CommVault vs. EMC NetWorker vs. Dell vRanger


We have multiple DC's with 3 different backup solutions (CommVault, EMC NetWorker, vRanger). 

Which solution is best for backup/restore features and which is most cost effective?

ITCS user
1818 Answers

author avatar
Top 20Real User

Your question doesn't provide enough information to give you a qualified answer. You've essentially ask da question similar to "I have a parcel I want to wrap, and I have 3 lengths of string, which one should I use?". The answer, being, of course, it depends.

So, we can narrow it down. 3 Data centres would suggest to me that you re not a small company and that you need an Enterprise grade product. That cuts out vRanger (And don't forget that Dell bought EMC, which now means that they own NetWorker, Avatar, Data Domain, and a whole bunch of products that they continually invent/acquire and do not integrate), and Dell are selling off Dell Software, which includes vRanger.... so where would you put your money?

You probably have at least some virtualised environments. You don't say, or even which (VMware, HyperV, OpenStack?). If you have 3 data centres, you probably have some legacy physical infrastructure. Whilst it is sexy to concentrate on Virtualised, don't forget your physical systems. They're usually important.

Do you have workloads in the public cloud and are you being pushed that way?

Now, choices between NetWorker and Commvault. I can't believe that someone actually said DataDomain is a good backup solution. It isn't. It's part of a backup solution and is only being pushed by Dell EMC as a stand alone solution by integrating directly with applications (Such as Oracle) as a way to undermine other backup software. Always remember that when you select a data protection solution you have to remember a few critical items:

1) How much time do I have to get which data back? (RTO)
2) How much, of what type of, data can I loose? (RPO)
3) Can the business afford to meet those RTO/RPO's? (Usually not, so go tell them to be more realistic)
4) Can I prove my success at backup and restore? (This is the only time backup is important as you can't restore if you do not have a successful backup)

So let's look at the products a bit.

NetWorker. Been in the market place for many years. Started as a workgroup product and went enterprise. Used to be the darling of the industry and was OEM'd by many companies. It isn't now, but it still has significant market share (2nd place tie with IBM's TSM). The very fact that it has survived so long and has been able to change so much speaks volumes about its underlying architecture. However, EMC have struggled in the past with what to do with it, and this is shown by their fragmented approach to BUR. They have many products and they do not integrate them well at all. Also, NetWorker has lost its hardware independence. Sure, it can backup many OS' and environments and apps, but it really only has three destinations:
1) tape (Not really these days, but is still a long term destination)
2) Disk. They never completed advanced file type device development because of:
3) DataDomain. Superb dedupe device with vey tight integration. Market leader in the space, but there are others that just don't get to see the light of day.
4) Cloud: Just starting to introduce this, but do the economics really add up? What doe sit cost to get your data back?

My issue is that the only real Backup device for NetWorker now is DataDomain and/or Cloud. You have to really look at the economics. NetWorker is very reasonably priced, especially with all of the functionality.... but you have to look at TCO. What is the cost of storing data. DD is NOT low cost at all... and nor is Cloud.

Commvault. Again, architecturally very interesting. It has scaled well moving from SME into Enterprise. They are very good at marketing and grabbing mind share... but be careful, when they announce something it is often restrict dot a very defined set of parameters. They can be, shall we say, economical with the truth. I've tended to see environments under configured so they get the sale, and your re committed and costs spiral out of control afterwards. Now, that may be my local geography, not indicative of all parts of Commvault.

For me, what is interesting about Commvault are:
1) Hardware independence. You're not tied to a specific data destination. Now, that doe mean lower performance with NetWorker/DD so you have to pump in more hardware... but with the commodity of hardware, that doesn't necessarily mean it is more expensive.
2) The integrated Archiving. The only real way to solve your Restore Issue is to need to restore less, which means that less should be on primary disk (Which is only there just in case someone wants to use it). However... can you really define an Archiving policy? It's hard to get a data management policy in place, which Archiving is part of. It's very hard. So, if you can't do it... this becomes a gimmick. It's kind of like the framework wars. They all promise a great deal, but the reality was no-one could ever take advantage of the functionality.
3) It is being OEM'd by a number of vendors. Now, generally, lower tier vendors, but still.... that's interesting!

author avatar

Thanks guys for the feedback.

