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Veeam Agent for Linux Alternatives and Competitors

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Chris Slaby
Network Administrator at a educational organization with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Restores files much quicker and offers continuous data protection

Pros and Cons

  • "In terms of the most valuable features, having the failover tests where you can see where your actual RTO and RPO would be is really nice, especially for the management level. I really liked the ease of when I need to do a file or folder restore off the cuff. Usually, it takes me less than five minutes to do it, including the mounting of the actual image. That was one thing with Unitrends, it was a similar process but if that backup had aged off of the system, then you had to go to the archive and you find the right disks, load them in, and then actually mount the image."
  • "In terms of improvement, it would be helpful if the implementation team had a better best practices guide and made sure things like the journaling are very clearly understood."

What is our primary use case?

Right now, everything is on-prem including LTR. We are looking at adding the Azure features but we're not quite there yet.

We purchased Zerto to replace our Legacy backup system that still had disks, Archiver Appliance, and everything like that. We had wanted to do something that was diskless but still gave us multiple copies. So we were utilizing both the instantaneous backup and recovery, as well as the LTR, Long Term Retention, function. We do our short-term backup with normal journaling and then our longer-term retention with the LTR appliance, which is going to dedicated hardware in one of our data centers.

We use Zerto for both backup and disaster recovery. It was fairly important that Zerto offers both of these features because Unitrends did provide the traditional backup piece. They also had another product called ReliableDR, which they later rolled into a different product. Unitrends actually bought the company. That piece provided the same functionality as what Zerto is doing now, but with Unitrends that was separate licensing and a different management interface. It wasn't nice to have to bounce between the two systems. The ability to do it all from a single pane of glass that is web-based is nice.

It's definitely not going to save us money. It'll be a peace of mind thing, that we have another copy of our data somewhere. Our DR site is approximately 22 miles away. The likelihood of a tornado or something devastating two communities where our facilities are based is pretty slim. It's peace of mind and it does not require additional storage space on-prem. We know that the charges for data at rest are not free in Azure. We get good pricing discounts being in education but it definitely won't save money.

How has it helped my organization?

Zerto was fairly comparable to what Unitrends was offering with multiple products. We didn't gain a ton of extra features. If anything, in the very near future, it will give us the ability for Cloud backup and retention to have some of that sitting out in the Cloud as an offsite backup. We have a primary site, a backup site, and a recovery site. We have multiple copies already, but we want to have one that's not on any of our physical facilities so we will be setting that up shortly. We just need to get our subscriptions and everything coordinated and up to par. That would be the main improvement that it's going to provide us. But we're not quite there yet.

Zerto has reduced downtime. Speaking specifically to the file restores, it's definitely restored things much quicker. Instead of waiting for half-hour to get a file restore done, it's a matter of five minutes or less to do it where they can keep rolling much quicker versus with Unitrends. Other than that, I can't say there are any huge differences.

The difference in downtime would cost my organization very little. We're a small technical college, so we're not loopy on making or losing thousands or millions of dollars if something takes five minutes versus an hour and a half. Higher ed is a different breed of its own. 

What is most valuable?

In terms of the most valuable features, having the failover tests where you can see where your actual RTO and RPO would be is really nice, especially for the management level. I really liked the ease of when I need to do a file or folder restore off the cuff. Usually, it takes me less than five minutes to do it, including the mounting of the actual image. That was one thing with Unitrends, it was a similar process but if that backup had aged off of the system, then you had to go to the archive and you find the right disks, load them in, and then actually mount the image. Our main data stores are close to two terabytes. It would take 15 to 20 minutes just to mount the image. Whereas with Zerto, I don't think it's taken longer than a minute or a minute and a half to mount any image that we've needed to go back to a restore point on.

With Unitrends, some could have taken a half-hour. I'm the only network administrator here, so it usually was a multitasking event where we would wait for it to load. I would take care of a few other things and then come back to it.

