What is our primary use case?
The onsite version keeps our backups for all of our NOC servers, which is everything operational. We get backups every four hours or so, and should something happen — someone deletes something or a server's hardware goes out — we're able to restore that locally, very quickly. The Quorum will run a virtual machine, the recovery node of the server, from the latest backup, within minutes of having an issue.
Our deployment of the solution is both on-prem and cloud. We're only sending a few specific servers to the Quorum cloud, which hosted by them. We have our onsite device as well which backs everything up.
How has it helped my organization?
We had a few instances where someone who had access to some accounting shares got infected and no one could access those files. We were able to lock down the infection on that person's computer and, within an hour of it being detected, restore files to four hours prior, when there was no infection. So we were only set back on a few files by a few hours instead of a day or two.
We've also had hardware failures on physical servers. We were able to restore the recovery node and bring the server back up, with the users unaware that there was ever a problem, other than losing connection briefly while the recovery node came online. There may have only been a few hours lost instead of a day, where we had to fix the physical server and then bring it online.
With the restore function on the Quorum, we're able to go down to the individual file level for each backup, and we have 40 or 60 backups available. We are able to restore the files to exactly where they were, through Quorum's interface. It's very easy to go through if you've ever used a file system as a system administrator. It is very intuitive to navigate and recover the files to exactly where they were when they were backed up.
What is most valuable?
The biggest feature is being able to do a file recovery to the original server. That is extremely useful and has saved us a few times when we've had ransomware. In some of those cases, people's computers were locked down by viruses which spread to things they had access to, including server shares. But we were easily able to just restore to four hours prior, instead of a day or two or more ago. That has been extremely useful.
And being able to bring a server up from the same backup from a few hours ago, if the server were to crash or have issues, is valuable.
When it comes to recovering what we need from a backup, it's very easy to use. The interface is very straightforward in getting to your goal. It has made file recovery very easy, very simple, and quick.
Also, the automated testing functionality seems accurate. If it comes back and says there's a problem, I can always contact support and usually it's just that there is a little hiccup. They run a few commands and resolve any automatic report issues. In our case, we have some older servers which don't necessarily report correctly even though their recovery nodes will power on.
For how long have I used the solution?
We've been using Quorum for at least six years. The company had it before I started working here.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Quorum is very stable. We've had a few hiccups over the years, but they weren't anything that Quorum didn't quickly support us on, or replace any hard drives that may have been awry.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It seems to scale very easily, as long as you have the hard drive space.
We currently have 12 servers that are being backed up every four hours. That includes SQL servers, an Exchange Server, database servers, and domain controllers.
How are customer service and technical support?
Quorum support is very good. They have very knowledgeable technicians who are more than happy to guide you through any process that you're trying to accomplish. The tech support agents are very efficient. Eighty percent of the time that I contact Quorum, my issue is resolved within 15 to 20 minutes.
However, there seems to be a lack of technicians. Sometimes they are very busy and I don't hear back for a day or two. The technicians they have are great. They are fantastic, but it seems difficult, at times, to get in contact with anyone.
We have had them actually put us at the front of the line when it has been a critical emergency.
How was the initial setup?
It was very easy to integrate and configure and set up. It's straightforward. Having had the process explained to me the first time, I have been able to manage the system on my own ever since.
The deployment took a day.
The implementation plan was to get the device plugged in and turned on. The Quorum technician would then connect and help with any final configuration. We had already had a few configuration talks beforehand regarding what was required with the device we bought. Then we just needed to start the backups on each of our servers.
What was our ROI?
The solution is definitely an extra cost, but it's an extra cost that's worth it because of what it offers. It's not a necessary expense, as I could do similar things with a hard drive that was getting backed up to every night, but having Quorum, I can now recover every few hours instead of every few day and I can get immediate recovery on servers that have critical failures. It has proven its worth and its cost, but it is an extra cost that isn't strictly required.
The ease of recovering from data loss is huge, as well as the peace of mind, knowing that if something does happen, I can have a replacement running in a matter of minutes.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The total for our current solution's licensing is about $14,000 for 12 servers for three years. We bought hardware from Quorum which was part of the total. We paid upfront to get a discount.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We had just started using it when I was hired on, and I was just a helpdesk technician at the time. I was taught how to use it, but wasn't heavily involved in the process until a few years in. Earlier this year we did look at at least one other viable solution. After doing some cost analysis of both the other solution and Quorum, Quorum came out much cheaper, and we got way more for the money we were spending.
What other advice do I have?
My advice would be to make sure you leave your protected node configuration with plenty of extra hard drive space.
Everything has functioned the way we've needed it to. They're in a transition phase now with a new interface and this new architecture, so I'm withholding judgment for the most part on that, as they are still figuring things out.
We have three users, whose roles are server administration and our CIO, but it's mostly me as server administrator. The solution requires one person for deployment and maintenance of the solution.