Vembu BDR Suite Review

The agentless backups are key, and I can spool it back up at either of our locations

What is our primary use case?

We're doing onsite local backups as well as offsite DR of our VM infrastructure.

How has it helped my organization?

Realistically, it is no different than the previous backup solution we were using, other than it costs less. As far as workflow is concerned, it hasn't really changed.

We use it to back up our VM infrastructure, but as far as benefiting the organization, it's just a guarantee that, if we go down, I can spool it back up at either location. That's the biggest benefit to this sort of backup solution, instead of files on another drive.

This is a part of our enterprise backup solution. It has saved us a considerable amount of money.

What is most valuable?

The agentless backups are the big selling point on this, as well as being able to send out across sites so that I can do a restore at either of our two locations.

The compression is good. As far as the encryption is concerned, I'm glad that it's there for site to site. We don't necessarily need it just because of the way that we're connected, so it's not really a selling feature, one way or the other.

What needs improvement?

The only place where I would really want to see improvement, out the gate, is more granular scheduling. With the previous solution that we were using, you could pick different times based on different days. Right now, with Vembu, I just have every X number of hours on these days, but if I want to do an offset or to only do two backups on Friday and Saturday - versus whole hourly incrementals during the week - I don't have that granularity. That would be something that I would be looking for.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

With the exception of when we required that initial hotfix, it has been extremely stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is part of the reason why we got it. The opportunity to push the offsite data recovery to multiple sites, instead of just, one was a big selling feature for us. Currently, we are a two-location organization, but we want the opportunity to be able to scale up and pop another one of these units down to another location and have them replicate freely between.

How are customer service and technical support?

The tech support is phenomenal. We were not expecting a fix to happen as quickly as it did. The response time, through everything I've experienced so far with them, has been within an hour.

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

We did use a different solution previous to this. It was an onsite and cloud-based solution. With the cloud-based component, we switched because of the cost savings with Vembu, because we have two sites that we can leverage. The two sites are for disaster recovery, which is far cheaper than doing a cloud-based backup.

How was the initial setup?

We had a few issues with the initial setup that were solved by support. The actual installation of the software was simple enough. However, there was a bug. We required a hotfix to get two of our larger backups going. But that was remedied within a few days by their engineering team and it has been working flawlessly since. With the exception of just waiting for that to go, it was fairly painless.

The deployment took roughly a week. But we were also figuring out a bunch of different backend stuff as well, so it wasn't a week on the software package in particular. It's a part of a larger backup solution. To get the entire thing up and going was about a week.

In terms of implementation strategy, we did build-outs on separate servers so that we would have dedicated servers that would be doing the backups, instead of having the BDR suite reside on our VM infrastructure. The reasons for that strategy were

  1. to limit overhead on our current infrastructure and 
  2. if any of our hosts went down, our backup would not be part and parcel of our host network. 

It was completely segregated, just to keep the business continuity intact as much as possible.

We were in trial for about a month, and the actual deployment has been in place for about a month.

What about the implementation team?

We did it all in-house.

What was our ROI?

Our return in investment for this solution, including all the additional hardware that we chose to purchase for it, including hard drives and the server host that it runs on, as well the subscription, means it will be about a six- to seven-month return on investment for us.

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

The subscription model that we're signed up for is very good. The only thing that is something of a sticking point is the fact that you can't do PO-based licensing. It's all just credit card. That required a little bit of a sell for management because typically everything we do is PO-based and our previous solution was PO-based. That would be the only thing about the subscription service that we didn't really enjoy.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were really only looking at Vembu. It was brought to our attention by a reseller we had used for another product, as the backup solution that they typically push for clients. We thought we would take a look at it and, after we ran our trials, we found that it would work for us.

What other advice do I have?

Have a separate backup appliance, if you can, a separate, physical backup appliance so that if your host goes, your backup doesn't go down with it at the same time.

As far as the encryption is concerned, I'm glad that it's there for site to site. We don't necessarily need it just because of the way that we're connected, so it's not really a selling feature, one way or the other.

We don't use Hyper-V. Our Vembu is working with EXSi. I have not had to do a full server restore, yet. But I have had to do restores of incremental points in time, for certain files. We have tested the restore feature of the entire guest VM. If I have a server go down, I have a lot of people who can't do work. So a fast restore is critical.

It's just our core IT team that is actually using the solution. There are three people who have direct access to it, but we serve a larger number of users in our organization. However, they don't see anything as far as backend or backups are concerned. As far as they know, nothing's changed, nothing's different, it has no effect or impact on their day-to-day operations.

For deployment and maintenance, now that it's set up, there's not much to do on it, aside from doing checks every so often to ensure that the backups are still happening.

There is a potential use case to increase usage, such as doing some critical workstation backups with it. However, we are not doing that at this time.

I give the solution an eight out of ten. Everything has some room for improvement. The more granular backup scheduling is one of them. There was a slight hiccup that we weren't really expecting, when we were first looking into this, where you can't do a restore while a backup is in process. That was a bit of an annoyance at first, but once we got an explanation from their technical team as to why it's designed and built out like that, it made more sense. It's just one thing that I realize they can't fix but it would be a nice to have.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**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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1 Comment

author avatarBhavaniShanmugam (Vembu Technologies)

Hi Blake,

Thank you for your feedback.

Based on your suggestion, we’ve taken the “granular scheduling” as a feature request and added to our roadmap. Based on the number of customer requests we receive, we'll prioritize the feature on the roadmap if required.

Also, the PO based license purchase is already available with Vembu. You can reach our sales team for further details.