If you were talking to someone whose organization is considering Commvault, what would you say?
How would you rate it and why? Any other tips or advice?
I don't like the solution's Command Center. I don't know why they have pushed it. The old Java console is much better. Maybe it's because I was used to it. One good thing about the Command Center is that it has reduced the steps we have to take. If we had to do 10 steps on the Java console, it's been reduced to four or five steps in Command Center. But I'm confused about whether I'm doing things right because there are some steps missing. For a newcomer, Command Center would be good. But for me, I still prefer the Java console. Currently, there is only me, as a system administrator, and another guy on the database team who use Commvault. That's all. We don't have many administrators.
You need to size the CommServe and the agents very well because it will help the performance. Overall, Commvault is a good solution for midsize and enterprise companies.
We are very satisfied. It is a very useful product, daily. Commvault is constantly developing new use cases based on customers' requirements. They are developing new features on a regular basis. In version 11, 19 new features were added. For example, in previous versions we did not have the Command Center and whenever backups failed we could not restore the data. Now, there are options for restoring the data. These kinds of advanced techniques are introduced from day to day.
The biggest lesson I have learned from using Commvault is to take your time. Especially in complex environments, the design stage takes a lot of time, but you need to do it well. Otherwise, you will have trouble in your implementation. We learned that the hard way. We wanted it built fast but, when the design was ready, we needed to rebuild several times.
In terms of advice, the biggest thing I would like to say is don't look at it as a dinosaur. A lot of people associate Commvault with being old and antiquated, and not having all the bells and whistles. If you look past that, you'll see that it's more far more capable than anything else that's on the market. You have to get through the complexity of the application and from there you have to trust that it will do what you want it to do. The biggest lesson I have learned from using Commvault is don't be afraid to call support.
Go through an assessment first before selecting the product. Every business is different and has different requirements. Do a complete assessment with the data protection partner, whether it's Commvault, Veeam, Cohesity, or someone else. Go through a proof of concept, if possible. Mind your business requirements, RPO, and RTO. Look at your budget too. This should help you to make the right decision. The biggest lesson would be to have a proper data protection strategy for the organization. There were a lot of things that we had to implement after implementing the product. It's better if you completely understand your business requirements, then implement this product. I would give it a rating of an eight (out of 10) because it does not have an easy deployment. The deployment is not something that just anybody can go in and deploy. It needs a good level of understanding for deployment. Once you deploy, you need to be familiar with how to administer the product, how to set up all the reporting, etc. Just navigating the admin interface is not really that easy.
The biggest lesson I have learned from using Commvault is that if I set everything right, everything by book, I can solve any kind of problem that I may potentially get. I know some people using other backup solutions didn't set everything up very well or by the book. But that is why companies make documentation and say that if follow the book you will not have problems. If you try to escape that and to take some shortcuts, if problems come up, nobody will be able to help you. A good lesson is to just follow the rules, according to the vendor. We not only use this solution to restore data, but when clients get a new computer we don't need to spend time transferring their data from the old computer to the new computer, because that data is already part of the backup set. First, we decide what we will back up. We separate their private data from official work documents and we back up only what they need for work. So when they get a new computer, we don't transfer data. If they want to transfer their private data, they do that themselves. We just install the Commvault agent on the new computer and say, "Okay, this is that person's new computer. Copy their backup set to their computer. In a few minutes, depending on how much data they have, their data set will be in their computer. That is another good way for using the backup set in our system. Doing it this way, we save almost a whole day it would take to transfer the old data. The time it takes to restore data, comparing Commvault and other solutions, is approximately the same. What does make it faster, in general, is that we don't need to install another application. We just install the agent and each user can log in to their account and can choose what they want to restore. If they don't want to restore everything, they can just select what folders they want to have on that computer. In that way, it's faster. Because the solution is user-friendly and we have created a user manual for our users with print-screen illustrations, even people who are not so familiar with IT can follow the manual. It's easy. We don't need to go there physically or explain on the phone to the person how to do it. They have the manual and they just click this and that and everything they want is restored as it was. In our organization there are only two IT guys, me and another colleague, who work with Commvault daily, to see if that it's okay. Other people, once in a while, need to restore a file, if they deleted it by mistake. Clients only need to check things if they get an email notification that their computer didn't back up in a given period of time. We put that in place in case there is some problem. After 10 days they will get email notification that in the last 10 days their computer didn't back up and to check if their computer is turned on. When people go on vacation for more than 10 days, they will get that notification but they know it's because they are away that their computer is off. But if they are at work and get that notification, they call us so that we can track what's happened. But in general, nobody else uses it daily. In terms of maintenance of the solution, I learned on my own what I need to know, for now. If I have a question, I call our local partner, or I will read through the Commvault forum to see if anybody has said something about the issue, to know in which direction I should look. We use it on-premise because we are a government institution. In Serbia, by law, we cannot use public cloud for government institutions. We have servers and storage in our data center. For this year, we plan to expand it to create a disaster recovery location in another public institution. We will make a disaster location on their site and they will make their disaster location in our data center. We will buy Commvault HyperScale and, with our local partner, we will set it up so that in case our data center is offline, we will have another location where our data is available. There is no reason for me to rate them other than a 10 out of 10. When you have support online, you really see what they do. They are fast. If you open a support ticket, they will call you within 24 hours to check and to organize a session. You share your screen and work together to solve the problem. They have good partners and they have good marketing. So Commvault is a 10, without any doubt.
