Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with Commvault.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
The user interface is a bit tough, to be honest, but once you get the hang of it, it's okay. In the beginning it was tough, but now I know what I'm doing. We had free training but after that, just to learn the interface took me four to six months. There are still things to learn because with every service pack there are changes. Service Pack 18 was recently released and there are some features that I haven't even seen yet. I would like them not to push Command Center. It is good, but I would like them to enable all the features for the Java console. Some things are not in the Java console, like Office 365 agents. In fact, they are there, but one of the engineers had to show me how to configure it. It's not done the same as in the Command Center.
One issue we face is the complexity of the console. That could be improved on. It takes users time to get familiar with Commvault. On average, it takes our customers between one and three months to learn it. The console and the way you configure Commvault have very advanced settings. It takes time to understand how it works. After a customer understands it, he can improve and add to the configuration.
There is room for improvement in terms of data security.
I need documentation for Azure backups. One expectation that I have is regarding PDF documentation. When I was trying to browse the documentation, I could not locate that. The documentation should be in PDF format where it can be downloaded easily.
Commvault works quite well as it is. But we are an MSP, so for us it's fairly hard to customize it for branding it. There is also room for improvement in the multi-tenancy and security. That's been a hard thing for us and for Commvault as a vendor. Sometimes it's hard to implement new features in multi-tenancy environments. The new features are great, and it's good that they are there, but they are not always usable in an MSP environment. The solution's breadth and depth of cloud support are good but could be better. Some cloud features that are common-sense, especially on AWS, are not completely integrated yet in the product. They are a work-in-progress. Overall, cloud is moving and innovating also very fast. That also makes it very hard for Commvault to comply with all the new features. Sometimes a cloud provider like Microsoft changes something and a feature is broken in Commvault.
Their single pane of glass solution is daunting at first. It's not the easiest interface but, as with anything that you use, eventually you'll get better and better at it. I've worked closely with their user experience team to improve their web-based command tool. We try not to use the CommCell tool that is provided, because it's a little old and a little too powerful to give everyone access to it. So we've started using their Command Center tool. At first, it was hard to find things with that, but you end up finding them. Command Center definitely gives us a complete view of our data. But finding some of the granular, very small items that we sometimes have to find, such as auxiliary copies for tapes, I still find that it's easier to navigate and, sometimes, only possible to find them using the CommCell tool. Maybe that's just an area that hasn't been added to the Command Center yet. Since I only use the backup and recovery, I'm not using Activate or Orchestrate. And I am strictly on-prem so I'm not using any of the Metallic or Hedvig solutions. I can only speak for backup and recovery. I would like to see a little bit more access into the CommCell areas via the Command Center. That would be my only small request. In 2019 there was a flaw with their Active Directory plan which didn't actually allow you to recover the full Active Directory properly. I brought that to their attention and they made the change and fixed it. That was the only area that needed to be fixed.
I have written a lot of different reviews about the product and every time I have mentioned the user interface is not user-friendly, e.g., the admin portal is not user-friendly. It definitely takes a lot of understanding to get familiar with the portal. However, once you are completely familiar with it, then it is pretty easy to manage. It's not something that you can jump in right away and start, knowing what exactly is going on. There are a lot of places that you need to look around to understand how the backups are configured. The administration of the solution could be simplified. This would really make the administrator's life easier.
There is room for improvement in its user interface and web console, called Command Center. They are improving it every year so if they continue in that direction, I think it will be a very reliable console.
As a government office, we think about protecting personal data. Serbia is part of an open government partnership, which is a global project. Commvault should think about protecting open data, especially if there is personal data involved. Perhaps they could divide the data and say, "In this database is personal data and you cannot use it in an open data format." And they can always improve the interface design to make it easier. Sometimes, you need to click two or three times to do something. They should look at what tabs are used most and make them more accessible, to cut the time it takes to get to that information.