Switching to Zerto decreased the time it took but did not decrease the number of people involved. It still requires myself and our network engineer to do any failover, back and forth, because of our networking configuration and everything. I know that Zerto allows us to RE-IP machines as we failover. However, because of the way our public DNS works and some of our firewall rules, we have purposely chosen not to do that in an automated fashion. That would still be a manual operation. It would still involve a couple of people from IT.

Zerto does a pretty decent job at providing continuous data protection. The most important thing that I didn't clearly understand upfront, was the concept of journaling and how that differs from traditional backup. For example, if you set journal retention for seven days or whatever, in your traditional backup, it kept that for seven days, regardless of what was happening. You had it versus the journaling, where coupled with some of the size limits and stuff of the journal size, if you don't configure it correctly, you could actually have less data backed up than what you think you do. I also found out that if you have an event such as ransomware, that all of a sudden throws a lot of IOPS at it, and a lot of change rate, that can age out a journal very quickly and then leave you with the inability to restore if that's not set up properly.

We have requirements to keep student data and information for seven years. We need long-term retention for those purposes. We don't typically need to go back further than 30 days for file restores and everything. There has been the occasion where six months later, we need to restore a file because we had somebody leaving the organization or something like that and that folder or whatever wasn't copied over at the time they left.

Zerto has not saved us time in a data recovery situation due to ransomware because we did not have it correctly configured. When we had an event like that, we weren't able to successfully restore from a backup. That has been corrected now. Now that it is configured correctly, I anticipate that it will save us weeks of time. It took almost two weeks to get to a somewhat normal state after our event. We're still recovering somewhat from rebuilding some servers and stuff like that. To get our primary data and programs back up and running to a mostly normal function, took around two weeks.

We also expect that it will reduce the number of staff involved in that type of data recovery situation. We ended up having to hire one of our trusted partners to come in and help us rebuild and remediate. There was at least a dozen staff including our own IT staff, which was another 10 people on top of that. Provided that we do now have this set correctly, it would really drop it down to maybe two or three people.

What needs improvement?

In terms of improvement, it would be helpful if the implementation team had a better best practices guide and made sure things like the journaling are very clearly understood. 

Speaking directly to our incident, we did have professional services guide us with the installation, setup, and configuration. At that time, there was no suggestion to have these appliances not joined to the domain or in a separate VLAN from our normal servers and everything. They are in a completely isolated network. The big thing was being domain-joined. They didn't necessarily give that guidance. In our particular situation, with our incident, had those not been domain-joined, we would have been in a much better place than what we ended up being.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Zerto for about two years

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is quite stable. I haven't had system issues with it. The VRAs run, they do their thing. The VPGs run, so as long as we're not experiencing network interruptions between our two campuses, the tasks run as they should. In the event we do have an interruption, they seem to recover fairly quickly catching up on the journaling and stuff like that. It's fairly stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is pretty good. We have 50 seats, so we will just be starting to bump up against that very shortly. My impression is that all we need to do is purchase more licenses as needed, and we're good to expand as long as our infrastructure internal can absorb it.

I just recently learned from Zerto Con that they are coming out or have just come out with a Zerto for SaaS applications, which gives the ability to back up Office 365 tenants or Salesforce tenants. I am very interested in learning about that. We have been researching and budgeting for standalone products for Office 365 and Salesforce backups. From my understanding, those products would be backed up from the cloud to the cloud so that it wouldn't have impacts on our internal, long-term appliance, or any of our storage internal infrastructure. That's very appealing. 

It will depend on costs. If it's something that I can't absorb with the funding I have already secured for Office 365, then it would have to be added to our next year's budget because we run from July 1st to June 30th. Our capital timeline budgeting has surpassed us already.

How are customer service and technical support?

For the most part, the technical support is pretty decent. I've only had to open one or two tickets and the response time has been pretty good. Our questions were answered.

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

We previously used Unitrends. We switched solutions because we were at the end of our lifecycle with the appliances we had. At that time, Unitrends was not quite as mature with the diskless and cloud-type technologies as Zerto was. We were pursuing diskless where we had to rotate out hard drives for archiving. We wanted to get rid of that. That brought us to Zerto and it was recommended by one of our vendors to take a look at it.

