What is our primary use case?
Our primary use case is for offsite backup of our client's and our data. We use it to backup files & folders, Exchange, and SQL databases. If you need to do a disaster recovery, it has the option to restore your system to a VHD. If a customer has an issue that they just need some files or folders restored, or their SQL database, or a single email restore, you have the flexibility to restore whatever you need to. We can go down to item level if we need to.
How has it helped my organization?
SolarWind's reliability has improved our organization as we can offer a reliable backup solution to our customers. We have customers who were with other companies who were using a different backup solution, and when it came time to restore their files they were unable to restore what they were supposed to be backing up. We have never had that issue with all the times and situations that we have had to restore data. We have had no problems or issues.
In terms of its efficiency of resource and bandwidth use, we usually schedule our backups to be done after normal business hours when there is less network traffic and bandwidth is usually better. The backups don't take long at all as only the changed data from the previous backup is transferred. With the archiving feature, you can go back to any archive and restore what you need to from that backup.
What is most valuable?
I've been in IT for over 40 years, and I've tested and tried about every backup solution out there. The thing about SolarWinds backup, is that if they say it backed it up successfully, I know confidently that the data is safe and will be able to be restored if needed. The reliability and the confidence that we have in this product is extremely high. We've had customers have ransomware, data corruption, employees destroy their data, and as long as it's been backed up, I know that we can get it restored back and I know we have nothing to worry about.
I would rate their ease of use a nine and a half out of ten. It's super easy, very intuitive, and it's very well done. They have a great product.
The standalone and the RMM are priced differently and each have their own dashboard. Once you load from either dashboard into the software, the software itself is the same. This makes backup operations great. It's so easy to manage and you can do it all from within each dashboard. The difference between the 2 models is one is priced per MB and one is per device.
The speed of the restore is dependent on the configuration. With their solution, you can just store it in the Cloud or you can store it in the Cloud and have a local speed vault. The local speed vault is a NAS, SAN, or mapped network storage on the local network. If you have a local speed vault, your restore is going to be as fast as your network is, or as good as your internet connection if you're restoring from the Cloud. They push it up and down as fast as you have a pipe for. There is really no latency in terms of software, and any slowness is going to be from your hardware or your internet connection.
Cloud storage is nice because a lot of places have local backup. Cloud backup also gives you an offsite location that if something happens to your physical site, someone forgets to put a tape in, or your place burns down, you lose all your stuff. The Cloud gives you a secondary place to backup to.
What needs improvement?
We've never even had to consider anything else for any situation for our customers. It restores well. It's hard to say anything about improvement because we're just so happy with it. Their support people are second to none.
The one thing that could use some improvement is their Linux backup. Their Linux backup us a files/folders backup and you are not able to to a system restore. I have another product that I use for our Linux servers, but it would be nice if they had that flexibility on the Linux side.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been using SolarWinds MSP Backup & Recovery for six years. We're using the standalone version as well as the RMM version, which are basically the same. The RMM version is integrated into their RMM package.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
In terms of stability, it runs. We were using it on a 2003 Exchange server and it runs on that. We've got it on an XP machine. We're running a lot of 2019 SQLs and 2019 Exchanges. It runs from top to bottom. It just runs. The only problem that comes up from time to time - but I don't feel it's under their control - is when you are backing up a workstation. The problem is when we're backing up a workstation, and there's a Windows update that comes down, it will shut their backup service off. It will then do the Windows updates, but won't turn that service back on unless the workstation is rebooted or the service is manually started.
I don't think that's an issue of theirs but that's something that we're aware of.
How are customer service and technical support?
Solarwinds backup support guys are second to none! They are the best! They are a great bunch of guys that are always great to talk to.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We used Vembu for a while until we had one instance where they couldn't restore the data that they said they backed up. We had Remote Backup Systems for a while and we ran into a problem with them not being able to restore data for a customer. We used Symantec backup for many years as a local backup, but only RBS and Vembu for Cloud and offsite. We have used Acronis, Veritas Backup Exec, Veeam, Arcserve, Symantec, as well as others over the years. We switched to SolarWinds because their cloud backup as well as local storage option coupled with their reliability was something that worked all the time along with no consumable or physical media issues you have with the other solutions. Since we had several bad experiences with not being able to restore data for customers when they needed it, we needed to find a solution that we could count on 100% of the time. There doesn't have to be any other reasons other than that.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was straightforward. You create your customer in your dashboard, you right-click and add your device, give your device a name, and deploy it. It's so simple. From the RMM you can create an installation package that has all the client's info and then just run it. It has all the encryption and Cloud information in it. You just click "Create My Installer," it creates the installer, you copy that to the customer site, you run it and you don't even answer anything in that one. It has it all in there from the dashboard.
From beginning to end, the deployment takes five minutes.
What was our ROI?
We have definitely seen a great ROI on our Solarwinds backup solution.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Pricing-wise on the standalone is fair. The problem is that their RMM package is priced per device. Each device is allowed 500GB storage for $XX.XX. It's been like that for the past six years since we've been with them. If you go back five, six, seven years ago, 500GB was a lot, but as times change storage has increased. Operating systems are taking up more disk space, programs are taking up more disk space, updates are taking up more disk space, and people are storing more data. I know the storage (disk & cloud) part of it has gotten cheaper over the past six years, but the amount of storage you are allowed per device hasn't changed - it is still the same as it was six years ago. I'm not saying that they need to lower their per device fee, but I think it would be nice to see them allow more storage per device for that monthly per device fee.
Their pricing is still fair. Are they the cheapest? No. Are there other products out there that are as reliable as them? Probably somewhere, some product, but I'm not willing to take that chance because we developed a comfort level and we know if our customers get get corrupt data, need a deleted file restored, or get ransomware, we can get all their data back. That's where it's at.
There aren't additional costs. You have your per device - you're allowed up to X amount and then you have overage charges, whatever per-gig over that you are. The billing is pretty straight up. If you have a stand-alone, it's however much all your clients are backing up by X amount, that's your bill. As far as the billing, that's all pretty straightforward.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We looked at many different options as previously mentioned. As far as ease of use, we looked at Veeam. Veeam is a nice product, but it is expensive. We also looked at the Barracuda backup solution, but that requires a physical appliance at each client's location. We've had two customers that were using a competitor's backup solution where they couldn't restore their data. We just don't have that problem with SolarWinds. for our customers that are concerned about internet/cloud restore speed, we just configure them with a local speedvault.
Everyone knows that the good backups and a good backup plan are the only safe haven from ransomware. If you've got a good backup, you don't have to worry about anything and that's where we're at. We've had three clients now in the past three months who had ransomware but were back up in no time with no data loss.
Reliability and ease of use are was distinguish SolarWinds.
What other advice do I have?
I know there are a lot of companies out there that it's hard to switch from what you're doing. I would be willing to sit in a room with people that have evaluated as much as I have in terms of backup products over the years and talk and round table with them.
I feel that SolarWinds had some issues with their per device charge and how much you are allowed with their RMM product, but as far as their backup products, they are rock solid. We've had no issues. None. I realize the backup is just part of their RMM thing, but that is the one part that there's just no question about.
Their product is reliable, easy to use, and fairly priced. It's not the cheapest, so if you're looking for the cheapest, then SolarWinds is not it. If you're looking for a quality solution that lets you sleep at night, knowing that you're not worried about your backup, your customer's backup, anything like that; I would definitely say, this is something you should really investigate and look into.
I would rate SolarWinds MSP Backup Recovery a ten out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?