Quest NetVault Review

A simple solution with a well-done dashboard, but there are command-line limitations and it needs better reporting and scheduling

What is our primary use case?

We are using NetVault for client backups and for some virtual machines solutions, such as Hyper-V.

We have two servers. One of them has the latest version, and the other one is on version

What is most valuable?

Its dashboard is quite well done. When you log into the GUI, you can basically see everything you need to know. There is also the possibility to edit the view as you like, which is great.

It is working fine, and we are able to protect our customer's applications and data across their company with this single solution from Quest.

What needs improvement?

There are command-line limitations. There is not a very strong possibility to work with the command line. The commands that are there are not that powerful, and you need to be very good at scripting, for example, in PowerShell or in Bash in case it is running on Linux systems. You need to combine a lot of commands together, and still, you will not get a great output that is presentable to others. You cannot work with it as easily.

Sometimes, I find it confusing, but that could be my personal problem because I am really used to working with a command line. Currently, I'm working with the GUI, and I don't like clicking. There are a lot of windows that I need to check to make sure everything is connected. For example, to check if we have data available for the restore, I need to check three windows. I cannot do it very quickly. It is not very convenient for me.

Its reporting can also be improved. It has some predefined reports that you can edit and export in PDF format. They seem nice and are usable for people in managerial roles, but as a technician, I would like to have the option to create my own report. I would also like to have an option to export a report to an Excel format so that I can work with this data afterward. I can't do much with the PDF format. I know that there is a possibility to export a report to a CSV file that you can open with Microsoft Excel, but the options are very limited. For example, if I go to Manage Job Definitions, I have the option to export to CSV, but I have no option to, for example, filter. I would like to filter and choose certain things before exporting. So, there should be an option to export the reports in different formats so that they are usable and easy to work with afterward for us as technicians.

Its scheduling options can be improved to support conditions. I am used to working with TSM where you have the option to work with conditions, and these conditions could be really complex. At this moment, with NetVault, you can schedule a backup and set the date, time, or a specific day, but you can't specify any dependency. For example, I can't specify conditions where the backup should be run or triggered only if there is nothing running on the client, or all drives are free. I cannot set how many drives will be used for one backup in particular. There is just one drive for the backup for one client. Such options would be great, but these raise the question about the target audience. I know this tool is not for bigger and more complex environments, but it would be great to have such options.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using NetVault for three months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I am fine with its stability. The main complication that we have on our side is that we do not have, for example, enough tape drives. We are doing backups on the tapes, and because there are hardware limitations, of course, its performance is not that great. So far, I have never seen this tool running at its full potential or at full speed. If everything was ideal, which usually is not the case, I would be very satisfied with this solution. I haven't seen any kind of unusual errors that are not fixable within a few minutes and so on. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its scalability might not be that easy, but I cannot say it right away because I am still learning this solution. I would be able to talk about scalability after a half year.

We are currently using it for the backup of very small environments with up to 500 clients in total.

In terms of the number of users, I have one colleague who is mainly focusing on the tool. He is also a backup technician like me. The plan is that I will take over, but there won't be more than two of us working on this solution. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I have used their support. When there is something that we are not able to solve, we have the option to go to the Quest site and open a ticket, and we get the response. 

I was very satisfied with their support. I was much more satisfied with their support than with the support of other tools, such as Spectrum Protect. It was quick and straightforward. They were easy to understand, and in the end, the problem was solved. I have nothing bad to say about their support.

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

We are, of course, using more than one solution, and this is just one small part of our backup business. We are also using NetWorker. If I'm not wrong, we have only one customer of Quest NetVault. If it was up to me, I wouldn't choose this one, but I am working with what I have at the moment, and it's working fine.

We have several tools that we are able to manage. We offer a solution that meets the needs of our customers. It depends on what they need to back up. The licenses for plugins for backups for Hyper-V, VMware, SAP DB, etc are usually paid by the customers, and it depends on what they need. If a customer requires a backup of SAP databases or SAP applications, we can offer that, and there are licenses for that. Rather than having a simple or basic file backup, it is better to have the backup done in this way. Otherwise, you will have inconsistency, etc. I am glad that these features and licenses are there, and we can at least offer these, but the choice doesn't depend on me.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in its initial setup. I came to this company when everything was already installed and implemented.

What other advice do I have?

It works fine for small businesses, and it can do its job. If it was up to me, I would maybe choose a different solution. I have worked with TSM and IBM Spectrum Protect, and as compared to those, it has the basic features, but it is one of the easiest tools I have worked with. 

When implementing a backup solution, I would definitely advise others to really think about the naming convention. Even though it is a simple tool, it can get complicated when things get quite big where you have hundreds of systems. You can get lost if you really do not know about and follow naming conventions. One of the things that I'm planning to do in our environment is to rename everything to have consistency in the naming convention because at the current state it is really making things much more complicated than they should be.

I would rate Quest NetVault a seven out of ten. 

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.
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