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Commvault OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Commvault is #1 ranked solution in top eDiscovery software, #1 ranked solution in top File Archiving tools, #3 ranked solution in best Backup and Recovery Software, #3 ranked solution in top Cloud Backup tools, and #3 ranked solution in top Disaster Recovery Software. IT Central Station users give Commvault an average rating of 8 out of 10. Commvault is most commonly compared to Veeam Backup & Replication:Commvault vs Veeam Backup & Replication. Commvault is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 78% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 31% of all views.
What is Commvault?

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.

Commvault Buyer's Guide

Download the Commvault Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

Commvault Customers

Aberdeenshire Council, Acxiom, BAM Group Ireland, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, CI Investments, Clifford Chance, Alliant Credit Union, American Municipal Power, American Pacific Mortgage, AstraZeneca, Dongbu Steel, Denver Health, Dow Jones, Emirates Steel, Penn State Health, Prime Healthcare, Sonic Healthcare, Sony Network Communications, TiVO, UCONN Health, The Weitz Company

Commvault Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Commvault pricing:
  • "Our yearly cost is around €20,000... The cost is based on the number of users and the amount of data. They sell it per terabyte."
  • "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 pricing has improved. It is simplified compared to the way that it was a few years ago. It is fairly straightforward and pretty easy to articulate to customers, which is handy."
  • "There is a bit of cost involved with signing up the entire solution. It's not a cheap solution."
  • "...the battle came down to pricing, as well as some small features, and Commvault was the best in all the criteria."

Commvault Reviews

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VladanKojanic
Head of Information Technology Group at Ministry of Environmental Protection
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Enables me to work on other things because I know the system is handling backups by itself

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is sharing data sets like they're in a private cloud. We call it our "private cloud" because we can share anything that is inside our backup set with our colleagues or with other people, and yet, everything is still in Belgrade, in Serbia. It's not somewhere else on cloud servers. Everything is in our environment."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

How we implement this solution in a government institution is a little tricky; it's more closed. One of our most important use cases is how we protect and back up documents and files from users outside of our building because we must follow security standards. We use only HTTPS protocols, a special proxy server, etc.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution helps our admins minimize the time they spend on backup tasks and to spend that time on other projects. It's not easy to calculate in minutes, but we have found that it's approximately 80 percent faster to do a backup and restore if we need to.

Using Commvault, we have saved on infrastructure costs. Before, we had a few other solutions for backup. Each of them asked for a data store for storage space. Now, with one solution, we have reduced the amount of hard disk storage in our platform. And with Commvault, the file compression is much more efficient than with other solutions. We currently have 50 to 60 TB in our data set, for the entire ministry with 350 users. Before Commvault, we used much more. I would estimate we are saving 60 to 70 percent of the storage we used to need.

I have also cut more than 50 percent of my daily tasks as a result of Commvault. I don't need to worry too much about backups because I know the system will do everything by itself. Every morning I get reports from Commvault and, if there is a problem, I will get a notification in my email. So it allows me to work on other things.

For now, we are very lucky that we have only needed the solution to restore some clients' data. Only once in the three full years that we have been using it did we need to restore our main mail server. There was a problem with the Windows update where the machine would not patch the Windows update and everything crashed. With two clicks we were able to restore the machine live, so we did not have to reinstall the machine. And a few times, Commvault has enabled us to restore a user's data set.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is sharing data sets like they're in a private cloud. We call it our "private cloud" because we can share anything that is inside our backup set with our colleagues or with other people, and yet, everything is still in Belgrade, in Serbia. It's not somewhere else on cloud servers. Everything is in our environment. For example, our inspectors exchange data between themselves, so they put everything in one folder and anyone with rights can see it. That is a feature that we use very often.

Another important feature is the protection against ransomware. If an employee gets a virus on their computer we will not worry about it, or if their computer is hit by ransomware, their data will be protected in the backup. That feature is very nice.

In addition, there is a new feature for GDPR regulations and protecting personal data. We don't use it fully because it's new and we are still experimenting and trying to make things easier for all of us. But we could say, "Okay, this database has some personal data in it so please do extra tracking, ask for more credentials, etc., to be sure that nobody can reach that info unless they're supposed to. That is a very nice feature.

The Commvault Command Center is good. Even when I'm not in the office, I can track and see that everything is okay with my system. The Commvault team uses it for protecting our make system and to make it better. They see the health of the system, what features we use often, or not, to help with right-sizing the software.

Overall, we like the fact that it's a single platform for everything. We have one console that has everything that we need. We can add or remove users, retire a user, add a new server, or even start a backup by itself. We don't need to go to the client's site to fix something. We can do everything from the console, wherever we are. If we need to restore a client's computer, we don't need to go there. It can be done from a local PC. We have 22 locations in Serbia, so it's not possible to visit all of them in one day. We can do everything from our console. The only requirement is that that computer is on, and we can do everything from one place. And with one click we can start a backup procedure for any server we want.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Commvault since 2015.

We started by testing the solution with a local company, one of Commvault's local partners, here in Serbia. We first wanted to test how it would really work in our environment. After that, we procured it at the beginning of 2016. So in the summer 2016, we officially used it with our license. Before that it was just testing, tendering, procurement, etc.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Every type of software, even Microsoft, has some problems. It's not possible to make something without some patches or little bugs. But until now, over the years we have been using it, we haven't had any big problem where we said, "Oh, this is not working." We have had some problems and opened tickets and support has helped us very fast. 

We can say we are generally happy with Commvault. It's not possible to expect to buy something and never have a problem with it. That's especially true when you add something new; it depends on your hardware environment. It also depends on your network and your users' backup behavior. It's not possible that something will be perfect.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For our use, it scales well. They have many solutions, both on-premise and now, with this Metallic software as a service, you can use it on the cloud. So it's scalable. You can choose what you need and deploy it. 

As a government institution, we are not allowed to use public clouds. Everything must be in our data center. We can mix in a hybrid solution of private clouds and on-premise, but for now, we only use on-premise.

How are customer service and technical support?

If we need something, if we have any problems, we can open a ticket and their support will help us, and they do very well. We must send an email to our local partner describing our problem and that we need Commvault support. They send it on our behalf to Commvault. Then Commvault opens a ticket. It's not possible for us to open a ticket directly. We need to go through our local partner. That path works for us.

We're happy with the support we receive from our partner. If it's something smaller, they try to fix it by themselves. But we usually open a ticket, in case something has happened or just to have the possibility of tracking all changes.

Commvault also has a very good portal where users, before opening a ticket, can try to find solutions. If others have had a similar problem, we may learn how to solve it.

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

Before Commvault we had other brands. We use Acronis Backup among others. We wanted to have just one solution for all our needs: for servers, for SQL Server, for laptops, etc. Our partner suggested we try Commvault and we saw that it was a good solution. It really helped us in dealing with backups, so we chose to buy it. Especially when you have public procurement, you cannot say I want to buy this particular solution. So it is tricky to do public procurement and get what you really need.

Our requirements included having one console for all systems. Before, we had Acronis for servers and we had Backup Exec for clients and we had Windows Backup for Windows servers, etc. So the main requirement was to have one place, one console, from which to manage everything: laptops, PCs, servers, databases, and everything. That was the main reason we wanted Commvault.

The second requirement was because we have employees who are outside of Belgrade; they are not sitting in our building. We needed the possibility of backing up their computers, computers that are not in our primary network. With Commvault we managed that very easily.

We now back up more than 70 PCs from our inspectors all around Serbia. With one solution we back up all of them. That was most important because people lose their computers and some computers crash. It was very necessary to have the possibility of protecting their data with a backup solution.

There were other factors as well, like having a partner in Serbia. Also, if we wanted to add new functionality we didn't want to have to buy other software or to experiment. We wanted to be able to just buy a license for the additional things that we needed.

How was the initial setup?

For me, the initial setup was not so complicated, because I'm an IT guy. I understand what is needed. But if I look at it from the point of view of someone else, it's still not too complicated. The documentation is very well written and tells you what you need to do next. Of course, you need to know some rules about backups, but the installation is usually done by guys and girls who are in that field. A regular user will likely never install Commvault by him or herself. And even though I am not a technician and I am not a backup engineer, the setup was okay for me. I was able to understand what the system was asking and what I needed to do.