Unitrends had replaced Commvault. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was fairly straightforward, deploying the VRAs to the VMware infrastructure and stuff like that was point, click, and let it run it. It was fairly quick. The VRAs took a couple of minutes each, so that wasn't bad at all. Setting up the VPGs is quite simple. There is a little bit of confusion where you can set your default for the journaling and stuff like that and then modify individual VMs after the fact. If you want different journal sizes for different VMs in the same VPG, there are a couple of different spots you can tweak. The setup and requirements of the LTR were a little bit confusing.

We purchased six or eight hours of implementation time but that was over multiple calls. We stood up some of the infrastructures, got some VPGs together, and then they left it to me to set up some other VPGs. Then we did a touch base to see what questions I had and things like that. We had six or eight hours purchased but it was spread over multiple engagements.

For the most part, only I worked on the deployment. Our network engineer was involved briefly just to verify connectivity via the VLANs and firewalls. Once we had established a connection, he was pretty much out of it.

I'm the only one who uses it strictly for our district backups. We're a small college. Our IT programs, HR, or business services, don't have their own separate entities. It's all covered under the primary IT department.

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

I don't know that we've saved a ton by replacing our legacy solution with Zerto. I think there's a little less overhead with it. Setting up the VPGs, the protection groups, and everything is a little bit easier and the file restores go much quicker. Fortunately, we haven't had to perform full system restores, but I did not need to do that with Unitrends either. It's usually a folder or a file here and there. We're not really intense on restoring. It has saved a little on management, but not a ton. 

Pricing wasn't horrible. I can't say that it was super competitive. We definitely could have gone with a cheaper price solution but the ease of use and management was really what won me over. Being the only network administrator, I don't have a ton of time to read through 500-page user manuals to get these things set up on a daily basis. I needed something that was very easy to implement and use on a daily basis. In the event I'm out of the office, it would be nice to have simple documentation so that if somebody needs a file restore while I'm gone, it can be handed off to somebody who is not a network admin as their primary job.

I have not run into any additional costs. Obviously, if you're going to utilize Azure for long-term retention it is an additional cost, but that's coming from Microsoft, not Zerto. To my knowledge, there is no additional licensing needed for that, that's all included in the product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Commvault was another solution we looked at even though it was against my better judgment. We looked at Veeam and Rubrik as well.

In terms of ease of use, Veeam was pretty similar but at the time we still had some physical servers that we no longer have now. We are all virtual now. Veeam couldn't accommodate that, as I understood. I liked the features of Zerto and the ability to get the RTO and RPO reports and see where we're at. The ease of file restores was really nice.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to make sure that you clearly understand what you require. You must have retention and recoverability. Make sure that your journal configurations correspond to accommodate that in an event like ransomware or something like that, that a high change rate can happen. Also, utilize long-term retention for instances like that. 

I appreciate the continuing education that they provide. There is Zerto Con and they have different customer support webinars. They do the new product release webinars and stuff like that, where they're very open on what features they're adding, what they've released, and what improvements they're doing. Whereas it seems like most companies, say, "Okay, we have an update available. Here are the release notes." And, it's up to you to go through that.

I like that Zerto takes the time to sometimes do live demos. We're migrating from 8.0 to 8.5. We're going to do it in a live environment and show approximately how long it takes and all the steps to go through it. Make sure you check this box if you're upgrading from this. I find that very helpful. I'm a visual learner, versus learning from reading. Seeing some of those step-by-step upgrades, releases, and feature demonstrations is very helpful.

I would rate Zerto an eight out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Richard Stinnett
President at BTCO Inc
Real User
Enables us to recover complete systems, applications, and data with little or no disruption to the work environment

Pros and Cons

  • "Not having to switch tapes is wonderful. It makes it so easy. We have an on-prem deployment that we also replicate to an offsite replication host. So by not having to deal with tapes and moving them off-site every day and every week, that's amazing ease of use for us."
  • "I think the self-paced learning and knowledge base can always be improved so that users can self-service without having to contact either a reseller or Quest. I know there are things that I would have been looking for to try and solve. And the only way I could get there was to actually open a ticket rather than go through self-service through the portal."

