Vembu BDR Suite Review

Gives us the ability to restore a virtual machine in a matter of minutes

What is our primary use case?

We use it for backing up physical Windows Servers and one hypervisor server. The main draw for us was the ability to back up hypervisors, Hyper-V, specifically.

How has it helped my organization?

Overall, it's unattended, so we don't have to manage it. Once it's set up, we get notifications of a failed or successful backup every night, or for whatever schedule we have it set on.

We've had a couple of instances where an employee might have accidentally deleted a file, a network file, and one of the servers that we back up is that file server, and we have been able, with no problem at all, to quickly log into the web-based interface and restore files again in a matter of minutes; just individual files from any specific backup. That's an example of what we've been doing with them.

What is most valuable?

The most important feature, in terms of the hypervisor, is the ability to restore a virtual machine in a matter of minutes. We can take the backup of a virtual machine and we can restore it to the actual Vembu Backup server as a temporary solution, in a matter of minutes. We can just spin up a VM in no time; different hardware, even different processors. It's pretty dynamic in that sense.

The file restoration comes in a close second, but the biggest deal was to be able to restore virtual machines, very quickly and easily.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Since we got it up and running it has been unattended. I got the schedule set up and I got the integration Service Packs sent out to all the servers, and I have not touched it since July. It's pretty stable.

Once you have all your servers in the Vembu BDR software, and they're being monitored and backed up, it's very stable. As I said, it has been three months and I've not even looked at it. I get those emails about a successful or a failed backup, and I've not even had a failed backup yet.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability depends on your resources internally. It all depends on the hardware you're backing it up to, the amount of RAM and storage space that you have. So scalability is subjective.

As long as you can scale internally, it can scale with you. All you have to do, on their end, is purchase more licenses for whatever server you're going to be backing up. Right now I have eight physical servers and one hypervisor with two processors. That's how the licensing works for me. If I were to add another server, I would just purchase another license. So it's easily scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

The tech support is the one thing - that is not a system issue - but which is a little bit difficult to work with. They've been great when I get them on the phone, but they work in different time zones. We're in Mountain Standard Time in America and the tech support works out of India, and something like 9:00 pm here is 9:00 am for them. So every tech support issue that I've had to contact them on has always been late and night. It's not a game-changer, but it's definitely not the best solution.

The customer support has been great when we get together. They have a weird way of doing it where they'll do a TeamViewer session with you and have you leave the TeamViewer session running until they remote in. I'm not comfortable with that, so I've always been on the line with them. As far as interacting with customer support, it's been great, it's just getting together with them at a specific time that is an issue.

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

We bounced around between file-based backups with CrashPlan and we also used the Veeam physical server backup, the free edition. And we dabbled with the Veeam hypervisor backup as well.

The main reason we switched was the affordability of it as well as the ability to back up and restore hypervisors in a matter of minutes. And the ease of use was also a factor. It seems much less cumbersome than some other applications I've used. It just does the job and it's something that we don't have to worry about. Once it's set up and working, it's just working.

How was the initial setup?

It was very easy to deploy. I had no problem at all. I had no problem in deploying the actual BDR software, and then I had no problem pushing out the integration service to the servers that I was going to back up. It went very smoothly.

What was our ROI?

We have not used it long enough for me to be able to tell you our ROI.

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

The product's pricing is of good value. It was much more affordable than the alternative solution to it, which was Veeam. That would be the closest competitor, and between those two, Vembu was much more affordable. It seemed reasonable for what we needed to do.

If all you're backing up is physical servers, there are probably better solutions or solutions out there that are probably less expensive. But to get everything under one umbrella, especially with the hypervisors, if you have any kind of virtual environment, this is the way to go, as far as I'm concerned.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

One that we evaluated was the Veeam Backup software solution. That's very popular for virtual machines, specifically, hypervisors, Hyper-V and VMware. In that box, there's a one-footer. We evaluated Veeam and we evaluated CrashPlan for a time, and we also dabbled in something called Five9 software. It's a virtual machine management platform that, as a side job, does backups for your virtual machines. We only dabbled with that for just a little bit. We just checked it out. It was nothing that we were actually considering.

What other advice do I have?

Plan accordingly. Know exactly what you're backing up, not even considering the licenses - the licenses are the easy part. Just know what you're backing up and what you're going to need to restore in the event of an outage, because if you don't have the hardware to support five virtual machines that you need to restore, you're out of luck. Plan for space and for resources to restore your virtual machines too, in the event of an outage.

We've used it in production now for about three months. There was some testing and playing with it prior to that. I know that there are plenty of improvements that they're working on. None of them really reflect the kind of work environment that we have here, so as of right now, it does exactly what we need it to do.

Overall, I would rate Vembu Backup at nine out of ten and that's only because of the tech support. As I said, that's specific to me. Somebody in India wouldn't have that same problem. Or somebody in a different time zone or who has a different work schedule, it wouldn't be a problem. But for me, the only deficiency would be that tech support time-zone issue. But other than that, it's been easy to deploy, easy to manage. I don't have any problems with it so far.

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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BhavaniShanmugam (Vembu Technologies)

Hi Stuart,
Thank you for the valuable feedback. We're glad that Vembu BDR Suite has met your expectations. About the feedback on our support, I'd like to mention that our team operates 24/7. In rare cases, some critical issues are escalated to the development team for analyzing & debugging. To resolve the issue quickly we generally request our customers to reach us based on IST when the Product Developers are available. Hope this clarifies.