What is our primary use case?
The primary use case is to be able to back up data outside of on-premise with the ability to restore as fast as possible. We also use Vembu NetworkBackup to selectively back up files on the file share along with our virtual machines. It gives us more control over what we can backup and restore, especially in the files.
How has it helped my organization?
We use this solution to back up our virtual environments.
What is most valuable?
All the features are valuable for different reasons.
The restoring of virtual machines and deduplication features are good. We save time by recreating or deduplicating a machine, as it done automatically. With one or two clicks, we can get something done. We are then pretty sure it is the same as it was before; it is a real duplicate. The deduplication features are useful for accelerating the transfers and when we have more than one version of a virtual machine or backup without taking up X time or space.
If we do a backup of a machine at some point and the server crashes, then we can restore this machine to a different server with the same settings and setup. We will just have to tweak one or two things, like the IP. Then, it is ready to go. This is not quite high availability. However, if we use the replication feature to make an exact copy of the machine, then we can tweak them to work together as active-active or active-passive. This can help us to save time because the deduplication is done automatically without errors and we have minimal changes to do.
I like also the feature where you back up a virtual machine, then it will run a startup and you can take a screenshot of the first few seconds of the bootup. This way, at a quick glance, we can determine the backup is bootable and whether the backup of the virtual machine will be functional or not. Sometimes testing the backup is something that we don't always do on a regular basis until we find out that something is broken. Then, we didn't know until it's too late. So, this feature is appreciated.
What needs improvement?
With the configuration of backups, there are a few things I would change with the UI.
One thing that I reported with the backups: When there are accentuated characters in a path, then we can't restore documents into a folder. There is a bug with the restoration and restoring files with accentuated characters in the path. Hopefully, they have repaired this because otherwise we will restore files and find out that they are not there.
For how long have I used the solution?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I have just two physical machines with five or six VMs each. It is not that big of a setup. From a scalability perspective, I don't know if it will be good or not, but I believe it will be.
There are three users of the solution: a VP of operations, someone who is a jack-of-all-trades, and myself. There is no one with a specific skill set for this. It is really easy to figure out.
How are customer service and technical support?
The technical support has been good. They have been dedicated to resolving issues.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Vembu was the first solution of this type. This solution was recommended to us.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was straightforward. It was easy to install. There are not too many options and it was ready to go almost out-of-the-box. We have a really simple setup so the deployment took an hour or two.
What was our ROI?
We have seen ROI based on confidence and time saved. We save a few hundred dollars a year.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
We have the enterprise version with two server licenses.
Take a look at the pricing and licensing closely. When we installed the BDR disaster recovery server, which is the duplication of the backup data on one server onto a second one where the backup data resides, it was not clear that this DR server needed two other licenses. These licenses were to back up the copy of the first backup server that had two licenses for the two physical host that it was backing up in the first place. Moving files around to a second DR server, why would I need an extra two licenses? I don't know if it's to make money, but it was not very obvious and I had to abort the project from there because I didn't plan to pay for extra licenses to copy data of the first two physical servers. I also didn't understand why it was needed. Hopefully, they will improve the explanation in the documentation for this.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
I compared different vendors' functionalities, our requirements, and price. We chose this solution because it was cheaper and easier to use than Veeam and other solutions of this type. Though they are not easy to compare as they all have different licensing models.
What other advice do I have?
Make sure you have a clear view of your architecture and how you will be implementing it. Decide upfront which site will receive the backup and which site will do the deduplication of the backup's redundancy. As mentioned, I started to do some backups on the second office site and wanted to move the backups on to third site for disaster recovery, but I figured out that it would be better to install the backup server on the third site and the deduplication on the second site. However, just exchanging their roles was not that easy because I was missing licensing and backups were already running. I would recommend to ask questions, figure out the licensing model, what needs to be installed where, and their best practices. For example, if I have to do things again, I would do things differently.
I would give the product a seven (out of 10).