What is our primary use case?

We use Rapid Recovery to protect our core server applications, data, principal end-users who may have local information as well as information on the network.

How has it helped my organization?

The ease of use has reduced the admin time involved in our backup recovery operations. It hasn't reduced the daily monitoring of things, but it has reduced the managing of tapes daily and weekly by at least three hours of time a week.

Rapid Recovery really hasn't changed the way that we function. We were doing everything before that we do today. It's just that we do it with less effort now that we have Rapid Recovery, such as not having to handle the physical tapes and being able to do backups locally and have them replicated offsite. But it's less time.

It enables us to recover complete systems, applications, and data with little or no disruption to the work environment. That's very important. The amount of data that we generate in a day is very large and we can't afford to have a large, long protracted outage. So knowing and having our systems protected with Rapid Recovery allows us to return to a productive state quickly and rapidly so that we can continue our productions. We are a production facility and if our systems aren't working, we can't produce the product for our customers.

Using Rapid Recovery, we can have one of our servers, as long as it wasn't one of our big, crazy ones, up and going in and probably 30 minutes to an hour from a complete failure.

In the past, if we had to set up the server and then mount all the tapes and find all the tapes and all that, it could be an all-day or many-hour function, five to eight hours to get a server up and going, to one hour. It's just drastically changed our ability to get operations back up and running.

What is most valuable?

The ease of use is amazing and that's the most valuable aspect, being able to get the information quickly in the event of something failing or inadvertently being deleted.

We haven't had to rely on Rapid Recovery very often, but we had a core work product that had a server crash and we needed to restore the right database to get it operational again. It was very easy to walk through the different points in time of that database to get to the last known good one that was able to get us up and going within about 30 minutes of the failure being identified. So it was just really nice to go to the resource, find what we needed and restore each version until we got to them that worked.

Not having to switch tapes is wonderful. It makes it so easy. We have an on-prem deployment that we also replicate to an offsite replication host. So by not having to deal with tapes and moving them off-site every day and every week, that's amazing ease of use for us.

We use the synthetic incremental backups.

We also use it to send updates to a virtual standby that can be activated if there's an issue with the primary machine.

What needs improvement?

I think the self-paced learning and knowledge base can always be improved so that users can self-service without having to contact either a reseller or Quest. I know there are things that I would have been looking for to try and solve. And the only way I could get there was to actually open a ticket rather than go through self-service through the portal.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Rapid Recovery for about four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable. We haven't had any issues with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We're pretty small so we haven't scaled much beyond the on-site with an offsite replication.

There are two IT admin positions who use it and no end users. They monitor the server replication, licensing, and all of that, as well as add moves and changes if we deploy a new server or that isn't automatically covered through our VMware configuration or a new workstation that needs to have a physical license for itself as well.

In terms of the maintenance required, it's just software updates, or maintenance if a host goes offline and is no longer being backed up. It's kind of a check and balance but is that because the connection to that host is down, or is that because that host was decommissioned but nobody updated the Rapid Recovery system accordingly? 

We're updating our infrastructure, so we plan to move our Rapid Recovery and upgrade to the latest versions, but I think its depth and penetration within our infrastructure will probably remain the same.

How are customer service and support?

Their technical support is very good. In the only handful of times that I've had to contact them in the past four years, they've been very responsive. Their knowledge of the product has been in-depth and they've been able to share the technical information and the solutions quite quickly.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We used to be a Veeam shop. We switched to Rapid Recovery on the recommendation of our technical partners. It just works. We've had different solutions throughout, Veeam, Symantec, and other traditional backup solutions, but Rapid Recovery really just works.