In terms of how long the deployment took, we tested it just to see if we could back up a part of our database. We have two networks. One is the primary, official, and public network, and the other has secret information. So we tested backing up both of them. Including testing, the deployment took around two months from zero to putting everything on. That also included deploying it on our system, connecting it with our storage, our databases, and installing it on some clients to see how the clients work.

Our implementation strategy for Commvault was very simple: Do it fast and secure all the information we need. We needed to back up everything we had. We just wanted to do it correctly, by the book, and to protect everything.

What about the implementation team?

We used a local Commvault partner, Fractal Dimension, to deploy everything. They also provided some courses on administrating it in our institution. They did everything from the beginning to the end.

I have known Fractal Dimension for a very long time. We have worked with them on other projects here in the ministry. When we were looking for a backup solution they said, "Let's try Commvault."

What was our ROI?

I hope we have seen a return on our investment but it's not easy to measure in money, because we haven't had any big problems or lost any very important data. But generally, the ROI comes from not having to worry about these things. That may be the best return on our investment. I know that if there is a problem, I'll be able to restore without problems.

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

It's not cheap but it's not too expensive. We have a yearly contract for support from Commvault. Of course, even for that, we need to go through a public procurement process, because there are a few Commvault partners in our country. Our yearly cost is around €20,000.

There are no additional costs to the standard licensing fees. If we want to add a new feature or to buy new licenses for new clients, of course we have to pay more. The cost is based on the number of users and the amount of data. They sell it per terabyte.

We have a contract with Commvault through our local partner so that every year we enter into a new contract for the coming year for updating, upgrading, and support. That enables us to download and deploy every new version, service pack, and hotfix. The latest one is service pack 18 so that is what we are using. That was part of our requirements for a solution: to have the possibility of continuing with it, rather than buy it once and then stop updating. Our goal was to always have the newest version and to have support for tickets.

Whether the licensing model is cost-efficient depends. Government has needs that are different from the private sector. Banks and financial institutions, for example, have other needs. It depends on how they work with backups. Do they need a backup restored in five minutes or in five hours? For my system, if a computer doesn't work one day, it's not a big deal. But in a bank, if you cannot get your money in five minutes you get mad. But overall, the pricing is okay. For what you get, it's a good price compared to the market.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We only tested Commvault because our partner explained to us that it would probably do everything we needed. We spoke with them, had three or four meetings to explain what we really need and what our system looks like. After some weeks they came to us and said, "Okay, we think we have a solution for you." We only tested that solution because we didn't have much time to test others. It was almost the end of 2015 and we needed to budget for the next year.

What other advice do I have?

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.

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.
Sheron K Brown Sr.
Systems Engineer at PAREXEL International Corporation
Real User
Top 20
Very good deduplication saves on storage space for us, making money available for infrastructure

Pros and Cons

  • "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 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."

What is our primary use case?

We have full functionality as a complete data warehouse, and I've been tasked to leverage the multiple features and licenses that Commvault has, as they apply to our business. We're using every feature and what we are not using, we plan to be using.

We back up multiple platforms in our environment: Windows, Red Hat, Linux, Oracle. We have hypervisors, a large VMware environment. So it's a pretty enterprise-class environment. 

We use it for custom reporting to better manage our backup environment and there is a lot of discovery in that area too. The better question might be how we're not using it right now. We try to leverage every feature that's out there, as a complete data warehouse.

It's a hybrid. It's an on-prem, but we're in Azure now, too.

How has it helped my organization?

We're saving storage space. The built-in deduplication features are really good. It's second to none in my experience with it. You really have a better handle on your deduplication database and block changes. Saving storage space is the biggest thing. We see up to 75 percent compression rates, and even higher, so we're saving on data.

Also, with archiving, we've been able to identify data that we were backing up multiple times and archive it instead and save money there. So overall, we've had a lot of space savings with data that's being compressed through the deduplication features of Commvault.

It has also helped us save on costs. There is money available to further use for fees in Commvault, which means the business is happy with what's going on. Those cost savings are from the fact that we don't have to keep increasing our storage the way we were before we were using Commvault. For me, as an engineer, that means I have training opportunities and I can also identify a service for server refresh because there's money available for infrastructure.

We expect that Commvault will also help our admins to minimize the time they spend on backup tasks so they can spend time on other projects. We have identified how it can. Now we're trying to figure out how to implement that. It will involve using workflows and automated processes for scheduling, alerting, and reporting, and even using support resolution through automatic tickets that can be generated.

We haven't yet used Commvault to recover from a disaster, attack, or to recover data for another reason. We just had a report that said we haven't had disaster recovery backup in the past year. Commvault sent us an alert and, within one day, they assembled a team to discuss what we could do to mitigate that risk. Once the team was assembled and we all got together on the phone, I noticed that the report had been inaccurate for a year. It was great that we didn't have a disaster, but I like the fact that Commvault was willing to address that need, at my immediate request, based on their alerting system. They were ready to assist me in a disaster at a moment's notice.

What is most valuable?

You have total control of your data. It's scary, but it's good once you understand it. There are a lot of unknowns that happen with your data, things that Commvault is doing, and you really need to be aware of them to maximize its overall performance. I like that you have complete hooks into and total control of your data.

The biggest lesson I've learned is that it doesn't break easily. You can get by with some mistakes. It's pretty intuitive. You're not intimidated that you may do something incorrectly and cause some damage. 

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.

What needs improvement?

It's tough to understand if you're really maximizing the features of such a large platform without engaging other services that Commvault offers to help you understand and leverage the data warehouse.

It's a little challenging because of the way Commvault communicates and works with third-party solutions. Right now, we're using Commvault to back up Office 365 mailboxes, so we have to work with Microsoft and Azure. There's a lot of handshaking in the background that the customer can be impacted by. For instance, Commvault can say, "Hey, we can back up a thousand mailboxes in two days, providing Microsoft lets us." "Microsoft letting you" means that Microsoft will throttle you at certain times, and there are also certain restrictions Microsoft has with how fast you're doing something, or how many you're doing. We, as a customer, are impacted from that perspective. Although Microsoft welcomes Commvault, there's always the strain of how these two platforms work together. So it's a little challenging when it crosses different platforms into other environments that Commvault doesn't have total control of.

Also, 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. It wasn't a simple, turnkey solution when we decided to use them. They could do a little bit more due diligence before they jump into a space to get some of that market share.

One particular issue we found was when we were trying to open up ports for communication. They had listed a couple of ports that we needed and we found out there were a lot more communication ports that they had already assumed we were aware of or already had in place. As we were doing our deployment, we had a lot of network communication issues when we were trying to communicate between resources on-prem and off-prem, due to different ports that were identified as being blocked.

They have to be willing to admit that, "Hey, we don't have this quite worked out yet, but we're working on it." I got to learn Commvault by implementing this Office 365 solution. That's my go-to for examples. There have been a lot of "gotchas" in performance. Commvault says, "Go to this SP, go to that SP," but you're talking about changing your whole service pack level in your environment, and you just can't do that overnight. You can't move as fast as they want you to move, business-wise, to take advantage of new releases and new features. They have to be more realistic that the customer can't keep up with their pace.

In addition, there are two of us who do all the maintenance, but we definitely make use of Commvault resources. They kind of make you dependent on utilizing their resources, which is not such a bad thing. But sometimes you may want to learn to manage your own environment completely, without engaging the vendor as much. Commvault finds a way to keep themselves engaged with what you're doing. You almost have to reach out to them to say, "How does this work? What's the best way to use this? I don't see any information on how to leverage this feature."

The documentation is lacking. You'll find some general stuff, but it's hard to find actual use cases. You also want to know who has tried a solution out, who is it working for, who can you talk to to get some pros and cons? They could do a little bit better with their documentation and not just have basic guidelines that you have to customize to follow.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Commvault for a year and a half.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't seen any issues with scalability at all. They tend to have a suggestion for us when we come to them with a problem. Right now we're leveraging the IntelliSnap feature. It's been identified as a better way to back up, given some problems we've been having with some particular data that has been hard to capture within a certain time window. 

