Veritas NetBackup Appliance Review

Great deduplication and robust hardware, but quite technical to operate

What is most valuable?

The deduplication that is on this solution is its most valuable aspect. It's very robust. 

Overall, how the operating system is tuned is perfect.

The hardware on offer has no parallel. I would say that it has been more than eight years now, and in all that time, I haven't had a single hard disk failure or even hardware failure on this appliance. It's in excellent condition and works perfectly.

I can confidently say that I have managed more than 30 or 50 appliances over different time periods, and yet I never had a single hardware failure.

What needs improvement?

It is a very robust and very good product from the appliance point of view, as well as the software point of view, however, you need to have a certain level of skills in order to operate it properly. You need to be experienced at a certain level to easily manage everything. In that sense, it's not straightforward.

It's very difficult, for example, if you need to analyze the logs. If you don't know what you're doing, if you're not very experienced, you will find it very difficult to do things yourself. It's an enterprise-level solution, after all, and it has a lot of things to do. That might be the reason why it is like this. It's not for entry-level people.

In terms of implementing the solution, it's quite technical. You need to be knowledgable in order to pull off a successful deployment.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution since about 2011. It's been almost a decade.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I would say that it is very stable. Obviously, I had faced a lot of issues. I can't say that it is an issueless solution, however, it is very stable. You can rely on it.

Basically, I never go with the latest version. I tend to go with N minus one - one version below. That way, if there are any issues with the latest version, I'll just give time. I wait at least six months for the vendor to sort everything out before I implement it into our production environment. At that point, I would say that it is very stable. Most of the time, the issue might not be on the solution or on the appliance side. It might be on the client-side. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, you can scale it up. You just need to buy the hardware. That's the only constraint. You need to buy an appliance and just add it. Basically, as long as you have the appliance or hardware, it's very easy to scale out.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've had vast experience with technical support.

Most of the time, I'm pretty happy with their support. I would say that there were a few instances where I was not satisfied with the support that I received, however, overall, I would say that at least 70 to 80% of the time I am quite happy with the support.

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

I've worked with many different solutions. A lot of them are at the top of the industry. However, I prefer NetBackup above the others.

How was the initial setup?

If you know what you're doing, it's a very easy initial setup. First-timers always find it difficult. That said, if you're using a GUI, it's very straightforward. You can just photo screen. However, if you're an experienced user, you'ld probably prefer to do it on the command line, for which you need to know what you're doing. 

What other advice do I have?

We're not using the latest version of the solution. We're using N minus one.

As an enterprise-level solution, you may need a bigger team to manage it, depending on your organization's size. We need a big team. Basically, it depends on the size of the solution. In the past 10 years, I've worked in different companies. At one time, we had around 10 appliances, and we had multiple people managing everything. 

One guy alone will not be able to manage it, though it depends on the sizing. Basically, if you know there is a good guy who knows the in and out of an appliance, if it is one appliance and depending on how many machines we are backing up, he might be okay. There are lot of factors that have to be considered when building a team that can handle it.

My advice to other would be, if your environment is big enough, to be aware that your biggest major expense is the on-premise solution. Even though we have top cloud solutions, if you're on-premise, if the infrastructure is on-premise and it's a large enough infrastructure, and if you have a good team to manage, the best, the most dependable solution would be NetBackup. That's considering all the other big players. I'm talking about the enterprise level, where we need to manage more than 200, 300 machines, or 300 VMs, or 300 servers, and then you need to protect these machines.

Based on the options that we have, and based on the enterprise solutions that are in the market, there are maybe five to 10 big players. Out of that, I would say that NetBackup would rank either first or second. I have personal experience with some of the other products too, or I have reviewed most of them basically.

Based on my experience, even though I had multiple choices or options to move out of NetBackup, after reviewing everything, I went back to NetBackup or I decided, okay, fine, I'll renew NetBackup. 

Overall, I'd rate the solution at seven out of ten. There are lots of things that can be done from the administrative point of view that, if accomplished, would rank them higher.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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