What is our primary use case?
It is basically used for everything. It is used all the way from files recovery on a simple basis, where one user accidentally deletes a file and we need to replace it, to a server crash, where we need to bring it up virtually on another unit because the hardware crashed or something like that.
It is deployed on-prem. We have two units with Rapid Recovery. So, we have two DL1300s. It was sold as an appliance package at the time.
How has it helped my organization?
Previously, in order to do a restore on a file, you had to go through and find the file on a tape or whatever your medium is. You had to go through and dig until you found it, which used to take forever, whereas now, you can mount the whole server in a few minutes, and you can go down and dig into the file you're looking for. If it is not in that directory, all your other directories are available. Doing it this way saves you a lot of time versus the old way, where you find that one file and restore it. If that doesn't turn out to be the file that the user wanted, you got to go back and do it all over again for the other file that they have guessed as being the one. It saves you a lot of time because you're mounting the whole server to a point in time, and then you can grab any file from that point in time and then give it to the user. You can copy/paste it or use some other preferred way. So, it is very easy to use, and it saves hours on each restore.
We spin up all of our machines as virtual machines. They have a feature called virtual standby that allows you to keep all of your virtual machines in a state where they're basically standby virtual machines. All you have to do is spin them up, and then that machine is up and running. So, we test that functionality quarterly to make sure that it is working. We need to know the backups are working. Otherwise, we get alerts if they're not working. The backups go between every hour, every four hours, and every 24 hours. In terms of doing recovery, once every couple of months, we have to recover a file or do something similar. This virtual standby feature would save us quite a bit of time if we have to recover specific servers that have crashed and bring them up with Rapid Recovery. It would save us approximately four to eight hours.
What is most valuable?
Probably the point-in-time recovery is most valuable. The other piece that is really nice is that you can mount a whole server at any point in time. So, you can mount the server with all the drives to a Z drive or something like that. It will just mount it all up, and your data is accessible right there on one drive, which is nice.
It is very easy to use when it comes to recovery. It has got a couple of buttons. You click restore, and then you click the machine that you want to restore. You can mount a point-in-time recovery of that server if you're just looking for a file, or you can just restore the whole server. It is very intuitive.
What needs improvement?
For the most part, it is really good in terms of flexibility and choice of recovery methods. What we found lacking was being able to back up virtual volumes that are clustered. We ran out of luck there. There should be an option for backing up clustered virtual volumes.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using this solution for six years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It has been great and spot-on. I haven't had any issues with it yet.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It is pretty scalable. If you want to increase the amount of space you need, you can just add some licensing. It is pretty straightforward. It seems pretty scalable to me.
In terms of usage, we probably use it 70%. We restore once every couple of months if somebody needs something, but that's about it. I don't see that changing. Its usage will remain the same. We may just need more disk space.
How are customer service and technical support?
I have used their Premier Support. They get back to us pretty quickly. They usually have somebody knowledgeable who is able to help us resolve a situation pretty quickly.
Their Premier Support costs money. I am not sure if it is worth your money if you have to call and get help with the product just a few times a year. I don't really see too much of a difference between their regular support and Premier Support. They seem similar. Their Premier Support hasn't been an influence in purchasing additional licenses or products.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We've used a few in the past. We used Symantec Backup and probably Unitrends. We have also used eFolder. We switched primarily because of the cost and technology. Quest offered some options. Their bare metal recovery was a little easier to do, and spinning up the virtual machines was pretty intuitive. You didn't need extra software to do it.
How was the initial setup?
It was pretty straightforward. The software is pretty intuitive, and you can do agent or agent-less installs. If you have a physical virtual machine, such as a physical VMware hypervisor, you can back up all the machines on that hypervisor, or you can install agents. With the agents, you can get a little bit more granular with the reporting information. So, it is pretty easy, no matter which way you want to go.
The deployment duration depends on the method you choose. If you're doing it agent-less, it can take as little as a few minutes. With an agent, it would probably take 15 to 20 minutes per server because you usually have to install the software, and then you have to reboot. So, it includes the reboot time.
Our implementation strategy was to back up all machines and then synchronize the two units with each other. We have an onsite unit and an offsite unit, and they back each other up. So, we had to back up all machines and then synchronize the two units so that they back each other up, and the offsites are stored at each other's location.
What about the implementation team?
We implemented it ourselves. In terms of maintenance, we upgrade it very often. It is currently on the latest version. So, anytime a new version of the software comes out, I'll upgrade it on each server, and then, of course, you want to test the backups as well.
What was our ROI?
It is really hard to quantify. We've done some tests, but they don't give you any ROI. I don't know of any backup solution that has ROI in terms of saving money to the bottom line unless somebody had a major disaster from which they've had to recover. Even in that case, you're not really quantifying your ROI because you still have to spend money on that backup solution. That's really hard and a tricky one.
If there was a situation where we needed to use it, it would save money and recovery costs, but as a whole, I don't believe it has saved us any money. It is like an insurance policy. We wouldn't consider living without such a solution. We have to have some kind of backup system. It doesn't have to be this specific product. There are other products that will do the same.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
I believe the basic license comes with six terabytes, whereas a lot of the other ones are four terabytes. From the price point, it seemed a lot better than the comparative models, such as Datto, Barracuda, and some of the others. I believe Barracuda was about $15,000 for four terabytes, and Quest was around $12,000 for six terabytes.
Pricing is based on the period. There is just the maintenance fee that you have to pay annually, or you can pay for a three-year or four-year contract. This includes Premier Support.
What other advice do I have?
My advice would be to always test your backups. It doesn't matter which product you're using. You need to test them.
In terms of the recovery at the attribute level, as long as you have the decryption key, you could mount the server, and then you can grab whichever file you need. We back up the whole server, so technically, we could just do a restore. We could just mount that server and grab the files that we need and that were a part of that active directory piece, or we could just restore the whole server at a point in time. I've never had to do it. We've done tons of restores and file restores, but I've never had to restore an active directory. I would rate this feature a three out of 10 because we never had to do it. Of course, when you do need to do it, it is probably a 10 out of 10, but it gets really messy when you try to restore some of that stuff, so we've tried to avoid that at all possible costs.
It claims to provide Microsoft compliant bare-metal recovery and active directory data restore, but I never had to do it. I have spun up virtual machines. We spin them up all the time. It is basically a server at a certain point in time, and then you bring it up on the virtual machine as a virtual machine, and it pops right out. Nowadays, pretty much everything is a virtual machine. So, I don't see why you'd ever need to do a full restore or bare-metal restore when you can just spin up the virtual machine at any point in time. If you need specific files off it, you could do that, or you could just use that virtual machine and just read it back to that point in time and then restore the files you need.
We use its malware detection, but we also use other pieces. We use Comodo for antivirus and malware protection, and we also use Microsoft, so we are kind of double protected. Its malware detection capability is important, but it comes at that point where it is too late, which means that something has already pretty much gotten past your antivirus, your Defender, and everything else. If you go to restore a machine that has been affected with ransomware, by then, it has already got past your malware detection, your antivirus, and all those things. So, you're pretty much toast at that point anyway. It isn't easy to recover from that unless there are definitions, and then you need to restore the machine with the new definitions, grab the files, and move them to the new server.
I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. It is a pretty intuitive and straightforward product. It does a pretty good job overall, and it does quite a bit, but there is definitely room for improvement in terms of backing up clustered virtual volumes.
Which version of this solution are you currently using?