My personal view is to go with Commvault and use existing storage arrays as a backup store. I would be consolidating from Networker, Vranger to Commvault. Instead of array based deduplication would prefer backup software based deduplication which i believe should save some cost as compared to costly data domains.

Any view on using commvault with netapp appliance?

author avatar
Top 20Reseller

In case you haven't considered it, you may want to take a look at Asigra. You can protect both physical and virtual environments including endpoints and cloud apps from one interface. If you'd like to try it out, we offer a 30 day trial: http://www.armadacloud.com/30-day-free-trial/

author avatar

I would also advise going to Commvault if you are not into buying storage for backup. The two main considerations for Commvault is at first the cost of licensing (as capacity licenses seem to be pricy, and you may need to give extra bucks for backing up some additional X, and it has hard limit on most of the cases) and the second is if it is sufficient for all of your needs. As it was quoted above in times you see that there are not as many options as you like in some cases. If you can get a good POC and a nice price Commvaoult would be the better option.
However I think that Networker+DataDomain is also a good option for enterprise backup and I am happy with its performance (and TCO as of now). But to me secondary it Commvault is good for your case. (On the contrary Networker was a better fit for me just two years ago).

author avatar
Real User

We have gear in two data centers. We have EMC as our main SAN and we have Data Domains for backup/long term retention. We use Zerto for critical servers, and Veeam for our secondary servers.

We have Zerto, and have been fans for a few years, we just renewed support to take us up to the year 2020! There is no hardware to buy, they leverage your existing SAN and virtual environment. We replicate from an EMC SAN to an HP SAN. The key to Zerto in my opinion is if you have two fast SANs in two different locations this should be your fastest backup/recovery option. We see our RPO consistently at 11-15seconds. With Zerto we have been able to blow past several Cryptolockers with ease as well as when our very touchy VMs need updates applied we use Zerto to pull up a test version of the vm, apply the update, and test to see the results. I do know Zerto can replicate to various cloud providers, but currently our company choose to keep all data on our equipment.

The support with Zerto is quick and painless. They use an online portal with quick replies and fixes via screen sharing. In the past it has been less than an hour or two and the issue was fixed. It was neat after we went live with the product, we were getting emails and calls following up to make sure we are happy clients. I do not see this level of commitment to their customers from any other vendor out there!

After you are a Zerto customer there is online training and certs to help you improve your knowledge about the product.
Zerto also offers a free trial by using your existing equipment, I believe this is worth checking out.

For the EMC data domains we use them as a long term backup retention. There is huge latency due to the slower high cap disks. With that being said this is my last choice when recovering files.

Support is tough to get a ticket started, and can take several hours to get the ball rolling. After the initial support wait they seem to be fine and very cautious. I do like the support, but I hate the waiting for them to reply.

author avatar
Real User

Rumors says that Commvault in the last years is becoming a real leader.
We are using Hp DataProtector so I haven't a direct experience on the products you are asking for, sorry

author avatar


If the question is only of backing/restoring DC I would prefer CommVault since its the best product for that.

Networker is an old product and has only the option of complete recover of the hole domain.

I dont know anything of vRanger. Not used so much in Sweden.

author avatar

There are so many options and solutions available. Have you considered implementing backup appliances such as a storage agnostic solution like Attix5 locally in the offices? Not sure if you perform offsite backups to a remote datacentre but some Datacentres have the ability to mirror the content on the appliance remotely. Inmage and Zerto are great tools to help with DR fail over solutions for your virtual servers. Veeam is a great backup and recovery tool as mentioned in the last post by Peter G. Just thought I would suggest another approach to this question.

author avatar
Real User

You need to provide more data, or just calculate TCO. I have no exp with Networker or vRanger, but as for other backup solutions: every of them has its own pros and cons. And positive and negative things are really depends on your environment.
I think, first of all, you have to specify what are your NEEDS. There are a lot of options that are become really expensive during IT-growth. And then choose what product satisfy your needs the best. Or even it will be better and cheaper to buy smth else according to your real needs.

author avatar


You are talking about very different products and prices range.