Backup Exec was just too cumbersome and their licensing was too complex. Veeam, we needed more features than we had in our initial Veeam licensing. And the main reason that we switched was on the recommendation of our technical partner after demonstrating the features and the affordability of the product.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. We pretty much just followed through with the wizards and the configuration. It was very easy to get the Rapid Recovery host up and going and then use the deployment wizard to deploy the agents out to the workstations that we were trying to protect, following the knowledge base articles of how to configure it with our VMware ESX environment was pretty straightforward as well.

For us to get everything fully deployed and everything actually protected it took a day or two. But out-of-the-box, we were up and running with Rapid Recovery, getting things done within about four hours.

Our strategy was to just get it done. The physical installation and then the actual software deployment, and we had a stair-step of which assets had to be up and running immediately. We wanted things to be protected immediately on the local server and then we needed to do the replication to the offsite server, but that was lower down in the process because we knew we were going to have to create the initial replication to an external drive and then move that to the offsite and import it into the offsite server before we could actually start live replication between onsite and offsite hosts.

What about the implementation team?

Underground Vaults and Storage is our technical partner for our servers and infrastructure. They helped us greatly with our initial deployment setup and configuration, as well as planning.

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

We pay for our maintenance and we usually buy it for multiple years at a time. We like the fact that we were able to buy the VM licensing so that any of our virtual machines that are on the protected host are automatically covered under that license. Then all we need to do is add additional licenses for additional physical machines, such as workstations that we want to protect.

The maintenance is typically in addition to the standard license.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be that before you implement it, know your infrastructure, know what it is that you are planning on protecting and where it is, whether it's virtual or physical. That will have a drastic impact on how and the amount of time it takes to implement.

I sleep well at night knowing that our systems are protected. We have a very easy-to-use system and because it's easy to use, we regularly go and check in and do restorations to make sure that they are good.

Don't fear change. We weren't sure if we were going to like the product and move from our existing product, but by having a technical partner and not being afraid of change we reap the rewards of moving to a solid product.

I would rate it a nine out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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AD
Datacenter Engineer at Al Ittefaq Steel Products Company
Real User
Top 20
Great automation and very good data deduplication but lacks good reporting

Pros and Cons

  • "Data Protector is very good at automation. From the time of the backup, verification, and copy to tape, it is very good. I don't need to touch it, it will do it by itself."
  • "If you compare the solution with the same specific features and enhancements on another solution, Data Protector is expensive. This is especially true when compared to, for example, Veeam."

What is our primary use case?

 We primarily use the solution for data backups.

What is most valuable?

On the interface level of managing the backup, especially the history of the files that we are backing up, Data Protector is pretty good.

Implementation is pretty easy, depending on the number of clients.

The data deduplication is great.

The solution offers easy device detection. It's great for detecting devices you attach to the network. It doesn't matter if it's HPE StoreOnce or Data Domain, this solution will pick it up.

The catalog if very complete. Even if your file is eight years old, you'll be able to see it there.

Data Protector is very good at automation. From the time of the backup, verification, and copy to tape, it is very good. I don't need to touch it, it will do it by itself. 

What needs improvement?

It's annoying that you actually have to pay for the deduplication feature in order to use it.

Starting at around 2010, they haven't really changed their interface or added many new features. The console is dated. they need to make it more modern, add colours and better UI to make it more user friendly and attractive.

If you compare the solution with the same specific features and enhancements on another solution, Data Protector is expensive. This is especially true when compared to, for example, Veeam.

They are starting to create a cloud version of the Data Protector. The thing is, it's very hard to convince an administrator like me to switch to it, due to the fact that they are basically a hardware designed software. It was designed by a hardware engineer, that's why it looks and feels and operates like hardware. To change it to a software doesn't sit right. In comparison, when you use Veeam, you feel like you are managing a cloud. You feel that you are managing something on the top. When you're using Micro Focus Data Protector, on the other hand, you feel that you are directly communicating with the device. It's just as bumpy and not as satisfying as compared to Veem, which is compact and light.

Every time there is a backup running, I cannot predict anything, so I cannot say if it will back up the first time. Data Protector has a status bar. You need to wait and see.