It's scalable. We haven't had any complaints at all. It rates pretty highly in scalability.

One of the features I'm working on putting in place is access control: How to grant different levels of authorization. We currently have 51 users and six are primary users. Most of those 51 users log in to run reports. Those users have operational roles, administrative roles, and some are in engineering. We also have a couple of database admins who have read-only access to view metrics.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support is pretty extensive. There are five different levels of support. We're at the top level and we have also experienced two levels below that. They have a great support system. 

They could use additional subject matter experts, but when you do get the right subject matter expert you have a person who is pretty knowledgeable. We haven't needed many escalations, but they do have a good escalation system. 

They've never been stumped. There's always somebody that has the knowledge and expertise to resolve the issue. And that's generally within a matter of days at the most — and sometimes it's only hours. I've never had an outstanding problem for longer than a week without having the right resources in place to resolve the issue.

We have the highest enterprise-level support contract, so we have a team that engages us on chronic issues. We have a team that engages us on new initiatives and we have a team that we work with on the overall Commvault experience. We also have a dedicated technical account manager and we can bounce anything off of him at a moment's notice.

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

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 licensing is more visible. It's more "per-diem." They're not forcing you into certain purchases. You can buy in bulk, per se. You can try things out. Commvault offers a lot of good, temporary licenses where you try something out before you commit to buying it. Once you express interest in purchasing, they'll supply a lot more information for you to make a better decision. I like that, versus the way Veritas works.

Commvault is a cost-efficient solution. Just beware that there's a lot you're going to have to understand before you can get to the point where you're utilizing that cost-efficiency.

How was the initial setup?

To convert over to Commvault from NetBackup took us three days, and part of that was standing up the environment. With Commvault, it's easy to bring new data and new platforms in. It's simply a matter of clicking on the agent, installing it, and then going from there. The fact that it's agent-based made it a little bit easier to adapt to and back up multiple platforms and storage devices.

Generally, it takes about five hours to two days to drop an architected solution and start the implementation process. You need time for whatever issues may arise, so it could take three to five days to get Commvault up and running. 

But to get started, it's just a matter of a few minutes. The fact that you can push out and do all your installs from Command Center is a good feature from Commvault. It's easy to get rolling and get started. To really get it fully leveraged takes some time.

Our company is in its fourth year with Commvault and we're just now getting to the tip of the iceberg with leveraging a lot of its features and the licensing that Commvault offers as a data warehouse.

Training-wise, there's a lot of information out there, a lot of free training. There are tutorials and a lot of YouTube videos and virtual classrooms. They encourage you to learn and leverage their data suite without paying for a lot of training.

What was our ROI?

Prior to using Commvault's Office 365 feature, we were backing up mailboxes at the database level. Commvault allows us to just point, click, and drag-and-drop for backup and restore. That's a really big ROI. Restores are easier to handle at the message and item level. Things are a lot easier to restore. We can restore in multiple ways, including as a PST file. Commvault has a way of looking at our mailbox data and picking out anything that is PST and backing that up in different ways. There are a lot of built-in APIs to make things a little bit easier.

So we do have a good ROI with our overall mailbox protection and restorability.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It's been a while since we used NetBackup, but I think Commvault is easier. It's really point-and-click. There isn't a lot of background stuff going on or command-line stuff. It's all Windows-based, easy drag-and-drop. With NetBackup there was a lot of stuff going on in the back-end, command-line wise, that you couldn't get a good visual of as you were doing it. 

Working with Windows is a little more explanatory, versus working with command-line, when it comes to installations. With command-line, you have this sense that if you do something incorrectly you might really do something bad. That's a big difference that I like with Commvault versus Veritas NetBackup.

What other advice do I have?

Take advantage of any free training and look at other business cases and how they use Commvault, because it's so customizable. There's no right and wrong way. You have to look at your unique business needs to really maximize the platform.

If you're just going to back up and protect your data, I would recommend something outside of Commvault. If you really want to understand your data, audit your data, really manipulate your data, and save money through your data, then Commvault is the place to go.

I like the interface. It requires some assistance with navigation. It's very intimidating when you first jump in as a newbie. You don't know where to start or what's important. The best approach is to learn each one, one at a time. The problem is that you usually end up favoring one particular feature because that's where the fires are at. It's user-friendly, but it takes some time to get used to.

I'm still learning the Command Center. I think a lot of people are hesitant to transfer over to it because it is a little different than the Java console. I just had a tutorial and demonstration on it last week. I like it. It's easier. It's just that the layout is a lot different. It's not as busy as the Java console, and because it's not as busy you don't know what you're not using, or what you have quick access to. I think that may be what intimidates people with the Command Center, that the layout is really a lot different. But kind of like a desktop, once you get it the way you want it, it's a lot easier to work with. I think those initial challenges deter some people, which is why it's been a slow rollout, and Commvault hasn't just said, "We're going to turn this one off and this one on."

I'm in favor of the Command Center. I'm starting to use it a little bit more. It's a good tool, a good upgrade, but it's going to take a little bit of learning.

The fact that a Commvault is a single platform will enable our organization to accelerate growth and drive innovation. This is my second year with this company, and we're now leveraging the experts within Commvault to show us how to use Commvault, so I think it will. But getting to that stage where you have to align those resources can take a company some time. There are some challenges there. But once you embrace it and leverage it the way they want you to use it, instead of using it how you want to use it, it will make the transition a little easier.

This process is helping in identifying lost data and identifying backup performance. You can really drill into backup performance, throughput, network connections, firewalls, and ports. You can really see where a problem is. Fixing their problems is one thing, but you tend to have to upgrade to fix it. Commvault is really good at listening to what the customer says, to their challenges, and then taking those challenges and making solutions down the line. The problem is you have to upgrade your environment to take advantage of those new bug fixes.

What we're looking to do with Commvault in the next six months is to leverage its ability to protect and backup our stuff within the cloud, within Azure. We also want to leverage it more for identifying data analytics. Because we're in the compliance field and the medical field, we really want to understand our data. Is it deduping right? Is it being backed up correctly? How can we archive it? We're confident that it's protected. We're confident we can restore it. Now we want to understand it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Commvault. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
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Kevin Cronin
Co-Founder at Kelyn Technologies Inc.
MSP
Top 20
Can easily restore data in a disaster recovery scenario

Pros and Cons

  • "The backup and restore capabilities are key. The most useful things to us about Commvault, in general, is the breadth of the applications that it can protect as well as the features inside of it, like deduplication and encryption. When people get their data encrypted, Commvault has a way to tell if somebody is being attacked through a cybersecurity threat because their data changes. So, Commvault has what they call honeypot files out there to look to see if anybody is changing these files. Only Commvault knows which files those are, so nobody should be messing with those files. If it changes, then it will alert you to say, "Oh, I potentially have somebody messing with my files." It will alert you to something going on in your environment that probably shouldn't be happening. We deploy that with all our customers so they have this capability as well."
  • "The most common feedback I get in terms of Commvault is that it can be complex. I always refer my customers back to their own environment. Almost everything that goes into Commvault is a request by a customer. While it can be complex, it can also be very simple. You just need to understand your environment in order to make sure that you really need to turn on that extra feature or thing inside of Commvault. Maybe you don't need those things. It really depends on how simple or complex your environment is, whether you need all of Commvault's features."

What is our primary use case?

We are a managed service provider, so we offer backup as a service to our customers.

We do a combination of on-prem, cloud, and hybrid Commvault, so we have a little bit of everything. We do a lot with on-prem, but we have a lot of customers that have been moving to the cloud. We also have a number of customers who are exclusively in the cloud and customers who are talking about exclusively going to the cloud. There has been a definite shift to the cloud and using Commvault in the cloud.

We deploy private clouds. We have also done AWS hybrid cloud and Microsoft Azure.

How has it helped my organization?

Commvault gives us the ability to manage multiple customers with the same interface. It also gives us the ability to offer enterprise class backup and recovery capabilities as well as DR capabilities to customers who might not otherwise have that accessible to them because maybe they are a small customer or don't have the expertise. What Commvault has allowed us to do is reach a broader audience with the breadth of their product offering.

