How has it helped my organization?
The intelligent policies feature is used in order to protect the VMware infrastructure. One of the things that makes a big difference for our company is the usage of these intelligent policies. The system automatically provides extra protection for any VMware server application or service. From a backup administrator's point of view, this is what we call peace of mind. It reduces the workload and therefore reduces resources needed from the company.
The backup administrator always tends to be combined with all other administrators and tries to find if there is any new application, service, or server. With intelligent policies, this has been resolved. I create one policy for VMware because it has a very good integration when we pair it up with the API. With this intelligent policy, anything that is changed into the VMware is automatically led back to NetBackup protection and NetBackup covers it.
The other great thing for the company is that this kind of application is fully encrypted so it gives us full compliance for issues. That's the greatest benefit.
What is most valuable?
One of the best features is the VMware integration with NetBackup.
The cloud-based backup is also an excellent feature.
The ability to establish many plans for long term retention, especially using some of their appliances is very helpful. We're not using paid backups for long term retention. It's our business procedure. Instead, we use new apps for storage. There is a type of storage they offer in which they give us member shared space and we can establish a parent point of the primary appliances in order to comply with the long term retention.
One of the other features of NetBackup is that it gives you Granular Recovery Technology for three major applications, or services: SQL, SharePoint, and Exchange. That means that you don't have to deploy an agent on Exchange servers or a DAG server. It also supports Office 365, and Cloud-based services. You don't have to deploy agents in a SharePoint environment, a SharePoint file, and you don't have to deploy an agent in SQL because when you create the VMware policy and you activate Granular Recovery Technology, the VMware technology that is used gives you the ability to restore with GRT, without the obligations which have an agent on the server. That is a great feature.
What needs improvement?
The only drawback for NetBackup, and of course for Veritas, is that they have stuck to the same environment and to the same user interface. This needs to be improved in future releases. It needs to be more dynamic.
I would like to see more prepared, pre-configured reports and higher integration with other leading-edge products. I'm not talking about backup solutions. I'm talking about other services like ticketing systems such as ServiceNow.
They need to offer more integrations because of the convergence of the demands on the system these days.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've been using the solution for 1.5 years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The solution is very stable when there is no major change that actually requires corresponding changes to the policies of the NetBackup protection environment. If there are no more major changes from protected areas, like the VMware infrastructure, like the application of services, the solution is stable.
It's even stable with the patches that Microsoft releases from time to time, that can cause so many problems.
Some jobs may fail, but it reports back to the Backup administrator. An extensive loss gives the opportunity to find out what was changed and what is going on and proceed and make all the necessary adjustments to get back on track.
It's very stable also as an environment. After one and a half years we've never had a failure in a hard disk startup and we've never had a failure of NetBackup services. We never had any kind of corruption or any kind of failure, generally speaking.
There are some small issues, as with any product. However, the backup administrator continues reporting daily and checking to see if everything is working fine.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The solution is very scalable.
How are customer service and technical support?
There are different types of technical support. They offer Gold and 24/7 monitoring, for example. The also offer support where they take the responsibility of monitoring the appliances. Even in cases where the backup administrator is not aware of an imminent hard disk failure, they know about it and send the replacement.
We decided to go with the Essential Support because my knowledge is very good on this product, so we try to eliminate the costs of more premium offerings. Even with Essential Support, their response time is very, very satisfactory. There was no situation where I had to call them or open on the technical support portal and chase them to get answers. Usually, they respond within 4 hours. That's really good especially because it's merely Essential Support, not Platinum or Gold.
There was one case where we had a problem that needed escalation. The escalation happens after the second or the third action from their side. Usually, they request some logs to provide immediate feedback. They didn't spend too much time investigating the logs, and they responded immediately. They can escalate it as well if they need to.
If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?
We used to use Symantec, but it was a very smooth transition because Symantec and Veritas were part of the same company.
We looked at Veeam, which was very competitive in the process but was only software.
Veritas won out because it offered a solution that also had native hardware and we didn't want to use space from our core storage.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was quite straightforward. We use a Linux based backup, and we chose the solution because we are using Veritas appliances as well; it was recommended by Veritas.
It's quite easy for someone who is experienced with backup administration. It might not be as easy for someone implementing for the first time, but for someone who is already experienced, it's very easy.
There is only one server you have to prepare. The configuration is very easy and the integration with VMware was a piece of cake. It's not a complex ATI that you need to strip down, connect, stream, send, etc. It's very, very easy.
Thre are initially only four or five policies that NetBackup uses with Microsoft Windows, SQL, Oracle, VMware and Check Point. That means that you don't have to deploy agents everywhere.
What was our ROI?
The correlation between the amount that the company spends to start with the infrastructure and the gain that it has seen in terms of work components has been good. For example, the deduplication ratio that NetBackup performs is highly competitive. It's a very, very good thing because we don't have to buy extra storage that creates an extra cost for the company.
What other advice do I have?
We use the on-premises deployment model.
We've been very happy with this solution. The correlation of NetBackup with a Veritas solution, which gave us the opportunity to dynamically capture the protected data in the two different styles, was helpful. Another Veritas webpage solution works perfectly with NetBackup and gives us a dynamic picture of protected data.
One other improvement we've seen since implementation, from a business' point of view, is that the usage of the new popular technology of Veritas, like the access storage, where the initial configuration is 700 terabytes, gives us long term retention. The company avoids paying for quite expensive robotic libraries. The access storage is outside the company but the backup and the reach hold times are working in tandem. The speed on daily operation, in terms of cataloging, restoring operations, and related things are very good.
The DR (Disaster Recovery) in RPO (Recovery Point Objective) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective) has also improved. Everybody is looking for the best solution that actually gives a balance RPO or RTO. And these two terms are highly related to the DR, the disaster recovery plans. From that point of view, they are a great improvement in contrast with the previous solution that we had. The previous solution was a backup exit. Again, it was the very best, before it was Symantec. We had it for more than five years but when we moved to NetBackup we discovered a whole new world of possibilities and capabilities.
I would advise anyone to use NetBackup. I know the solution well, and I know that they offer very good implication ratio. Of course, I have this opinion because we are also using their appliances, which are pre-configured specifically for this operation.
I don't know if these ratios will be sustained if a customer buys just the software, and uses a third-party storage option to keep the backup. In our case, I would suggest sharing the POC with NetBackup, and even if the POC is without an appliance, I think they can expect to see a big difference. It's very fast.
I would rate the solution ten out of ten. If you would ask me about the software alone I would give it 9, but with the appliance, it deserves a 10.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.