Most Helpful Review
Tests each VM after backups and provides a dashboard view of backup accuracy and the viability of my DR solution
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
We use Commvault IntelliSnap a lot. It's a very good product and has the functionality to enable a snapshot of a vendor's storage... It really helps to speed up the backup process for some of our environments.
Its compression and deduplication allow us to store more backups and save storage space. The reporting is great; we are able to obtain critical business reports and infrastructure/usage information very easily.
The solution’s user interface for managing the on-prem environment is good.
What I find valuable is restoring the complete server. Restoring files is also valuable, but I like restoring the server because you don't have to rebuild a new one.
One of the most valuable features is the encryption which helps save you from ransomware. Because the data is already encrypted, it cannot be encrypted again.
The Command Center is provided from the web interface. You can back up the data for everybody, but also you can give everybody the ability to view and restore their data. For example, if a laptop, machine, or environment is owned by X, then X can look in and see the environment and data that he has backed up. He can see everything that he owns and can manage the environment as he wishes. It gives him an excellent view of his environment and infrastructure. Also, if you are a service provider, you can back up data for multiple companies and give everyone an interface for their environment to manage, backup, and restore data. Commvault has done excellent work in this area.
The data is well-protected. It doesn't age off until it's copied. That's a big feature right there. When you reach the end of your retention, it does not expire until the secondary copy is completed. That allows you to hold onto data that otherwise would have aged off by retention. I like that feature. It's hard to just delete or lose data using the Commvault platform.
Commvault software is a single platform where you can enable whatever you want to use, like endpoint protection. You can enable those licenses on a single platform screen. This is where I see the value ad. This is a single management tool.
The change in the way that Quorum processes data has made a tremendous improvement in backup and replication times. While the familiar interface remains, the underpinnings have been finely tuned and the speed is incredible. My large Exchange Server went from 5- to 6-hour backups down to 22 minutes.
I like this product because it is easy to use.
From a disaster-recovery point of view, one of the things I really like is that I can test the virtual copy of the physical server on a test network and compare the servers side-by-side, without interfering with the production network. So I can see and make sure that the latest copy of the server is the physical copy of the server, without interfering with production.
When it comes to recovering what you need from a backup, it's really easy. You just drill through the directory, find the file and the date that you want, and click to recover. You then pick the directory you want to save it in. Usually, it takes a minute or two and it's done. It's quick and easy.
It does automated tests to the systems to make sure that you could spin them up if you needed to. And if something doesn't come back up in those tests, we get a notification saying the system didn't come back up.
It's easy to implement, easy to spin up, easily configurable, to drop-in appliances and network. There wasn't a lot of time needed to spin it up.
One of the biggest features is that, even on the absolutely run-of-the-mill box, if I lose any one of my servers I can automatically bring it up virtually on the physical onQ Quorum device.
The biggest feature is being able to do a file recovery to the original server. That is extremely useful and has saved us a few times when we've had ransomware. In some of those cases, people's computers were locked down by viruses which spread to things they had access to, including server shares. But we were easily able to just restore to four hours prior, instead of a day or two or more ago.
The continuous data protection is great. We love it because I can see exactly how many seconds behind real-time we are, which is usually under 10 seconds. It keeps things up to date. We love the product.
Most of the time, this is at least a two person job. We used to have three people doing it. Previously, when we had a disaster recovery drill, the way it worked was 12 of us would show up in the office on a Friday night and work overnight from 12:00 AM on Friday night to 8:00 AM in the morning on Saturday. Then, three of us would be working for four hours out of those eight or nine hours just getting applications up and running in Arizona. Now, for the disaster recovery drill, I just stay onsite to help and assist anybody else as they need during that time frame and my work is done in about a 30-minute time frame. This is compared to the four or five hours it used to take for the three of us to do it.
The real-time replication of data is the most valuable feature. It is a vast improvement in scheduled daily backups. Real-time data is streamed to the offsite data center, which allows us to restore our mission-critical applications up to 10 seconds from when the last changes were made in our system. If we enter a sales order or enter any kind of information in our ERP application it is replicated within 10 seconds to the offsite location.
We are doing continuous data protection. It works flawlessly. Our recovery points are measured in seconds. We have all these "baby snapshots" throughout the course of the day, so we can roll a VM back to any point in time, spin it up, and away we go. We're actively using that. It works great.
We selected Zerto because the RPO is extremely low, so you can get that server back up almost immediately. That was a huge thing. Also, the ability to do failover tests, where you can test your environment, but not have it impact your production environment, was huge.
The most valuable features are the continuous streaming, that it takes very little CPU usage — it doesn't affect production — and the recovery time is very short.