Commvault absolutely provides a single platform for data management and protection, data security, data compliance, data transformation, and data insights. Customers are moving to the cloud. One feature in particular that we use: When you are using Commvault to backup a virtual environment, then we will use the VMware environment. For example, Commvault allows us to actually migrate on-premise data (backed up using Commvault) and restore a virtual machine into an Amazon or Microsoft Azure environment without doing any kind of conversion ourselves. That is all taken care of behind the scenes by Commvault. That is really a unique feature that allows customers to do their data transformation, their migration from on-premise to the cloud, or a combination of both. That ability is something that Commvault offers that we use quite a bit for this purpose.

One of the things that has become abundantly clear in the cybersecurity threat posture that we have now - you need to really do a good job of backing up your log files. That is something else that Commvault has brought into the world. Additionally, being able to do everything through the Metallic capability has helped us win a few customers. That is a pretty cool feature set that Commvault's brought to bear.

We have a number of co-branded marketing activities going on right now. Recently, we did an executive forum round table. We had our CTO, Ryan Lake, as a part of that. This was in conjunction with Trezza Media. It was about an hour-long conversation, including different CIOs and CTOs from government-level positions. That was really insightful and a good program.

Commvault’s partner program provides deal registration which provides us with support and protection throughout the selling cycle. This is vitally important. The sales cycle on backup and disaster recovery solutions is sometimes a fairly long one, particularly if you are displacing a competitive solution. So, it is critical to know that the registration within Commvault will remain because the sales cycle does take some time to get through.

What is most valuable?

The backup and restore capabilities are key. The most useful things to us about Commvault, in general, is the breadth of the applications that it can protect as well as the features inside of it, like deduplication and encryption. When people get their data encrypted, Commvault has a way to tell if somebody is being attacked through a cybersecurity threat because their data changes. So, Commvault has what they call honeypot files out there to look to see if anybody is changing these files. Only Commvault knows which files those are, so nobody should be messing with those files. If it changes, then it will alert you to say, "Oh, I potentially have somebody messing with my files." It will alert you to something going on in your environment that probably shouldn't be happening. We deploy that with all our customers so they have this capability as well.

A key aspect of Commvault is having all of these different Cloud Connectors, where you can connect to all these different clouds and applications, managing everything through one pane of glass. We have a number of customers whom we manage through one pane of glass, but then we also have on-prem customers whom we manage that have their installation. We manage that independently because a lot of customers don't yet want all their data 100% through the cloud or managed by a cloud provider. That is why we do a lot of on-prem stuff. Even there, you get a single pane of glass for the entire environment.

Command Center is a great tool because it allows for viewing all of your data in one place. Plus, with the plans, it allows for simple deployments and customers to pick which feature set and capabilities they want. When you have your plans in the Command Center, it really opens up lots of options for customers while keeping everything simplified for us.

One of the biggest things that Commvault does is have the ability to easily restore data. In a disaster recovery scenario, the first thing you have to do is bring up the command and control center of whatever product that you are going to recover with. The initial recovery of Commvault command and control, which they call the CommCell, i.e., CommServe server, is by far the best in the industry. That is where it starts. So if you lose everything, you can start with CommCell. That is the way that they have designed the split indexes of MediaAgent and those types of things. This really sets them apart from any other product out there. 

What needs improvement?

The most common feedback I get in terms of Commvault is that it can be complex. I always refer my customers back to their own environment. Almost everything that goes into Commvault is a request by a customer. While it can be complex, it can also be very simple. You just need to understand your environment in order to make sure that you really need to turn on that extra feature or thing inside of Commvault. Maybe you don't need those things. It really depends on how simple or complex your environment is, whether you need all of Commvault's features. Though, you have them if you do need them.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been supporting and using Commvault for about 10 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Commvault is extremely stable. There are really not too many things that knock it down.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have customers with multiple petabytes of data. There is no issue with the scalability at all.

Commvault is the thought-leader in numerous trade organization reviews. They get top awards all the time based on the completeness of the solution and the ability to execute. For our customers, having that weight behind them and knowing that this isn't a company who was just thought up overnight or solving a single issue. They are looking at large enterprise-level issues with the ability to scale to the largest of enterprises as well as the smallest company. We have customers with one or two computers that they need to protect, and we're protecting them with Commvault. We're bringing that entire Commvault platform with the entire weight of Commvault behind it. Being able to offer that to a customer with one or two computers allows us to really use the entire suite of Commvault to help protect all our customers. That is one of the biggest benefits for us, having the entire weight of Commvault behind us as a service offering.

How are customer service and support?

We have a great relationship with support. In addition to interacting with Commvault support, we also have purchased the enterprise support that Commvault offers. That gives us a greater level of insight into what is going on, not only in our environment, but within Commvault's itself. We have a dedicated Technical Account Manager as well as a dedicated Support Account Manager. Those two folks have been instrumental in helping us achieve greater efficiencies within our Commvault environments.

Commvault is fantastic. We have a bi-weekly call with our partner manager where we discuss what is coming up and where Commvault can help, e.g., how can we execute our marketing strategy? It has all kinds of different things that we just don't get from other vendors. The partnership has been great.

How was the initial setup?

With a very large enterprise (hundreds of terabytes of data), you will need to take a little bit more time and make sure that you have the configuration correct, then go from there. 

For small organizations, the initial setup is very simple. Out-of-the-box, you can set it up in 30 minutes or less.

What about the implementation team?

We start with the requirements for the customer, but then we really hone things down for the deployment. We put things in the right places. We will work with customers to understand what their requirements are, then put together a strategy for deployment that we believe is both the simplest and most effective.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI with Commvault.

Our customers' cost of operations is greatly reduced. The more you simplify, the less manpower things take. The less manpower things take obviously translates immediately to the bottom line. In addition, it gives you a much greater chance of success when you go to do your disaster recovery testing or disaster recovery function in the event something bad does happen.

The solution’s broad coverage of workloads certainly affects IT productivity. When you have a simplified infrastructure, there are a lot less moving parts. Things tend to stay operational longer, reducing downtime types of things. Those are all part of the simplification process.

They have profitability guarantees on registered opportunities. They are not necessarily as high as some of the other partner programs out there, but we stick with Commvault because we believe that they are the best product out there on the market.

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

The pricing has improved. It is simplified compared to the way that it was a few years ago. It is fairly straightforward and pretty easy to articulate to customers, which is handy. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Commvault’s key differentiators for its partners is the ability to offer the breadth and depth of its tools. There are other vendors out there who have solutions, and a lot of them do good with certain little aspects of one particular problem in the backup and disaster recovery world. Commvault just doesn't have any weaknesses in their product lineup. So, it is the ability to do everything that really sets Commvault apart.

The amount of labor that it takes to operate a Commvault environment is dramatically lower than their competitors.

What other advice do I have?

You need to understand your entire environment and make sure that you are looking at the entire thing so you can understand the value that Commvault brings. Understand where some of the other products might fall down, in terms of being able to manage your entire environment, and the capabilities that you require.

Take the time to document your requirements and make sure that you get all that information upfront so you know what your goal is in the end. That is where you can go a little haywire with any product, e.g., if you don't really understand what it is that you are trying to accomplish first, then you can get into trouble real quick.

Complexity is one of the things that everybody has in their environment and every production environment has some level of complexity. One of the things that I like to talk about when I talk to our customers about Commvault is that your backup and disaster recovery solution is basically a mirror image of your operating environment. So, if you want to reduce the complexity of your disaster recovery environment, then what you really need to do is think about how to reduce the complexity in your production environment. When you utilize a product like Commvault, you can make Commvault do all kinds of things that will help you backup your existing environment. However, when you translate that into a disaster recovery scenario, you need to basically reverse engineer and put everything back the way that it was. Therefore, complexity is a mirror of your production environment. We try to simplify all of our customer's environments as much as we possibly can, including their production environment, in order to make them more sustainable in a disaster recovery scenario.