We have never managed to use it to full potential because we don't have a dedicated team to take care of Commvault, so we barely keep it running. It takes a lot of our time when we have ten other systems to take care of. That's why I'm not the biggest fan of this. Just to keep it running is time-consuming. There are five people on my team. Commvault was supposed to be one of the less time-consuming solutions, but in reality it takes 60 percent of our time just to keep it running, and that's not even fine-tuning it; that's just to keep it running. It's a pain. It constantly breaks and then we spend three or four days trying to fix the issue, working with support, going back and forth. When we finally resolve something, another issue pops up. Then we spend another three or four days trying to make it work. I'm not saying it's the product's fault. Maybe we didn't implement it correctly in the first place. I don't know, I wasn't here. But it takes a lot of time, and every issue is different so I cannot build experience. With another system, I know if I do this, this, and this then it breaks, and I know that I have to do this, this, and this to fix it. But every time Commvault breaks, it's something different, so it takes us a lot of time to fix it. It is frustrating. Another thing I find frustrating is that when it fails and it says something like "Error code 19: etc., etc... Click here for more information," when I click I get an error page. Having the error codes documented in the Commvault Knowledge Base would help us a lot. When I came to the role, they said, "Oh yeah, you're going to be doing this, this, and this, and maybe a little bit of Commvault. In reality, 60 to 70 percent of my day is just tinkering with Commvault.
I think the one thing that could be improved is the customer experience. The interface should be more user friendly. The price could perhaps be lower as well.
The back of virtual machines needs improvement. I know they're working on it. They're always doing new things but I think they still have a little bit more to do. In the next release, I would like to see disaster recovery options for the cloud. It was always off the scope because they're not really meant to be a disaster recovery solution but now they're getting there. From what I see, that there's no reason why they can't do disaster recovery, they have everything they need for it. They're beginning to do things but I'd like to see them delve more into that.
The solution needs higher availability. Its competitor, Veeam, includes backup and replication in the same product. I don't know if Commvault has it or not, but they should if they don't. Also, they should have a module for reporting and supervising, like Veeam.
Virtual machines backup window in GUI is not user friendly. Some improvements should be done to better user experience.
From the perspective of the enterprise cloud archiving software, it does not resolve all of the data solutions that the customers are expecting. It works, but it is not up to the mark. They still need some time to improve the archiving and offer it within the single console management. We do not pitch the Commvault archiving solution to our customers. If they ask for it due to reasons of legality or compliance then we can supply it, but we prefer not to offer the Commvault archiving solution. We did a POC with one of our customers who is archiving more than fifty thousand email accounts, all over the world, on a daily basis, and Commvault failed miserably. It was not able to provide that kind of performance. It can be good for up to three hundred user mailboxes, but not more than that. The stability of this product, as a whole, needs to be improved to compete with archiving solutions such as Enterprise Vault. Support for this product needs to be improved because I have seen a couple of cases where it is taking more than the required time to solve issues. The documentation is not up to the mark. They need to improve their support documentation because it is a little bit weak. They need to expand more into private, hybrid, and public cloud systems. They need to be even more open than they are now with respect to integrating with public cloud systems. Cloud is the platform that system integrators are now selling, so it is important to have that support.
The setup is not that straightforward or easy. Even the documentation is not generic or public like other products. You have to be a partner or you have to have a specific account and download it from the vendor themselves.
You need quite a lot of human resources to maintain a Commvault environment, to keep it operational. Also, it would be nice to if there were an easier way set up some Commvault components. I don't know exactly when they came out with the new HTML interface because, until then, the interface was a based on Java. The HTML interface is a remarkable improvement. However, there are still some features that are not available in that interface that are available in the Java console, but I'm sure that will come with time. Another issue that comes to mind, that we have to pay attention to is, when a new service pack or hotfix comes out, it can happen that something that was working before does not work anymore. We really have to test it in our lab, before we are 100 percent sure we can introduce it in production and be 100 percent sure that everything still works that was working before.