Their flexibility of their reporting needs improvement. You cannot save. You need to copy/paste. It may have appeared flexible in the 1990s, however, it's 2020 now. We need a flexible reporting of all that is happening on the Data Protector. We don't need to focus too much on the data, we need to focus on the maintenance of the machine. There needs to be a focus on analytical reports. We need answers to questions like: "Am I going to lose capacity?" "Do I still have enough space?" "Do I still have enough capacity for the cloud?" Data Protector should analyze these things for you, and alert you if you need to increase capacity.  

The solution needs more mobile capabilities. If I cannot see your product on my mobile, you're not worth considering. Nowadays, that's a basic requirement for an administrator.

There is no place in the world that is not connected to the internet or IoT. There is a lot to be done that the competitors are already doing for the last four years. 

The solution needs to change their support agreement. It was changed from traditional to capacity. That means the product is now only targeting big companies. As it stands now, they cannot really market to smaller organizations because their capacity is not that much. Licensing should be flexible for small businesses all the way up to enterprise-level businesses.

Once you perform a backup for a huge amount of data, you cannot browse it. You cannot browse a specific characteristic of that data on the database in order to find a file. If the file is large, you need to restore it. With Veem, you can view it even if it's inside the archive. It gives you the assurance it's actually there. The solution needs to have a good explorer for administrators. I need to have the flexibility of viewing where I put my data. When it is going to the tape, the tape is totally encrypted. You need to restore it before you know what is inside. It's a big waste of time.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since 2007. It's been well over a decade.

How are customer service and technical support?

When the Micro Focus acquired this product, they changed the way it was supported. Before, when HP was doing it, technical questions were handled by after-sales support. Usually, they would take three days, at the minimum, to get help if you have of any trouble. 

The good thing about Data Protector is that they now have levels of support. They have three levels and you can request it personally. Basically, if the first agent doesn't detect your problem or solve the issue, the customer can take the initiative to say to the agent, "Now, we want to go level two". The agent does not make that call for the customer. 

As of just this year, technical support has really stepped up their game. They've changed. They're amazing.

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

We have had backup solutions before, with another vendor, before we started with this solution in 2007

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is mostly straightforward. An example of a complex installation for me, would be Microsoft Exchange. Micro Focus Data Protector is still a bit of a gray area, but it's easier. It's not modular. You always need to copy the whole SAN in order for you to achieve success.

It's an easy deployment. It's a basic server from the client to the device. It's a little bit of a two-step pattern compared to the Symantec Back Exec deployment, which is the simplest way to install your backup solution. With Data Protector, there are a few additional steps. That said, implementation is easy once you know what you're doing.

The length of time it takes to deploy is approximately 45 minutes for a single server. With clustering, it might take two hours. Now with SAN storage, it might take you a half-day, due to the configuration.

Give me a basic set up, and I can do it within 30 to 45 minutes. I can set the servers up, install the binary, have it detect the media, and then I can deploy the agent and backup any machine.

I don't have the storage inside my server, the storage is connected somewhere else. Connecting the configuration, depending on how I presented the device to the Data Protector, could be 30 minutes to half a day.

For maintenance, ideally, one site should have three engineers. However, in our environment, I am the only backup administrator for five sites. I would say that's understaffed for the solution.

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

Recently, we've seen a huge improvement in the licensing team. They're now phenomenal.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I've also looked at Veem and have downloaded both solutions for free.

What other advice do I have?

We have a service level agreement with Micro Focus.

I cannot say that Data Protector is the perfect tool for my aim. Data Protector is losing to the competition day by day due to the fact that there are so many other features on the market. Data Protector doesn't need to copy their competition, but they at least have to have an offering that's equivalent. Especially now, looking at the console, there's been no money put into updates or UI, especially if you compare it from 2007 until the present day.

The technology itself is proven and it is working fine. 

