Veritas NetBackup Review

Valuable features include SLPs for replication, duplication control, and AIR.

How has it helped my organization?

Our only other frame of reference is switching from BE to NBU. We got more advanced control of backups and restores by switching to a full-fledged enterprise solution.

What is most valuable?

Its most valuable feature is probably the variety of features it has. You have the ability to perform a lot of actions with a single software solution. Specific features that I could not do without are SLPs for replication and duplication control and AIR which makes DR easy.

What needs improvement?

The code base in general could use an overhaul. The base of the product is very old. It gets a lot of new features, but improvements in basic functionality are often sacrificed for a shiny new bullet point to put on sales presentations. It is one of the best solutions available, but it certainly has its shortcomings.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product itself is very stable. Most issues with stability come from running too many parallel operations and the hardware itself can’t handle it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Price is a major issue with scalability. In big environments with lots of servers, this product is quite expensive. When a single backup environment gets large, the backup catalog gets large and then your catalog backups for DR production begin to take a very long time. The database performance begins to suffer. I find a 500-700GB catalog will give the highest performance, but I wouldn’t want to get much larger than 2TB.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support runs the gamut depending on where your call lands. US based support out of MN or FL is generally the best I can find for frontline people. India is about what you would expect. They push off a lot of work and assign busy work when they don’t know the answers. US backline engineers are some of the best technical people in the business.

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

I previously used Backup Exec, NetBackup's little brother. We switched as our environment grew large enough to justify a more robust backup solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very easy. It has a lot of "next, next, next," and basic functions that just work. Setting up advanced features can be complex, but the documentation is readily available. If you read and follow the steps in the documentation, you will be fine.

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

Smaller virtualized environments will want to stick to a traditional licensing model if possible. It will likely be cheaper, but it is a pain to manage all the individual licenses for each client. Once you get to a thousand or so servers to backup, the capacity model starts to make more sense. Again, it is not what you would call cheap.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other solutions before this product, but while this product was in a smaller environment, we evaluated EMC solutions, Rubrik, TSM, and HPE Data Protector. The solutions that offered robust feature sets like NBU were more expensive or more complex. They either lack features or they are too new, such as Rubrik. Some are very expensive for the same feature set with EMC's solutions.

What other advice do I have?

The top level solutions all have similar features, but find what you do most and choose the product that makes that the most efficient. Remember that in the end, you have to spend your days managing this. You want to make the day-to-day stuff you do as straightforward as possible. Build redundancies into your backups systems and split out backup traffic from the production network.

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