It's pretty simple. Once you set it, it goes; and then the idea of being able to get it to the cloud very quickly. It's kind of a set-it-forget-it.
We were able to get rid of a single courier who was actually taking separate tapes with that database offsite, before we moved to AltaVault. We got rid of that courier; a bunch of tapes. We don't have to deal with a lot of that problem. We just move it onto the AltaVault and it goes out to the cloud.
Improvements to My Organization
Simplicity and that it removed a lot of moving parts in our environment. Like I said, we were able to reduce a courier, simplify the whole back up methodology, being able to get some of that data off to the cloud. Luckily, we haven't had to do any restore. We have tested being able to bring that data back but we haven't needed to use it.
That's just a big benefit: Being able to easily use the cloud.
Room for Improvement
Free version. It actually does a lot. It ingests data from almost any source and it will push it out to almost any cloud. So it does everything I want it to do right now. They've done a good job with it, honestly.
What could be helpful is different user base authentication so then maybe we could allow different customers to point to a single appliance and they only see the backups and things that they have. That feature may actually be in there but we haven't utilized that.
Use of Solution
Probably two years. We were actually using it before it was AltaVault, back when it was SteelStore and then NetApp bought it and rebranded it as AltaVault. That was actually one of our issues, upgrading to the actual AltaVault instead of SteelStore. But we've been using it as long as NetApp's had it.
So far it's been fine. It did take us a little bit of time to get it configured and set up. A lot of that was actually working with the AWS buckets and trying to reuse some of those and trying to attach those to the AltaVault, but once we got that configured the actual use of the AltaVault appliance was fairly easy.
Good. It's actually a good feature. You're able to scale with the cloud.
Customer Service and Technical Support
When we were trying to migrate it was more of a licensing issue, again because we had our license originally from SteelStore. So when it got purchased by NetApp we had to migrate that, but that was the only time we had to engage support for it.
We actually ended up having to get our account team to get us a new free license because we'd already purchased it, but it had to get brought into the NetApp portfolio and so they helped.
It was too complex. It was complicated, the solution we had before. We had multiple carriers and tapes; and the backup, we were really trying to keep that encrypted and secure. And it was just really complex.
We actually had an audit and the auditor told us that it was too complex. So we were looking at a way to simplify it and that's where AltaVault came in. It took an entire silo of complexity and simplified it to a device in the cloud.
We switched because it was easier; and the cost. It was really a special use appliance that did a very good job at what it did.
I was not actually involved. It was one of my partners. My counterpart set it up but then I did the migration between SteelStore to the AltaVault.
It wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be. It was actually a complete rebuild, and then migrate the database. And then to get that license from our sales team. I thought it was gonna take me a couple of hours, it took me a couple of days, but it still wasn't too bad.
Other Solutions Considered
Like I said, we looked at SteelStore, at the time NetApp didn't have anything. We looked at IBM, kind of had a little product attached in the Spectrum Protect, but that was where we focused.
We're using AltaVault for doing cloud based backup, actually taking a lot of our backup database to the cloud. Not backing up the databases, but the repository and the catalog of our backups is out to the cloud.
Our most important criteria when selecting a vendor are functionality, reliability, and dependability. That it's actually going to work and that they're going to be around in five years. Cost and then ease of use.
I believe there's a free software version to try for 30 days with limited use. When we bought it, it was actually an appliance you had to buy, and now it's software based. So you can actually put it on any server and test it out and try it and see if it as simple or if it works as well as you want it to. We've actually deployed the virtual appliance since our first go at it, so that's what I would recommend for anybody else: try the virtual appliance and make sure they like it.
I gave it the rating I did because there's got to be room for improvement somewhere, but overall it's pretty simple. For what we use it for, we like it.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.