Microsoft Azure Object Storage Review

Great for copying data, extremely stable, and has a relatively easy initial setup

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution ourselves. We're in the public sector and use it within our organization. The solution is primarily used for block storage.

What is most valuable?

The key feature for us is the possibility to have a copy of our data and machines outside of our premises just in case of a disaster. This is a common value not only for Azure but for any other cloud solution. This is the key aspect that made us decide to use this service. The idea of being able to hold a backup outside of our premises just in case of a disaster allows for the possibility of an easy data recovery process. 

Due to the fact that now there are a lot of ransomware attacks and viruses, and there is a possibility of it actually happening, it's great that we are able to encrypt the data for extra protection. 

What needs improvement?

There are a lot of points for improvement at the moment.

 For example, in the case of this product, we are not able to do a backup of what we call NAS, network-attached storage appliances, directly to the cloud. We can do to all the repositories in our premises on the storage that we have here, however, it's not possible to entirely upload this to the cloud. To me, this is the major problem of this solution, at the moment. 

There are other problems that I imagine other solutions can have the problems too, for example, there are some errors if the network is unstable and there are network failures sometimes, and it's not easy to recover data. 

The administration of the solution is not as easy as we would like it to be.

For how long have I used the solution?

We haven't been using the solution for very long just yet. It's only been about four months or so. It's well under a year and it's still new to us.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had a lot of problems at first, perhaps due to our partner that helped us with the implementation. However, since then, the solution has been extremely stable. We haven't had any issues whatsoever. It doesn't crash or freeze. There aren't bugs or glitches. Now that it is up and running, it's very reliable.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have contacted technical support several times. We often also had to contact Veeam to help us, and they were not very helpful. We were hoping for more active, quick responses, and we just didn't get that. 

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

This is the first time we use a cloud backup. Before that, we were using only an on-premise backup, in our own backup storage. In fact, we were using Veeam Backup & Replication software and recovery software available for on-premises setups. We decided to move to the cloud, which is why we began to implement Azure.

How was the initial setup?

The initial set up is easy. It's not overly complicated. That said, we have a lot of problems in the implementation with the partner, the company that we hired to do the service. We had a lot of errors and a lot of time was consumed in uploading the backup to the cloud, as there was a lot of information. 

We have about 10 terabytes of data. For some companies, it may only be a few terabytes. However, for us, we had a lot of information. We were affected by internet speeds, and, if something failed, it was necessary to repeat the process. It was extremely time-consuming.

What about the implementation team?

We had a Microsoft partner assist in the initial implementation. However, it wasn't a very good experience. They didn't seem to know the product very well.

What other advice do I have?

In terms of Azure and the actual version we are using, don't know what it is. We are using the cloud of Azure and I don't know if there is a concept of a version for cloud deployments. That said, the software, Veeam, that we are using is on-premises to do the backup and it's version 10.

Overall, I would rate this product at an eight out of ten.

We had a lot of problems in the beginning, and a lot of these problems were due to our implementation partner using a local S3 block storage provider. They were not able to restore the backups. However, Azure is a very good solution in general and we've had a very positive experience since we've finished the implementation itself.

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