What is our primary use case?
I'm using the backup from Vembu for my home lab where I have ESXi. I'm backing up VMware servers. That's all I use it for. I have Oracle Databases running in these VM machines and I do testing, patches, upgrades, etc. I want to be able to back them up and, if need be, restore them so that I don't have to rebuild them.
I'm running it in a Windows Server in a VM machine. I have ESXi 6.7 running on a Dell PowerEdge R720 and I have a Windows 10 VM running in that. And in that I have the Vembu BDR running as my backup server.
How has it helped my organization?
It helps me with restores. I can repeat a test multiple times: Do the test, the restore, and then test again. It saves me time because I don't have to rebuild the VMs every time; rather, I just do a restore. I would estimate it's saving me four to eight hours every time I have to do a restore.
I also had a disk crash and the restore was important because I didn't have to rebuild it. So it helps with data recovery as well.
It gives me peace of mind because I don't have to do the rebuilds. In a home lab, documentation is not usually at the forefront of your thoughts. You are just trying to get it built and tested. Having the ability to back it up and restore without having to remember all the options were that you had installed and what was the data like before, it gives me peace of mind that I have the restore.
What is most valuable?
The two features that I use are the backup and the restore.
What needs improvement?
The only thing with room for improvement, as everybody says, since I'm in a home lab, would be the price for the CPU; the cost. If I were to add another CPU, I would start to get into an expense where I would question, "Do I really want to continue backing this stuff up?" But from what I could tell, this was definitely the least expensive option to go with.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using it for about eight months. I bought my first license in April and then I had to buy another one because I added another ESXi server. I have two licenses and they're both for five years. My intention is to be using it for five years and I won't be switching out.
I'm on the most recent version because I just upgraded when it came out.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
It has been very stable. There haven't been any issues.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I have it licensed on two CPUs, one CPU in each machine, and it has not had a problem with the 40 VMs that I have.
The only way I would be increasing usage would be if the cost would allow me to add it to another machine. The other machine I'd like to add it to has two CPUs in it, so I would be doubling my license cost. Right now, that's not an option.
How are customer service and technical support?
For the issues that I've had, the tech support has been very good. I've had no complaints and they've been very responsive. I've only had three or four issues, and they have all been resolved. That has been a very good experience.
The last reason I had to contact support was for a restore that I needed to do. I also moved ESXi servers, so I had to have some assistance because the backup was done on one ESXi server and then I moved it to another ESXi server. I needed to do the restore and tech support assisted with that.
There has never been a situation where I had tiered tech support, where the first person I got didn't know and handed me off to the next person who handed me off to the next person.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Veeam was what I was using before I went to Vembu.
The wording, when you start Googling this stuff, gets kind of questionable because it says "unlimited free VMs." That really isn't true. You can only do a couple before you can't do anything with it. Veeam was the one I was using first. But when I hit my third VM, it wasn't working anymore. You could only actually do three and you would have to roll out one before you could roll in one.
How was the initial setup?
The initial set up was very easy. It was just like installing anything on Windows 10. It took about 15 minutes.
The first time around I did it myself. I did move it from one VM machine to another VM machine and I had assistance with that from Vembu, and that assistance was very helpful. That was part of standard tech support.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
As far as competitors' prices go, Vembu was definitely better than all the competitors I found.
I would guess it has saved me 30 to 50 percent. The problem is that I'm a single-person home lab, so I have no idea what kind of licensing things happen for a corporation which is looking to buy 500 CPUs. If you were to do that and you were to look at the cost per CPU versus my cost per CPU, theirs might be 50 percent less than what I'm paying.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Veeam was one of the solutions within a list of solutions I evaluated. Cost was definitely one of the big differences, but I didn't use Veeam long enough to go down that path. When I hit the third VM, which was within the day that I started using it, I stopped using it.
What other advice do I have?
Make sure you plan out your backup server for the long-term. When I did this I moved my backup server. When I moved it from one machine to another machine and the IP address changed, there were some headaches. I had to get the knowledge documents and I had to get tech support involved to help me outside of the knowledge document. So try to plan out, for as long as you can plan out, that this is the server, it isn't changing, etc.
It has worked as expected. It's straightforward for backing up and it's straightforward for doing the restores. Other than the navigation and what buttons to push, there's really no learning curve here.
I'm not using the encryption. If the deduplication is in use, it must be so by default because I have not done anything with it.
For what I need it to do, and compared to the other products that are out there, this is the most cost-efficient and best solution for my needs.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?