Commvault is a thought-leader in intelligent data management. For example: 

  1. The breadth of the Commvault suite, where it is backing up and restoring containers. 
  2. A lot of people are moving to containerization as a way of doing DevOps, and having a faster time to market for their products. Commvault is able to back VMs up and transition those VMs. 
  3. This is along with Cloud Connectors adopting the capability of doing backup and disaster recovery in the cloud. Commvault was at the forefront of that entire movement. 

Those are all unique capabilities that Commvault really spearheaded. I don't think there is any slowing that down. They can really crank out some really cool solutions in a pretty quick timeframe.

I have taken a number of management courses with Commvault University, including the Foundations course and some of the advanced courses. It is very good training. The instructors are very helpful. When we were going through training, one of the things that they suggested was, "Work with the product a little bit before you go to the training course so you know which questions to ask." This is really important because then you can ask the instructor specific questions that directly impact your environment, which are the most useful questions that you can ask.

I would rate Commvault as 10 out of 10.

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. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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BP
Senior Architect, Cloud Infrastructure at a tech vendor with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Provides a single solution to recover data

Pros and Cons

  • "It provides us a good holistic view of everything that we have backed up so far. It also provides us all the recovery points. If we look at an an object that has been backed up, we can tell how many retention copies it has, how far we can go, and recover any data, if needed."
  • "It does not have an easy deployment. The deployment is not something that just anybody can go in and deploy."

What is our primary use case?

We use it to backup and protect our virtual environments. We do Active Directory, SQL, file server, and some application levels backups. We do Office 365 and SharePoint backups too.

We back up everything locally first, then store it in the cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

It provides us a single solution to recover data. We haven't had a lot of restore requests. There have been a couple of them where we had to restore a full server and the work involved was very minimal. We were able to run a quick restore job. We did not really run into any challenges doing this. Every once in a while, we receive requests for files or emails that people have lost and those files are in SharePoint or OneDrive. We have the ability to restore it within 30 days directly from the portal. But if it's beyond the 30 days, we use Commvault to restore data and that has worked absolutely fine.

It has helped us drive innovation and accelerate growth. From a growth perspective, this storage solution has clearly helped us. The option for us to save the data in the cloud is very valuable for the organization.

The solution has helped our admins to minimize the time they spend on backup tasks and other projects. We have an administrator who manages the system. I'm more of an architect. Compared to the previous product where the administrator had to go around and look for a lot of information before he could find out whether the backup had competed successfully and the reporting structure was not that great, the reporting structure now with Commvault is where he can get daily emails from the jobs which have been completed. If there are any issues with jobs, he can directly drill-down to the details and find out why the job failed or why it did not run on time since there may be other dependencies that won't allow the job to run.

What is most valuable?

All the features used right now have been very valuable. The biggest advantage for us right now is the ability to back up our Office 365 mailboxes along with all our SharePoint and OneDrive data. Because all our users mostly store all their data in these locations, it is important for us that we back up all these services.

It provides us a good holistic view of everything that we have backed up so far. It also provides us all the recovery points. If we look at an an object that has been backed up, we can tell how many retention copies it has, how far we can go, and recover any data, if needed.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Commvault since early 2017. We are in our third year right now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been pretty stable. We have not run into a situation where our systems were compromised. However, we have run into system corruption issues and were back in business within about two hours.

Right now, we only have one primary administrator for this product. We have a couple of backups in case this person or another is on vacation. We have other people who have been provided good knowledge transfer on how this product works. This way, if either of them is unavailable, there is somebody who can do the job.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is definitely scalable. We are able to scale as we need, whether we need to add any compute, storage, or additional licenses for user accounts. All of that is very flexible when it comes to scalability. If we want to add more users to our Office 365 backup, we can quickly get new licenses from the vendor with a quick turnaround time. As soon as we get that, we are able to add those users' data to our backups. We generally have a buffer. However, sometimes if there are a lot of new hires, then we need to go in and secure new licenses.

We are using more space than what we were previous using, mainly because we did not have a lot of flexibility with the previous product that we were using. So, there was not much room for us to store the data for a long duration. At the same time, we did not have enough on premise storage capacity to leave the data around for a long time. Therefore, data growth has been significant over the past years because we have been able to store data. So, we are leaving the data on-premise for 30 days, then we moving it to the cloud. Most of the data is now in the cloud, but even on-premise we are now able to back up a lot of systems that we were not able to back up earlier. We have seen significant storage growth on long-term systems, because we are now backing those up and the data is there.

It is only my team managing the system. We back up all the data that the end user has. If they need help restoring their data, then one of my team members will go in and restore the data. The user has no direct interaction with the product.

It is pretty extensively used right now. It is backing up all the data that we have right now. We are looking into some additional features, so we might not start looking at those until later this year. Commvault has come out with some new features and we want to look into those. For the first two years, it was a stabilization period for us to get the product implemented, ensure everything was stabilized, all the important data was being protected, and data was being stored in necessary places. We also looked at all the trending over the last two years to ensure we had enough capacity in all the areas to maintain the server and storage space. Now, we are at the stage where we are pretty comfortable on how we can scale this product when needed. We are looking into additional features that Commvault has, and we will start looking into these towards the end of the year.

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support has been good. I haven't had a lot of interactions.

Every once in a while when we have to make any architectural changes to the deployment, my administrators reach out and consult with me. We sometimes engage with the support team or Professional Services team. Their responses have been pretty good so far. We have never had a situation where we were kept waiting for days to get an answer or solution.

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

I used Commvault from 2011 to 2012 at one of my previous organization, but it was only for a short period of time that I worked with it. I then had to move onto other things. That experience helped me when we deployed the newer version of Commvault. At the time, it was Commvault Simpana, and now, it's only Commvault. That experience helped us to understand its requirements and how we could set it up.

We were using Dell EMC Data Protection Rapid Recovery. It wasn't flexible nor scalable. It did not meet all our requirements. It wasn't able to back up physical and cloud environments. It could not store data in the cloud, so we had to look at options to store and protect our data. We were unable to back up our Office 365 and SharePoint data. With Commvault, it has made it seamless for us to store data in the cloud, not only protect it. 

We can set up proper retention policies now. So, if we need to store any data, for example, over a year, seven years, or 10 years, we can accordingly store it. We can then apply policy to that storage, which after that retention period, we will not have to go in and do a manual cleanup.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment took about a month. The planning was another month or two.

We wanted to ensure that we were able to protect all our systems and data not protected up until then. At the same time, the strategy was that we did not want to incur a lot of significant costs on just deploying the solution itself. Plus, we did not want a lot of administrative overhead while maintaining the servers and application environment. We did not want that routine daily administration activity. We wanted to set up the environment and not worry about it until something went wrong.

What about the implementation team?

We had assistance from the vendor, so they did assist with the setup. The system was completely new for some of my team members who had never worked with it before, so it did take them a lot of time to get familiar with it. Those administrators are able to manage the system very well now compared to what they were able to do in their first year when they had to frequently go back to the vendor and ask them, "How do we do this? How can we do that?"

We worked directly with the vendor. The vendor's Professional Services team was able to assist us with the deployment.

What was our ROI?

After deploying the Commvault solution, we are saving four to five hours a week.

We have been able to save on infrastructure costs by not storing long-term data onto systems. Instead, we have been able to store them on cheaper cloud systems. There is a lot of savings there if you consider all the cost involved to store data on an on-premise server storage system, plus the maintenance, and the support which goes behind maintaining that system. 

I have seen return of investment.

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

There is a bit of cost involved with signing up the entire solution. It's not a cheap solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate Veeam and Cohesity. 

At the time, Cohesity was not mature, as they were fairly new to the business. We had a few meetings with them, and after our discussions, we found that the solution might not meet all our requirements. E.g., the physical server backup was one important feature that was not supported at the time. 

Veeam is a platform that I have extensively worked with in all my previous roles at other companies. So, we do have a Veeam implementation that is used by a different team in our organization. They manage all their backups through Veeam. Our plan was not to use the same solution in all environments. We wanted to use different solutions within the entire organization for exposure to multiple data protection solutions. Also, Veeam did not support physical machine backups and only supported virtual machine backups.