It's good software and you can create software that is diverse. It has just about every application platform and cloud platform you could need in one solution. You don't need several software programs to admin and to back up many solutions. It provides software efficiency. You can do what you need to do with one solution, not ten. Use the Educational Services or Professional Services, if you don't have experience with this software. It will be a better experience if you have some background in the software. When I talk with people in my industry about Commvault, they complain that it is difficult, it's big, it's complicated, etc.. I say to them that we have no problems with it. Everything is fine. That is mostly because we read a lot about it through the documentation and watched some educational tutorials before we implemented it. And support is great. Support can help you to resolve questions, not only when something is not working, but also with configuration issues. Commvault's breadth and depth of cloud support is okay. They continue to introduce new features and new ways to administrate, configure, and use cloud platforms. There may be some platforms that are better in certain areas, but Commvault is not bad and it's not excellent. It's good, it's in the middle. I can't say Commvault's cloud support has a major effect on our operations, but it has some effect. We have cases when Commvault is the only solution to move data from a given cloud to a private cloud or from a private cloud to on-premises. So for migration it's a great solution. But for cloud backup, we don't have a lot of tenants who use Amazon in our region. They mostly use private or regional providers, not global. Everything is okay in Commvault and they're improving it by themselves. Every update brings new or updated features, which is great.
My advice is to have a dedicated team for Commvault, if possible. In our team we are dealing with DNS Exchange, antivirus, Active Directory, and Commvault. I feel I'm not successful enough in Commvault because I am always thinking about multiple things. If you really want to be successful with the product and use it to its full potential, a dedicated team just doing Commvault would be great. In reality it might not be easy to do, but if I had a magic wand, I would have two or three people just doing Commvault. I think it's a great product that we are under-utilizing. The lesson I have learned from using it is that when I think I'm getting a handle on Commvault, when I think I'm learning it, something else happens that shows me that I know nothing about Commvault. It's a good product, but it's just it takes a lot of effort to support it. Sometimes we just don't have the time. When it works fine, it's awesome. IT has the regular ComCell Console that looks ugly but is full of functionality. And it has another way to manage it called Command Center that is a nice-looking web interface but I find it doesn't have all the functionality, so I stick to the old interface because I can do everything there. I haven't used Command Center often. I don't find it's the best feature because there are some things that I cannot do in there. I got used to using the ComCell Console and have kept on using it. The fact that the solution is a single platform hasn't really enabled our organization to accelerate growth or drive innovation. We're government, so we are not driven by growth or innovation. We prefer to have stability and reliability. We're not a company that is trying to quickly sell something. We don't care about that. We're not trying to grow; it's actually the opposite: The less impact that government has, the better. In terms of the solution's breadth and depth of cloud support, we're not using cloud yet. In government, we don't want to have the latest and greatest and the shiniest thing. We have to be very careful. In a private company, somebody just says, "Okay, let's go cloud," and that's it. Next day everybody is in the cloud. But we have to be accountable to taxpayers and we usually have to justify the expense. Decisions are not made that fast, so we are not in the cloud yet. We have not tried or simulated a disaster recovery scenario. It's something we have to test. We tried once and we killed the network and everybody complained, so we had to stop it. We have recovered the files here and there when people say, "Oops, I just deleted this file. Can you recover it?" But a whole disaster recovery is something we have never done, and I hope we never have to. There are five administrators of it in our organization while a couple of more use it to move VMs from one place to another. There are three more on the SAP team who use it to push backups to us, and three more from the DBAs. We don't back up laptops or desktops. Our end-users don't have access to this, nor do our other IT teams such as the applications programmers. They have to come to us to restore something. It works fine when it works. It's a good product but it takes a lot of effort to support it. I don't know if it's because we didn't implement it correctly or if it's our infrastructure or the product, but that's my general impression.
Perhaps, my best advice is to look for an integrator with expertise in Commvault to help deploy this solution. It's not that easy to install. It's not even possible after they all installed it. Customers should have someone with good expertise with Commvault to supply it. I would rate this solution as eight out of ten.
One thing is the pricing. I think they're expensive. They're very good, but they're pretty expensive. It's a complex system that you have to sit on a little bit. You have to work on it. You have to be very aware of any backup program but here specifically, because it does so much, you have to always be conscious of what's happening. I would rate it a nine out of ten.
We use the on-premises deployment model. Commvault is an industry leader. Also, the price is competitive with other solutions, like Veeam. In Morocco, all customers chose Veeam because it's very simple and also their price is not expensive. Now that Commvault has adjusted pricing, they are another solution that people should consider. I would rate the solution seven out of ten.
This is a product that I recommend because it is stable and has good support. However, it still has some limitations and can be improved. I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.
I have been using backup technology for more than fifteen years. Commvault claims that they are doing all kind of things with archiving and compliance, but I have discussed this with my implementation team and they have not been receiving good feedback. There are a lot of issues in managing it. When it comes to a backup solution, however, I do not suggest anything other than Commvault. It gives me room so that I can meet the customer's requirements both in terms of budget and performance, and they are happy with it. For anybody who is implementing this solution, I would suggest only doing a POC if absolutely necessary. It drags out the implementation, so it should be minimized if it is done at all. In summary, this is a unified product that is simple to use. It is a good backup solution. I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
The advice that I would give someone considering this solution is that you need to have the right people and the right team to implement Commvault. Other than that it's a good tool. From the backup and recovery processes aspect, there's a feature currently they are working with us to enhance it. It does what it says it'll do. I would rate it a nine out of ten. Not a ten because there is a little complexity of the overall product.
We are waiting for the new version to come out.
Commvault is certainly a vendor that you have to take into consideration if you are looking into a backup solution. It’s worthwhile to have a look at it. The most important criteria when selecting a vendor are cost and, perhaps, new features that Commvault maybe doesn't have, like backups to public clouds, for instance. But the primary factor is the cost. I would rate Commvault at eight out of 10 due to the stability, our relationship with the development team, and the quality of their backup of their solution.