I have a lot of machines, so I have room to play with the solution. Data Protector is great, however, after using Veem, I can see now where it could be improved. I'd rate it overall seven out of ten. If Data Protector offered a cloud version with better graphical interfaces, plus more analytics and reporting, I'd give it higher marks.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MO
Senior Storage Architect at a computer software company with 201-500 employees
MSP
Top 20
Extremely scalable with great GUI and easy to use

Pros and Cons

  • "Their GUI has improved quite a bit. It's made the solution a lot simpler and less complex."
  • "They took some of the funding off of it for a while. Therefore, instead of being a market leader, they took their position for granted. Then some competitors developed new bells and whistles that they advertise, and due to that lag a few years ago, there are not the resources to explain the differences."

What is our primary use case?

Our clients use it for consolidated backup and mostly for guests on the VM.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution significantly improves a client's restoration times. They also do complete backups now. Some of the things clients used before couldn't really provide complete backups. In that sense, it's been great for organizations.

What is most valuable?

The solution actually does a lot. It's really powerful. The value of Spectrum Protect is it does everything. It does tape and it does disk. It's easy to migrate. You don't need any other software. It's basically an all-in-one solution, which is its most valuable aspect.

Their GUI has improved quite a bit. It's made the solution a lot simpler and less complex.

What needs improvement?

The solution has a Spectrum Protect Plus product, which is more for Windows-only VM. However, it doesn't really do tape. It requires IBM to do things to the Cloud, which adds costs. They're starting to integrate the products together. That said, right now, it's like two implementations, it's not one product.

We've tried to sell Protect Plus from time to time, however, then you need Protect if you want to do tape. It's kind of clunky. Once they integrate the products, it will be pretty powerful.

Spectrum Protect is still an industry-leading product across multiple operating systems. It still runs best on an AIX server and does remember Windows or Linux. The install base is more AIX as far as hosts because the AIX server is more powerful.

They should be able to integrate the products so that you don't have to do two system installs.

The solution should have a better way to deal with the system state files in Windows. They should do that better where it doesn't try to walk the file system and you have to use in image mode.

The experienced people still use the CLI. You shouldn't have to use a CLI to use this product.

They took some of the funding off of it for a while. Therefore, instead of being a market leader, they took their position for granted. Then some competitors developed new bells and whistles that they advertise, and due to that lag a few years ago, there are not the resources to explain the differences.

They're outsold. IBM is outsold because people do not understand the product and it had a reputation of being complex.  That said, with the new GUIs and other improvements, it's really pretty easy. The problem is they've got to deal with their old reputation of being difficult and complex. Still the GUI could still be more robust.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for 20 years now. It's been two decades.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is extremely stable. There are no issues with bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or fail. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We work with all sizes of businesses from Fortune 100 insurance companies to small colleges and universities. We have all sorts of customers.

The scaling potential of the solution is huge. This is an enterprise solution compared to some of the smaller options. It also scales down when you do less than 100 terabytes. It has very favorable pricing. It's competitive with other products.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is not as good as it could be. It's not as good as some of the competitors. IBM has put more resources into it recently. However, they had a stage about two years ago where they kind-of stopped spending as much money on Protect due to the fact that they had so many other IBM products. 

Overall, I'd rate their technical services at seven out of ten. It's not too bad, however, it could be better. They are quite responsive. Now that IBM is more focused on improving the product it may improve as well.

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

I have some experience with Veeam as well. I really like it compared to Veeam. You don't have to have media servers. It's nice compared to Veeam that ­clients don't have to do a media server.

We've had customers who have used other solutions, however, they've been weak and not as scalable as IBM.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex. It's straightforward. It's easy.

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

The pricing is quite good and very competitive in the market.

What other advice do I have?

I'm a reseller and a system architect. I'm not really a user. I'm a project manager and architect. However, we have people on our team that use and install it.

We're using the current version of the solution.

I'd advise other companies to not forget tape. With ransomware and everything else, it's hard. People forget tape is cheap. Tape gives you an air-gap, and, if you properly use it, you get a good hybrid solution.