In my previous deployment, there were no cloud features. The cloud was not popular and everything was on-prem. Even when we moved to Commvault, Veeam lacked a lot of features, which is why Commvault seems to be the best choice for us.

We already had our cloud solution in place. After understanding that Commvault does work with that cloud provider and it would help us store our data, we did not have any further concerns about cloud vendor selection. The cloud environment and Commvault environment were set up around the same time. We moved to the cloud at the end of 2016, and then, in early 2017, we moved to Commvault. So, everything worked out well.

What other advice do I have?

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.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
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.
David Nahtigal
IT System Engineer at a real estate/law firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Perfect match for complex environments, as it supports all types of infrastructure

Pros and Cons

  • "We have VMware, Hyper-V, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL. We have a lot of different systems, and all of them are supported under one licensing agreement. That's one of the benefits."
  • "We had some small issues with the reporting, but that was just a matter of fine-tuning the kinds of messages we receive by email. It was a little overwhelming in the initial configuration. So we reviewed our configuration with our partner and customized the reports so that we only get the important reports. I haven't seen any big issues or things that the solution is missing."

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case is as a backup and recovery solution. We have two data centers and we have a Commvault server for replication in both. We back up all our infrastructure with this solution, from Active Directory to SQL, web servers, file servers, databases, et cetera.

How has it helped my organization?

Commvault helps to ensure broad coverage with the discovery of unprotected workloads. The Discovery feature lists all the resources that we have, all the virtual servers and all the physical servers. You can also automatically deploy agents or set up schedules. At first, we did some manual tuning to customize it before deployment. Now, the virtual infrastructure administrator just has to add the VM tag on the virtual machine and that machine will automatically be backed up in the next schedule. It's a good automation feature.

It also helps by minimizing the time our admins spend on backup tasks so that they can spend time on other projects. Before Commvault, we had two backup administrators who were using a backup and restore application to restore every test that we had to do. It was a full-time job just monitoring the backups and doing the restores. With our new solution from Commvault, we have successfully implemented web-based backup and restore management for our different teams, including our file server, database, and Exchange teams. We split operations among those teams and each one has access to the backup Web Console. This console from Commvault is very useful for segmenting the restore options. That way, the database backup administrator only has access to the database servers and can only do backups and restores of databases and does not have access to Active Directory or file servers. The web-based backup and restore is a really great option.

Whereas before, we had one full-time engineer doing backups and restores, now that engineer is only working on it for two to four hours per week. Across our four teams, it's saving us about 10 to 12 hours a week.

The solution has helped to reduce storage costs as well. Commvault has an option to move data from primary storage. When you do a backup, it scans all the files from the file server and you can set a policy to remove all files that are more than, say, three years old from the primary storage. And on the primary storage, there is only a link that connects to the backup source. When a user needs a file on secondary storage, there is no problem because it only reads the file. When the user opens that old file, it's automatically restored and the user can access it. For our IT team, it has saved us between 5 and 10 percent of storage. It depends on how widely you implement the solution and the policies you set. You could save 50 percent if you have a broader policy.

We have also saved on infrastructure costs because Commvault takes less time to do the backup jobs, due to the deduplication. Also, the background tasks that are used to copy the backup jobs to tape are deduplicated. The full backup of our infrastructure can now be done in a couple of hours during the night. Before, some backup tasks would take more than a day, on the weekend. There has been a reduction of 80 or 90 percent in the backup window.

What is most valuable?

Commvault's most valuable features are its 

  • deduplication
  • encryption
  • support for many OSs
  • support for different infrastructures. 

We have VMware, Hyper-V, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL. We have a lot of different systems, and all of them are supported under one licensing agreement. That's one of the benefits.

We use two user interfaces on a regular basis. One is the Web Console, which is simple and has all the necessary functionality. You can add servers, back up servers, and restore. We also have a replication solution implemented and we use the Web Console for that as well. But for the initial configuration and for some deeper configurations, we also use the Commvault application. It's big and has all the fine-tuning options.

The solution's Command Center is very straightforward. It has an intuitive user interface with graphs, tables, alerts, as well as many options for alerting and messaging. Of course, you have to get used to the environment, but it's easy to use.

It is also important that Commvault provides a single platform to move, manage, and recover data across on-premises locations. That's because we have different storage and virtualization platforms. We have no problem if the file resides, say, on NetApp storage and we have to restore data to a workstation or some kind of Windows Server. Also, when we did some migrations from our old Hyper-V cluster to the new VMware cluster, those integrations between different infrastructures were successfully accomplished with the Commvault solution. We have no issues with different types of resources we need to back up.

In addition, the recovery options are pretty straightforward. For example, if you choose a virtual machine, you can restore the full virtual machine, you can restore the virtual machine on a different platform, you can restore just a virtual disk, or you can restore just a file within the virtual machine. You have all the options. In the web-based user interface, you can also restore using download options. You can browse through the files or virtual machines and download the file from the backup. They have a great range of restore options.

What needs improvement?

We had some small issues with the reporting, but that was just a matter of fine-tuning the kinds of messages we receive by email. It was a little overwhelming in the initial configuration. So we reviewed our configuration with our partner and customized the reports so that we only get the important reports. I haven't seen any big issues or things that the solution is missing.

For how long have I used the solution?

We implemented Commvault at the start of the year, so we have been using it for almost a year now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had one issue. The Commvault server is an Active-Passive cluster and the Active node had some hiccups. It wasn't something serious, but the Commvault server was unable to connect to one of the agents. I believe our partner discovered it because they also receive messages from our Commvault solution. They just informed us that the Commvault server had to be restarted. We did so during working hours because backups are done at night, and there were no issues. It was a standard procedure and we have had no other big issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

At the start of the Commvault project, we put together a list of all the resources that we have. They counted our resources and gave us the exact number of clients we needed to buy to cover all of our infrastructure and we had no issue there. Of course, we also have some plans for the growth of our infrastructure. If we have any big upgrades, we will also upgrade the Commvault infrastructure.

We have a lot of Commvault's features implemented. We're also in the process of testing the backup of endpoints, such as laptops and devices from end-users. There are just a few features from Commvault that we don't use.

How are customer service and support?

We use technical support through our partner because our partner has a lot of inside knowledge. For the majority of issues our partner gives us the solution, but they have had to report some small issues to Commvault support. They spoke directly with Commvault support and the solution was available in a few days. It was a very good troubleshooting experience.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

We used NetWorker and Veeam. The NetWorker solution was the older solution and, in some very old clusters, we also used TSM (Tivoli Storage Manager) from IBM. The TSM solution was no longer supported and the Dell EMC NetWorker solution, which we used for our physical servers, was difficult to maintain. Veeam was a good solution for our VMware infrastructure, but we needed a solution with support for a wider variety of infrastructure types. One of our major goals was to eliminate our multiple backup solutions by going with Commvault.

How was the initial setup?

If we had to do the initial setup ourselves, it would be complex, of course, because we have a big infrastructure with different types of targets. But our partners helped and they managed to cover all the tests that we implemented at the start of the project. So, overall, the setup went really well. It took just a few days, maybe a week, to add our agents. After the initial configuration, it was really easy to roll out the solution to our entire infrastructure.

What about the implementation team?

Our partners, called Our Space Appliances, are system integrators in backup and storage solutions. They know our infrastructure.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had a process for choosing a vendor. We called a number of vendors and had proposals from the Veeam, NetWorker, Cohesity, and Commvault.

The big pro for Commvault was that it was a single solution for our entire infrastructure. The licensing model was also an advantage and the experience of the partner was also a big plus. Some of the other solutions we evaluated did not make it to the second round because they did not support all the infrastructure we have in our environment. In the last round, the battle came down to pricing, as well as some small features, and Commvault was the best in all the criteria.

What other advice do I have?

Commvault is a pretty comprehensive but, maybe, complex solution when you first start with it. But that's why it is a perfect match for complex infrastructure, as it supports all types of infrastructure. Commvault is not appropriate for small businesses with just one type of virtual environment. There are different vendors that may be better for that use case. But when looking at enterprise backup and recovery options, Commvault is the easiest to use, and it has the widest range of features.