CommVault is to physical environments(even we can use for Virtual Environments). Is more local Backup, and feature to off site are not very good.
EMC NetWorker is more focus in data with the option to use Virtual Environments.
vRanger(was a free product some years ago now is from Dell) is a Virtual Backup Product. Don´t think they have grow enough to use it on a environment that size.

So you stated that you have 3 DCs. What are you to backup/replicate? Just Data? All Virtual Infrastructure, or physical?

Without more information about what you have, and what type of Infrastructure exists in your facilities is very difficult to give a proper answer.

Honestly, for all those 3 products, the only one that is litle bit better is the EMC and still needs to have EMC Avamar integrated. Because if not, will not use it.

author avatar
Top 20LeaderboardReal User

I believe that EMC Data Domain is the best product.
But Networker is very good and cost effective.
CommVault is also a good product but a bit pricy though.
vRanger is the least of the three, you might want to consider using something else.
I think technical support should be one of the evaluation criteria’s as well as the
cost of renewing support services in order to have the total cost of ownership and not
just the purchase price. After all functionally, reliability and speed is what business wants in a DR product.
Some people will get angry with your decisions if cost is not deciding factor. It’s inevitable, if you’re honorable.

author avatar

I have evaluated both Commvault and Networker in comparison to an Enterprise purchaser. Commvault was clearly the winner. If you like, just email me and I can send you the business evaluation in part, some information of course will have to be erased. Commvault is what we are using to backup our data where over 80% is virtual.

author avatar
Top 20Real User

We are using EMC Networker , HP Data Protector and Backup Exec in our Data Centers , The best solution which we like and are going to migrate is Veeam because it gives best features for Virtual servers and Comes with a very handy licencing module . In your case i would prefer Commvault because of the Good integration with VM and low operating cost .

author avatar

We use Veeam, it’s the BEST!

author avatar

My option is EMC NetWorker.


author avatar

Of those 3 Commvault is the most robust. EMC has done a poor job of supporting and enhancing NetWorker and has a very disjointed backup portfolio in general. Dell vRanger is comparable to Veema Backup, really designed for Hyper-V and VMware with limited capabilities out side basic backup and recovery. Commvault can get expensive, but they have released SKUs now that make it very competitive with Veeam and provides similar capabilities to Veeam, but also provide more robust platform agnostic solutions. Commvault also now has DR capabilities you can purchase to actually run and orchestrate your DR. I will disclose I have bene using Commvault since 2005 and twice have looked at the alternatives and each time Commvault won because of its extensive feature set.

author avatar

vRanger - it's not there yet.
Real question would only between Commvault and EMC. Each has it's own advantages and disadvantages. You should get trial software and see which one is more suitable to you and to your requirements. Commvault is being proud of it for long time and they got that right - they are most cost effective. They are also supporting huge part of SAN's. So when you would gain value for example from Snapshots...... you will receive huge value from Commvault. EMC also support that but mainly with their own products. Commvault is open for any vendor therefore their capabilities are bigger. Both give enormous scripting potential. If on second hand you like working with GUI then it's Commvault again. And yet if your environment is using DataDomains for example - no problem Commvault will be able to use it not losing any capabilities of it.

author avatar

are you running physical or virtual servers? my experience is currently in a virtualised environment and without hesitation would recommend Veeam Backup and Recovery. it's never let us down and has paid for itself in recovery of full machines and individual files. we can backup locally and across a WAN link. hope this helps?

Find out what your peers are saying about Veeam Software, Commvault, Rubrik and others in Backup and Recovery Software. Updated: August 2021.
534,299 professionals have used our research since 2012.