Quorum OnQ Review

We're able to spin up a backed-up VM into production in a matter of minutes, if a VM goes down

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case for us is a high-availability. The ease of use is a part of that as well. The ability to spin up a backed-up VM or to put it on the production network, literally in a matter of minutes, if a VM goes down, is critical for us.

How has it helped my organization?

If a VM goes down for whatever reason — having that assurance that we've got a reliable backed up VM on a separate platform that we can spin up on a different piece of hardware and appliance in real-time, and get the resource back up and running again quickly, is the best use case for us.

One of the benefits of the onQ platform is that it does what it does, and it does it well. It's very easy to keep up and running. In terms of day-to-day management, once you have everything in place, it does its job and takes the snapshots for you and gives you the reporting back on them. From a solution standpoint, it works very well.

Being able to spin up another VM on the appliance, in production mode, within a matter of a couple of minutes, has been immensely helpful. Having the ability to reduce recovery time, for critical resources, from multiple hours to a matter of minutes, is huge.

What is most valuable?

It's easy to manage. We're a smaller team.  It's easy to implement, easy to spin up, easily configurable, to drop-in appliances and network. There wasn't a lot of time needed to spin it up. 

From a day-to-day management perspective, it's very easy to use as well.

And I get reporting on the latest backup every day, whether or not it was successful, and whether or not the test of the VM was successful. It comes to me by email and gives me the status of each of the VMs: When it was last backed up, whether or not the backup was successful, and whether or not the test was successful. 

What needs improvement?

Upgrading the software on the appliance feels to me like it's going to be a little bit more work than I originally anticipated.

The process for moving the VM off of the Quorum appliance and back into the production network again requires quite a number of steps. I don't know if there can be any improvement made on that, but in looking at it, I found it was pretty lengthy. There were quite a number of steps there so I requested that one of the Quorum engineers perform the process, which they were happy to do. That part was great. They were able to get that VM moved over from the appliance to my production network again and everything was fine.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using onQ since 2015. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been great. The appliance has been rock-solid. I've had no issues with the hardware. We've had the same appliance for the last four years now and it has been running great. It requires very little management time, if any. It just runs and works.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is  good, from what I remember. We haven't scaled up a ton. The capacity planning that was done originally, with the estimated growth that we put in for headroom, for expansion and growth, was accurate. We've been able to grow into the solution without making any changes or any adjustments. Scalability was planned out at the beginning. I've been in great shape there.

How are customer service and technical support?

One of the things that I like about Quorum is the level of support. 

Overall, their support folks are great. They have proactively reached out to me when they've noticed issues with the backup not taking for a few days, or outside of a threshold, or if they've seen any issue where a VM has not been successful in testing over the last couple of days. They'll proactively reach out to me.

I've had cases where I actually shut down a VM from production because I didn't need it anymore but forgot about the Quorum appliance trying to take snapshots of it. It kept failing and I just ignored it on the report because I knew about it. But the Quorum support folks didn't know that that's what happened. They were a little concerned that the device hadn't backed up in X amount of days. They actually reached out to me and said, "Hey, we saw that your VM X-Y-Z hasn't been backed up. What's going on with that? Do you need help?" That was impressive. It feels like they've got my back as well. It's not just me who has visibility or eyes on the backups. I'm getting a little assistance from their NOC or support team which, in some cases, keeps track of the statuses of those backups too.

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

We had a solution, but it was a very manual, labor-intensive, not-full-VM appliance. 

For us, partnering with an organization like Quorum, a company that basically hands it to you in a box and it's all ready to go and implement quickly and easily, without a lot of management resource on my end to keep the thing running — it just does what it's supposed to do — is the best approach at this point.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was relatively straight forward. That was one of the selling points of Quorum with the appliance device. I did some due diligence and figured out sizing capacity, so they could size the appliance correctly. They had me run some tools for capacity-planning in my environment. They took all that information and they came up with the right size solution for the appliance that I needed.

To provision the appliance, they had me drop it into my network and spin it up, which is very easy to do. Once they had connectivity to it we finished the configuration on it. They then gave me the ability to manage the appliance and start getting backups from my VM environment onto it. 

So the implementation rollout was a very easy, handheld process. They did a lot of handholding and it was very white-glove. It was very easy, which was great.

What about the implementation team?

I worked with one or two of their engineers.

What was our ROI?

We haven't really fully measured ROI.  I definitely believe there has been ROI.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution can be on the pricier side depending on options selected but it's one of those situations where if time is valuable and resources are limited, it might be worth it.  Each use case is unique.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated a couple of other players, including Datto. Ease of use was one of the differences between Quorum and Datto. I think there were some problems with Datto, as I remember. I did a lot of research on forums and sites, like ITCentralStation.com, from an end-user perspective in different environments. That gave me an idea as to what the solution was like after it was implemented, installed, and up and running. I really relied on what the community was saying about the different solutions. Each one has its pros and cons.

For our organization, after reading all the reviews and commentary, and taking into consideration points that mattered to us, it really came down to Quorum, from many different angles, being the front-runner.

What other advice do I have?

Look at all the partners out there and pick the one that you feel is the best fit for you, based on your use case. Everyone is a little bit different and has different needs in terms of what's critical to them and what's not important.

I give Quorum a solid nine out of 10. Over a number of years it has been a rock-solid solution. It has worked for us. It's easy to manage. It doesn't take a lot of my time. It does what it needs to do. When I have had to use it and rely upon it, it has been there.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
**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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