We are currently moving to Exchange Online. We have between 1,500 and 2,000 users. We have already deployed Teams on the cloud, and now we are migrating user mailboxes to cloud. Our next step, in the following month, will be a backup of Microsoft cloud solutions through Commvault.

In terms of the coverage of Commvault, we have a big Oracle Database and the Oracle administrators are a separate team. They do their own backups using RMAN. They then move the backup to the separate Sun ZFS  storage. We also tried that backup with Commvault, using the Commvault agent to run RMAN. The test went well, the backup was good, but the database team was used to their old solution. So we agreed to implement a backup of the ZFS file server.

Ours is an all-on-prem solution so we don't have any other networks being backed up. We do have a DMZ with different VLANs and so there were some problems. We had to install an agent on the DMZ zone, an agent that has access to resources in the demilitarized network. But it's a no-brainer. We just have to open a specific port so that the backup agent can communicate with the CommCell server, and the resources are backed up successfully.

In addition, to protect against ransomware we use Commvault's alert options because Commvault can predict big changes in the network with its AI solution. This is the first line of defense. The second line of defense is that we are now in the process of implementing secondary, offline storage to ensure an air gap between the primary backup, the replicated backup, and the offline backup storage. In case of a ransomware attack we will have off-site backup storage.

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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HM
Engineer at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Reseller
Top 20
It helps us get to the point where we have a complete picture of the environment

Pros and Cons

  • "Commvault's Command Center is one of the best solutions out there. You can rely on Commvault solutions for the most complex and most demanding environments."
  • "Commvault is complex even if the product has comprehensive solutions and covers pretty much every technology out there. There's no unified way to manage all of the products on one single console."

What is our primary use case?

Most of our clients have an on-premise environment. They are traditional environments, but they are slowly starting to use the cloud for IT solutions and services. Lately, we've been shifting some workloads to the cloud and using the product there. It's been a slow transition, but we are doing it. We are partners in the Latin American region, so we are trying to find the best fit for every customer and recommend different backup solutions depending on the client. Some are easier to install but lack certain features. 

Commvault has a large customer base in the enterprise segment, so it provides a complete recovery solution for our largest clients. That's the way we use the product. We focus on enterprise solutions in large companies in Columbia and the South American and Latin American region. Commvault has a strong track record protecting the integrity of workloads, and it has many different features needed in the corporate environment. We have various technologies that need to be backed up and protected. In that sense, Commvault is a comprehensive solution.

No other vendor has such a wide range of solutions, including traditional on-premises workloads, cyber cloud members, and cloud links. All of those features are comprehensive enough to be considered for the largest client. 

How has it helped my organization?

The ability to manage and recover data across platforms and deployments is what we look for in a solution. Technologies are getting more complex all the time. We're seeing the emergence of different technology, including support for containers and various cloud services. These new technologies pose challenges for the backup environment. 

In the past, we only needed to back up specific databases and certain network tasks. The data is much more extended, and the interactions among different technologies and services are more complicated, so data protection is more complex. So, in this context, it's vital for a product to offer that kind of experience for us. I think that it's what the customers are looking for in this ever-growing and ever-complex environment.

One of the critical strategies to deal with risk is having an air-gapped copy of the data. In that context, tech solutions and object storage solutions help us to cope with that. So in that sense, Commvault is not different from any other solution that already offers those kinds of air-gapped copies. It helps manage a lot of different storage media and mix up all the storage media that we have so the cost of data matches the cost of the storage solution we are using. It makes no sense to store completely cold data in fast media. That is costly. Commvault has a wide range of support for storage solutions. It comes down to planning. You have to plan where you're going to put every inch of data. Then you're going to put it in the best layer possible depending on whether the information is cold or hot.

What is most valuable?

Commvault's Command Center is one of the best solutions out there. You can rely on Commvault solutions for the most complex and most demanding environments. It can meet the requirements of many Fortune 500 companies. It's great for companies that need a robust solution flexible enough to cope with all kinds of environments and technologies. 

Commvault offers broad coverage by helping us identify unprotected workloads. It helps us get to the point where we have a complete picture of the environment. I think that's a pretty good feature, and it allows us to have a good overview of our protection environment and what workloads are protected and which are not. It's one of the essentials out there for that. 

When it comes to recovery, Commvault is undeniably one of the best technologies out there. It's got all the different granularity levels that a business requires to get your information back to production. For example, we have their commission discovery, individual items recovery, mailbox recovery, databases, and different tables. Some databases can be recovered individually. This level of granularity enables us to get the most value out of the product.

What needs improvement?

Commvault is complex even if the product has comprehensive solutions and covers pretty much every technology out there. There's no unified way to manage all of the products on one single console. There are different things that you need to look for to have comprehensive management of the whole environment. I think that's not one of Commvault's strong suits. 

Also, even though I think the user interface might improve the manageability of the solution, it can be complex in some cases. You need a lot of experience and different touchpoints to get through environmental management, and it's not a comprehensive or unified solution for that. 

Commvault is also a solution that requires a lot of time. It demands a lot of time from administrators and requires an administrator to manage it almost full-time. But in this case, it's not a hindrance. While it isn't the easiest product to use, it's one of the most likable ones. It offers a lot of different options and the breadth of support that it has. I think it's just a compromise that you make. In this case, you get flexibility, great support, and a high-quality product, but you lose some in terms of administration. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using Commvault for about five years now. When we started, we were just customers, but now we are Commvault managers and consultants. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a completely stable solution. We haven't had any problems with the software that make implementation a problem or prevent us from using the product effectively.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Commvault's scalability is unmatched. Very few competitors have the scalability that Commvault offers. IBM and Veritas might come close, but there are no other solutions that can grow to accommodate enormous environments. So we have to rethink or mix up different backup solutions and technologies. With Commvault, you can do it for either large environments or medium-sized environments as well.

How are customer service and support?

I rate Commvault support 10 out of 10. The members of the support team are knowledgeable. They know their product well and are eager to help. Overall, it's a great customer experience. It's a deciding factor that makes customers and clients renew their licenses in a few years. You can buy a product, but you're only going to stay with it because of its quality and customer support. The support is outstanding in this case.

We've mainly contacted support to get best practices, implementation recommendations, and suggestions about operating the product. But we haven't faced any challenging problems that we couldn't tackle. The documentation has been pretty solid, too. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

Early in the process, it takes a long time to get things right and make things do what they are supposed to do based on best practices. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to do it, but it's ultimately worth it. If you put in a few more weeks to get the product implemented properly, it's going to pay off down the road. You'll see some cost savings and it will save you some effort in the future. So I think it's best to do an excellent job at first.

What was our ROI?

The savings we've realized from deploying Commvault could be around $100,000 to $300,000, including storage space, rack space, and energy charges. That's a total cost of ownership analysis.

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

Sometimes Commvault can be costly. On the other hand, you need to consider other use cases, verticals, and segments in the market, not just the price. But I think that those are the disadvantages of the factory features that have some room for improvement. The product is excellent.

The cost of implementing or supporting Commvault can be high. You need to pay attention to the licensing. It's imperative to do careful planning regarding the workflows you will support, and which kinds of solutions or vehicles you're going to deploy because there could be some surprises down the road. 

I think that's one of the main weaknesses of the product: it might be costlier than the competition. Of course, it's not always the case, but sometimes it could be pricier than the competition. That can sometimes be a barrier to implementing the product in certain regions and specific verticals or certain kinds of customers that are very cost-sensitive. Lowering the price is essential for Commvault to gain traction in other segments, and we have traditional companies reducing their prices. It would be good to see them more in an FNB environment, but the costs are too high for some customers.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were looking for a solution with a breadth of support for heterogeneous workloads, so we considered solutions from different vendors, like IBM and Veritas. We also have a good relationship with IBM, but we thought their solution was somewhat archaic. It didn't have support for the latest technologies and platforms like Commvault.

