and the second consultant was from Italy. I now have a 3rd local Eire based HPE consultant that will be assisting and guiding me on the legacy IDB migration. I look forward to working with him, as his knowledge of the DP is outstanding.

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

It’s important to get your licensing right as this will drastically Influence the pricing.

Consider the following:

  • How much Data is getting backed up on a weekly basis?
  • What are your Data retention policies?
  • How many different types of Integrations, i.e. Oracle DB’s /SQL /Exchange /SharePoint/VMware, etc., your company has? (These numbers could influence the licensing model you adopt, as the more integrations you have – the capacity licensing model may be the most cost effective.)

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Luckily for me, I inherited HPE Data Protector.

I have evaluated other backup products for some of our overseas remote sites and found Veeam Backup and Replication 9 to be the best product to meet our needs.

What other advice do I have?

Implement the B2D technology, i.e. HPE StoreOnce, depending on your company setup. If a DR/FO is a requirement, consider another HPE StoreOnce in the DR/FO site and avail of the HPE StoreOnce replication capabilities.

Invest in HPE consultancy to help plan out the environment.

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