There are two things that are keeping us with the solution: 1. It does a very good job of keeping the data in sync at all times. 2. In the event of a failover or in the event of a contingency, we are able to retrieve the data very quickly without any issues.
The mobile application is very useful as a real-time monitoring, reporting tool. When asked the status of our machine backup and recovery ability, an easy answer is to display the status on the real-time application or browser. The Zerto Analytics tool helps predict future storage needs by tracking trends in space, journal size, and I/O rate. These are reportable statistics making quantifiable tracking easy and accurate. Having a web interface simplifies access by other system administrators.
The software is good, but I always have issues with the documentation and, especially, the communication regarding new functionality. Commvault has a new maintenance release every three months, and it's always hard to know exactly what has changed in the software. They have improved a bit on that topic by communicating what has changed, but there is still a lot of room for improvement on that side.
The solution requires constant attention. Commvault is very complex. We are constantly making adjustments and working through hotfixes, updates, and issues.
Suppose I am restoring a particular file. If I want to restore the permissions only from that particular folder, that is not possible. I have to restore all the data for that particular folder. If there was an option to just restore the permissions, that would be better.
We get an alarm if a lot of files are deleted, for example. That could look like ransomware, even if it is not.
It takes a lot of technical expertise to implement. Commvault could increase the training it provides to customers and partners.
I would like them to keep working on the new web interface to migrate out of the old interface because the old interface is a bit complex. It was driving customers away because of the complexity. If they migrate everything (100 percent of the features), this would make the product be perfect.
Commvault likes to be ahead of the game when it comes to merging with other platforms, but sometimes it's before they have the solution truly baked in. Office 365 is an example. I feel that my company might be a litmus test for their solution, because we have such a large environment. Some of the promised solutions that we received from Commvault were more like testing solutions. They weren't really validated, meaning they were possibilities. There have been a lot of hot fixes for the solution that we're using right now, more than we expected.
They don't market their products well. They don't do a lot of marketing to enable them to move forward.
I would like to see iSCSI support added so that NAS storage servers could be protected. We heavily utilize NAS storage and the risk there is minimal backup options. Currently, we are backing up NAS to NAS which is costly and slow. Being able to integrate NAS server backup would be the last item on my Quorum bucket list.
Better integration with cloud-based solutions like Azure and Office 365 is needed.
One thing that could be done to improve it would be a single pane of glass for doing disaster recovery testing, where I could have remote consoles in one place... I still have to go to each location in a browser and then bring up the console. I'd like to see them integrate that into a single pane of glass so I don't have to go to each server.
The one thing they could do is some tweaking on the web solution that's supposed to monitor everything from one page, rather than having to bring each server up on its own webpage. It doesn't always accurately show what the system's state is at the time, and we have to restart that process now and then.
It feels to me like it's going to be a little bit more work than I originally anticipated when upgrading the appliance. I haven't done that yet so I can't speak from true experience, but I went through the project plan and it feels to me like there's quite a number of pieces and components and things that have to be done. Quorum is going to manage the rollout, but in starting the initial conversation there were a lot of unanswered questions
I would really like it if they followed comparable products from other vendors and had an option where you could offload to tape. I know it sounds incredibly antiquated, but the benefit I see is that there would be a better air gap than you have with backing up to an online source.
There seems to be a lack of technicians. Sometimes they are very busy and I don't hear back for a day or two. The technicians they have are great. They are fantastic, but it seems difficult, at times, to get in contact with anyone.
At times the email notifications don't go out, but a quick reset always fixes that problem.
For what we got it for, it does it great. I use a different solution for my disk-to-disk local backups to where I can have a local backup of files. I don't think Zerto does that well to where it keeps a memory of the files that are there. Basically, when something is deleted on Zerto, it gets deleted on the replicated version. So, some sort of snapshotting or something where I could have backups at different points in time of files would be a really helpful tool.
The alerting doesn't quite give you the information about what exactly is going on when an issue comes up. We do get alerts inside of our vCenter, but it doesn't quite give you accurate information inside the plugin to be able to tell us what's going on without having to go into the actual Zerto application and figuring out what's causing the issue.
Compared to other products, I would praise the intuitiveness of the product. But I think that can always be improved. The intuitiveness of the graphical user interface, while it is very solid and I don't have issues navigating it. I would say that it can always be improved.
One thing I would like to see, and I know that this is on their roadmap, is the ability to use long-term storage in the cloud, like in Azure or AWS, making that even more seamless. Whether it's stored in glacier or on-prem, being able to retrieve that data in a quick manner would be helpful. They're just not there yet.