Many people think it's disk only, and that's just for yesterday's restore, however, for a long-term solution, tape is so much more cost-effective.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten. It's a full-feature product. It's hard to be perfect with full-featured products. There are compromises due to the fact that they do so much.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
SP
IT Network Analyst at a manufacturing company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Excellent backup capabilities with good technical support and a fairly easy initial setup

Pros and Cons

  • "The backup potential of the solution is very good. It's protected us in the past very well and allowed us to get up and running after an attack with minimal loss."
  • "Something within the software itself isn't quite right. There may be a bug or glitch. It will work fine for weeks and then all of a sudden it just tanks."

What is our primary use case?

I use the solution daily for daily backups and weekly for full backups and monthly for the stuff that gets sent off-site.

How has it helped my organization?

As far as if we need to restore a file, the solution absolutely has improved the way our organization functions. It saves us a lot of time. We're backing up all of our servers with it.

What is most valuable?

The backup potential of the solution is very good. It's protected us in the past very well and allowed us to get up and running after an attack with minimal loss.

What needs improvement?

The product needs to be consistent. Within the process itself, a lot of times it will hang on the jobs and you have to then restart all the services to get it to release. The job rate sometimes just randomly will tank. Therefore, you have to stop jobs and restart them in order to get them back at a quicker pace. Those are probably the two worst features. 

Something within the software itself isn't quite right. There may be a bug or glitch. It will work fine for weeks and then all of a sudden it just tanks.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about 12 years, however, it's my understanding that the company itself has likely used it longer.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've found some sort of bug or glitch in the solution that makes it a bit unpredictable. It will work fine for weeks and then all of a sudden it just stops and takes a dive.

That said, it's pretty stable. I would probably say, it is at least 90% stable. It's that 10% where the job rates have a little bit of a problem. I was hoping that this newest version would be better, however, it has the same issues as older versions.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution's scalability is actually getting better. I have not tried to go into the virtual world with it, however, it says that the product can do it. I've not tried it due to the fact that we're using the other products for it, and have Veeam for a virtual solution.

There are three of us that would potentially could go into the product to use it. That includes a network administrator and myself.

At this point, we don't have plans to increase usage.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never used technical support personally just yet. The previous administrator had to for a couple of different issues and they mentioned that support was good. 

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

I'm not sure if a different solution was ever used. I've been at this company for 12 years and we have only used it. They used it even before I arrived. I'm not sure if anything came before it.

How was the initial setup?

The initial implementation was actually fairly easy. It was pretty straightforward. I actually just rebuilt it and put it onto a newer server. It is actually very easy.

I had deployed within a day due to the fact that I was familiar with it. If somebody wasn't familiar with it, might take them up to a couple of days to do it. I was very familiar with it and therefore could do it pretty fast. It took me just a few hours or probably a day's worth of work to get everything in there, the way I wanted it.

We do not require any additional staff for deployment and maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

We handled the implementation in-house. We didn't require a consultant or reseller to assist us.

What was our ROI?

Any time any of these products can back up your systems so that you can quickly restore them or restore files is most definitely beneficial to your company.

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

The solution is not the cheapest option. It's pretty pricey.

Although I know that we pay for it yearly, in March, I'm not sure of the exact costs.

The pricing goes by different types of databases that you're backing up. It's more expensive, for example, if you have an SQL database depending on what you're backing up.

I don't recall paying anything beyond a standard licensing fee for the product.

What other advice do I have?

We're currently considering looking for a new solution. We want to see what is out there. This product is also quite expensive.

Having a reliable backup is essential to your company. For example, we were using this product to back up one of our servers that got the CryptoLocker virus. We were able to go back and restore it to just a few hours previous to the attack and we were able to get everybody right back up and running within a day, in less than a day's time. It absolutely could have just spread right through the whole environment had we not caught it. This solution gave us the ability to be able to get back up with minimal data loss.

Overall, I would rate the solution at an eight out of ten. If they were able to take out some of the bugs we have found I'd rate it higher.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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