What is most valuable?
It is easy to do recoveries from the very granular recovery points available. It is easy to change from default backup scheds/retention policies to client-specific ones as needed. Push installs of the client software have been successful.
The new ver. 6 (Rapid Recovery) has no agent software needed (for VMs) and I'd like to upgrade to that.
How has it helped my organization?
It is now fairly simple for operators to keep backups automated and easily do restores, or for managers to log onto the web GUI to get a quick view on things. If you don't have knowledgeable or enough staff to troubleshoot it well and you're on contract, Dell support will do their utmost to support and fix it (so far).
What needs improvement?
GUI response time has a LOT of lag, although in all fairness it might be due to us running more clients than we should on the server (although that has supposedly been improved in the newly released version 6, called Rapid Recovery). It doesn't support tape backup or Mac clients (although I've heard rumours that users have been able to get it to work with tape and because it has a good Linux client, I would love to try to use MacPorts or Fink or Homebrew to try to get our newer Mac clients to run the Linux client). Works well with Windows and Linux physical and VMs. Newest (Rapid Recovery) version says that it won't "officially" support Win XP and Server 2003 clients any longer, although they should still work.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have used it for over five years, since back before Dell bought it out, when it was called Replay.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
I have not encountered any deployment issues.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I have not encountered any stability issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
In my opinion, it's designed more for mid-sized, enterprise-level organizations, although if larger orgs use it, they'll have to add additional physical core servers, as Dell recommends not exceeding 130 clients per core server (although we are using 180 on ours but that's taxing it). We have about 75TB of storage supported by AppAssure for those clients, split into four repositories; some SAN, some DAS.
How is customer service and technical support?
So far, I've found both the online forums and Dell Community pages and the Dell knowledge base pretty extensive, and all our direct support with Dell techs has been quick and so far very helpful. Hopefully, it will stay good now that they've just transferred Dell Software to Quest since Dell and EMC merged. Technical Support
Technical support is very good to excellent.
What other advice do I have?
I'm not sure how things will continue with the software now being supported by Quest, although the newest version (Rapid Recovery) looks worth upgrading to and is supposed to have addressed some of the weaknesses of the 5.4 versions. We run this on two servers (one is the source - where all the backups back up to; the other is a target, which is where everything is replicated to as soon as each backup finishes, for DR purposes). The replication works well and allows you to change servers to the main "source" core in case of a server failure or problem, which we had to do once.
There are a lot of PowerShell script features you can run with it and a fairly large amount of forum and user info on the Web even outside of Dell's pretty extensive knowledge base online for it.