N-able Backup Review

Enables us to recover full systems correctly and properly the first time

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for all of our backup needs for the companies that we support throughout our area. Anybody who's looking for some sort of a trusted offsite backup solution, this is what our lead product is. It supports all bare-metal, offsite, cloud replication, the whole deal.

How has it helped my organization?

SolarWinds has improved my organization due to the way that we've been able to recover and not have any problems or issues within recovery. This has been key in making sure that we can get our clients back up working correctly, as well as making sure that the data is recoverable at any point in time.

It has reduced the amount of time that we spend on a day-to-day basis, as far as the admin side of the backup. We've probably been able to save a couple of hours per day, making sure that everything is working and working correctly the first time.

It has also reduced recovery times, as well as backup to the cloud itself. We've been looking at the recovery times. We have been able to save around eight to 10 hours per recovery, around an hour or two per week. And then as far as backup goes, we've been able to save around four to five hours. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the recovery piece itself. Our ability to recover full systems correctly and properly the first time is what makes SolarWinds our most important piece.

The overall ease of use is fantastic. We have people who have very little knowledge who we've been able to teach how to do recoveries. Making things work has been very easy for us.

It provides a single dashboard for all types of data protection, we monitor everything through a single dashboard. It simplifies everything overall. It allows us to see everything, whether passing or failing any issues, any problems through a single pane of glass that we don't have to click through or adjust as we go forward.

We've noticed no difference between managing a simple or a complex backup or recovery, which is another reason why we liked the product so much. There have been no problems or changes as far as speed goes. We think that it's definitely an adequate or amount of time to recover those situations.

The efficiency of the resource and bandwidth use when it comes to both backup and recovery has been excellent at this point. We have not noticed any problems, issues, or changes within bandwidth and our ability to manipulate the amount of bandwidth that's taken at any point in time is another great feature.

The cloud storage feature has made us much more efficient, as well as profitable because of the ways that the software changes and deduplicates the amount of storage that is used at any point in time.

What needs improvement?

The reporting feature and functionality need improvement. We would like to see a little bit more detailed reporting that offers more CEO or C-level focused reporting options.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using SolarWinds Backup and Recovery for roughly four years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I am very impressed with the stability. I haven't seen any problems or issues as far as corruption, stability, or anything along those lines.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable and very friendly as far as scalability goes. It allows us to use whatever hardware we like and work in a variety of different situations.

Internally, we have about five or six dedicated technicians that we have using the solution. They are fully responsible for all deployment and maintenance.

In our organization, SolarWinds is used very extensively. All new backup opportunities go through and are sold as the SolarWinds Backup Recovery product.

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

Before SolarWinds, we used Barracuda Backups. The biggest reasons we switched to SolarWinds are because of the price, flexibility, and scalability.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. It was very easy to use, very easy to understand, to sell, and to maintain.

We spent around a day or two learning how to back up, how things worked, how things got onsite/offsite. Then, just over time, we are continuing to look at ways to improve so, we spend a couple of hours per month learning new ways of doing things.

Our initial strategy was based on a cost-competitive situation and we were looking at something that was straightforward, easy to use, but also relatively inexpensive. This fit the bill for what we were looking to do. The strategy was to provide an offsite backup solution that would work for a client, in terms of a tape backup.

What about the implementation team?

We had done the deployment ourselves. Any help that we needed, we got directly from SolarWinds. They were very good, very easy, and very willing to help. They're still very willing to help as we work through any hiccups or things that we see that are abnormal.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI. When we get a much more quick and scalable solution where everything works. We have been able to definitely increase our profitability within that.

We're about 40 or 50% more profitable than we were before.

The total cost of ownership given the inclusion of cloud storage and the absence of proprietary appliances has been great so far. The costs that they have in place are very fair and very justifiable.

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

The best thing about the SolarWinds solution is the ability to price or scale on a case by case basis. You're not buying into a full block of how many licenses you need. You're not signing up into a contract where you have to buy so many licenses, which has been great for us so.

If you're looking at doing a local storage device, then that is a one-time cost that you usually source from a third-party. They're outside of the initial software costs. There's nothing else that goes along with it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The only solutions we looked at were Barracuda and Symantec Tape Backup solution. It wasn't very competitive. For Barracuda, the biggest pro for us at the time was our experience with it. We've worked with them for a number of years and a couple of different opportunities and situations. The con was the pricing. Then it was also the scalability where we were able to look at something that would allow us to grow along with the product versus having to buy an expensive piece of hardware. For Symantec Backup Exec, it was a pretty easy situation where it's either an onsite tape backup or an offsite cloud-based, more secure solution.

What other advice do I have?

If you're looking for something that's going to be easy to use, cost-effective, but also provides a great backup and more importantly, a recovery solution, this is definitely something that you should look at and keep in mind. It's a great product. It works very well and I don't have to worry about if a backup is working or not.

Make sure that you don't undersize things. It's okay to oversize a local storage device. It's easier to come and oversell the opportunity or the option versus underselling it.

I would rate SolarWinds MSP Backup & Recovery a nine out of 10. I'd give it a 10 if we had a little bit better reporting. For the functionality and the feature set within it, I would give it a 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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