If I have to reboot a virtual machine host, I have issues with Zerto catching up afterward. That's about the only thing I would say needs improvement. Sometimes, when I have to do maintenance, Zerto takes a little bit to catch up. That's understandable.
With the VPG (virtual protected group) it would be nice if you could pick individuals in the grouping instead of having to failover the whole group.
When we are trying to upgrade any virtual machines, we have to stop the virtual machines that have been replicated in Zerto and then upgrade or update to the virtual machines onsite. Instead of having to do it manually, there should be some way of automating that particular function.
Certain areas were designed and work fine for VMware but are under development for Hyper-V. Eventually, all features will work for both platforms.
Pricing and Cost Advice
We work with Commvault and a partner on our environment needs according to capacity, licensing, pricing, components, modules, etc. Additional costs depend on your backup needs.
We have checked some other products, but we are not testing them because price-wise, Commvault is better than the other solutions.
It is cheaper than Veeam.
It was not very popular because of its previous cost, but they have been working on the pricing, and now anyone can afford to use Commvault. They changed the modeling criteria for their pricing. Previously, there was only the capacity modeling based on your content capacity. In this case, they would give you a license and you would have to pay it. Now, most of the environment is virtualized so you can have the best CPU, VMs, etc. You buy whatever you need and pay for what you need.
We went from Veritas NetBackup to Commvault. We switched due to upfront licensing and costs. We have more visibility into what we're actually purchasing. It seemed like, overall, the cost of Commvault was cheaper.
The complete license gives us options for all the features. Commvault does not license based on storage or the management components. It can integrate with any storage vendor. That means that when we are out of storage and need more, we can integrate without additional licensing. In my opinion, Commvault needs to reduce the licensing cost by 20 to 40 percent to make it cost-efficient.
Commvault licensing is a perpetual license so only the support is being renewed yearly.
There is a bit of cost involved with signing up the entire solution. It's not a cheap solution.
The initial expenditure for us was a little under $40,000 for the recent renewal. For the first three years after that, other than electricity, there's no cost. After that, their support contract has to be renewed annually. We spent close to $6,000, between the two offices, for support.
The pricing is about $1,400 a month. It's a little bit on the higher side. But it's one of those situations where time is valuable for me. So if it costs a little bit more money for me to have a solution that just works and requires less of my day-to-day management, I'm willing to pay a little bit more.
The total for our current solution's licensing is about $14,000 for 12 servers for three years.
The cost is higher than other software and services, but it is an absolute must-have.
When we first got the Quorum the licensing was different.
We have never questioned whether it is worth it because it so obviously is a great value.
It's very equitable, otherwise you wouldn't do it. It's something that we utilize for the licenses per core as far as what we're backing up. Therefore, it's very cost-efficient as far as the licensing goes. For the amount of stuff that we're backing up and what we're utilizing it for, the licensing is not very expensive at all.
There is a one-time cost for maintenance and support. We have a three-year contract that we will have to renew when those three years come up. There is also licensing on top of that for whatever product you are using it for.
If it were easier to license, and to scale it out a little bit more economically, that'd be a godsend. At the end of the day, my druthers would be to have all 200 of our servers protected by this platform. But for a company our size, that stretches our IT budget and it just doesn't make economic sense.
I would suggest getting a dedicated, well-informed rep.
Zerto is not cheap but is an invaluable asset.
You need to figure out how many critical servers and applications you have in your environment so you will know how many Zerto licenses to buy.
The cost per VM is a bit high.
The cost is not dirt cheap but also is not terrible.
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Also Known As
|OnQ||Zerto Virtual Replication|
Commvault can help you transform your data into a powerful strategic asset, with data protection and information management solutions that enable you to protect, access and use all of your data anywhere and anytime.
Quorum onQ is the global leader in 1-click instant recovery, providing full immediate recovery of your critical systems after any storage, system or site failure. It does this by automatically maintaining up-to-date, ready-to-run virtual machine clones of your physical and virtual servers stored on a dedicated appliance – clones that will transparently take over for failed servers within minutes.
Zerto helps customers accelerate IT transformation by eliminating the risk and complexity of modernization and cloud adoption. By replacing multiple legacy solutions with a single IT Resilience Platform, Zerto is changing the way disaster recovery, backup and cloud are managed. At enterprise scale, Zerto’s software platform delivers continuous availability for an always-on customer experience while simplifying workload mobility to protect, recover and move applications freely across hybrid and multi-clouds. Zerto is trusted by over 6,000 customers globally and is powering resiliency offerings for Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, AWS, SunGard AS and more than 350 cloud services providers.
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