Using the traditional client-server, those solutions couldn't match the amount of support Commvault offers. It was the perfect match for what we were looking for. One of the key features that led us to Commvault was its elasticity. It gives us the flexibility to run different workloads on the cloud or on-premise and to have them all protected within one technological stack. We're confident in the product because it's a comprehensive solution covering old-fashioned technologies and the newer ones. Every month there is new support for new features and new workloads. We're consistently surprised at the rate of innovation and the support that Commvault is putting into the product.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Commvault nine out of 10. One recommendation I have for people considering Commvault is to explore all of the features the product offers. It has many features that aren't explored because of a lack of time or knowledge. I would invite all prospective customers to evaluate the whole breadth of functionality and suggest that they seek the assistance of a qualified implementation team. Do careful planning before implementing the product.

Isolating and segmenting storage targets from public networks to mitigate lateral moving threats can be difficult with Commvault. It takes thorough and detailed planning. You need to have careful planning before taking on implementation efforts. It's crucial to carefully consider where you're going to deploy and how you're going to divide the various segments of the product into different solutions so that you can comply with your business requirements.

Commvault might be challenging to deploy sometimes, and you need knowledgeable people to operate it. That doesn't mean it's going to be a failure. When the people are prepared and have skilled implementers, the product is a success from every point of view. So you have to be careful.

On balance, it is the most comprehensive solution in the market, with the ability to handle all kinds of applications, databases, and virtual workloads. Commvault's portfolio has a great breadth and depth in terms of quantity and quality of supported solutions. For example, Commvault is now supported on the cloud. The ability to mail snapshots back is one of Commvault, which has protection for all those workloads. Some of the competitors have just started to gain traction in this area, but Commvault has been doing it for several years.

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: Partner & Reseller
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Filip Hasa
Backup Engineer at a pharma/biotech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Provides a single console, internal workflow automation, and fully automated deployment; no need to access an OS or app platform

Pros and Cons

  • "Among the best features are the BMR (Bare Metal Recovery), Live Sync, and IntelliSnap, which is used for snapshots of hypervisor storage. It's predefined so you only need to enable it and it works. I haven't seen anything like this in other backup tools like Veritas NetBackup or Dell EMC or TSM. We will use snapshotting for all our machines."
  • "They should move the CommServe outside of Windows machines and the database should be distributed among servers. It's still a single point of failure."

What is our primary use case?

We're using it mainly to back up operating systems like Windows, Linux, and databases such as Oracle and Microsoft SQL.

How has it helped my organization?

It has simplified disaster recovery and we have used it for migration as well. For migrating from old FX servers to new FX servers, it was not possible to use any new feature from VMware. There was just vMotion and the success rate of migration of the whole disk was less than 50 percent. It was not possible to manage it that way. We used Live Sync and it was able to migrate 150 machines every day during the weekend, without major problems. That saved us a couple of weeks of time, probably 50 percent of the time it would have taken us. Without Live Sync it wouldn't have been possible to manage it.

The fact that the solution is a single platform has definitely enabled our company to accelerate growth because you don't need to leave the Commvault console. With NetBackup or TSM (IBM Tivoli Storage Manager) when it comes to customization of scripts for databases, you have to go into the client at the operating system level and modify the scripts. With Commvault you don't have to do that. You don't need to access the operating system, which simplifies the work.

Commvault helps minimize the time spent on backup tasks, creating time for other projects. I'm able to write a workflow in Commvault's internal environment and I can automate any action I did manually before. For example, deployment of remote offices can be fully automated.

It also saves us money on infrastructure because the configuration which will be used for IntelliSnapshotting is very simplified.

Another company I worked for previously was being attacked by a ransomware virus. The company lost its whole Windows infrastructure, so it didn't have Active Directory. Commvault was on Windows as well and the Knowledge Base which ran on Linux was authenticated with AD. Everyone lost their workstations.

The recovery process was that we got the database from Commvault, because part of raising cases includes the ability to upload databases to Commvault. The Windows team found a backup of the main controller and the most important thing was to start communications and for every one to have Active Directory. With Commvault's support, we were also able to develop a process which recovered Volume C, and that was sufficient to fix the images. Within two months they were able to recover the whole infrastructure from scratch. Without Commvault, or with another solution based on Windows, I don't think the recovery would have been possible. 

I had never seen this kind of disaster. Nobody expects to lose everything. You think about losing the primary location or a remote office location, but no one thinks about losing the whole platform.

What is most valuable?

Among the best features are the BMR (Bare Metal Recovery), Live Sync, and IntelliSnap, which is used for snapshots of hypervisor storage. It's predefined so you only need to enable it and it works. I haven't seen anything like this in other backup tools like Veritas NetBackup or Dell EMC or TSM. We will use snapshotting for all our machines.

Live Sync replicates incremental data to remote locations. If you lose your primary data center, you enable the replicated machines in your DR location so you don't need to restore data.

It's great as a DR solution because it has a lot of capabilities for syncing with a cloud provider. But if you want to keep everything in-house, it's great that way as well because the replication is done by incrementals.

When it comes to the user interface for managing on-prem, cloud, or multi-cloud environments in one place, it's always better to have everything in one. I myself like multiple consoles, a Java console and an admin console. I only work with the Java console. It's great because it's possible to configure everything from there. But operations has that nice console, and having that one console is better than having multiple consoles.

What needs improvement?

They should move the CommServe outside of Windows machines and the database should be distributed among servers. It's still a single point of failure.

Also, I work a lot with workflows, which means a combination of XML files and commands. It would be helpful if they unified the use of workflows.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Commvault at my current company for almost two years but I have a total of five years of experience with it. I'm a Commvault engineer. I have built Commvault from scratch using the approach that is best for the client, and then prepared the documentation.

We are using service pack 16 because it is a new deployment so we have to deploy that before we push updates.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't seen a crash of the database. The stability is great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

When I started with Commvault and compared it with NetBackup, I found that Commvault had features that NetBackup didn't have. Currently, we are able to cover 12,000 virtual machines.

Commvault has what it calls a HyperScale Appliance which is a media agent with the disk. This is the best option for storing data. The media agents are in clusters so they share data. It's a nice feature and I haven't seen any other backup company that has integrated this kind of solution. They always use a third-party vendor for this capability. But that involves communication over the network, something which HyperScale skips.

We plan on using IntelliSnaps more and we are testing the cloud backup. We will use the cloud as a hot-DR location. I expect that will happen this year.

How are customer service and technical support?

From my experience, I have had the best support interactions with Commvault. I always get a response within a couple of hours. If there is a task for Commvault's development side involved in the issue, I get an update every three days that someone is working on it. 

I have yet to find a support engineer at Commvault who has to speak to someone else. They are always able to troubleshoot the issue on the first strike. I can definitely recommend Commvault support.

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

Our company previously used NetBackup and TSM. One of the reasons we switched to Commvault was that our company was not satisfied with IBM's support. It was challenging. If support is not able to help you manage problems, you can't use the solution.

The plus with Commvault is that it really focuses on automation for deploying machines and discovering databases, etc. A Commvault administrator doesn't need to understand, in-depth, the application he is backing up because he doesn't need access into the application. It's much more focused on snapshotting for the synchronization between locations. The BMR process can be used across the cloud and on-prem solutions, so you can easily move machines from your environment to a cloud environment. And from that cloud environment you can convert to another vendor in the cloud.

That is all built on the BMR process, which is better than any other backup tool I know. Some of them, like TSM, don't even include a native BMR solution. Instead there is a third-party vendor that does it, so it's not fully-integrated.

I like it when everything is in one console and things can be automated via an internal workflow and deployment is fully automated so I don't need to access the operating system or application platform. Those are all benefits of Commvault.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was really easy for me because I already had experience with NetBackup and TSM. It wasn't difficult for me to understand Commvault's logic. But, in my opinion, it's very easy to understand because the logic involved is minimal yet it offers a lot of configurable options. Because the process for the installation of agents, such as for databases and applications, is fully automated, you don't need to touch the application at all. That is one of the main reasons I prefer Commvault over other tools, where you always need to touch the client.

A basic implementation of Commvault depends on the size of the company. Installation of the server takes a couple of hours, but that is the same as with other backup tools. But the installation of it on clients and their configurations will take days if you don't want to customize it because Commvault comes with pre-defined groups. The process will take a number of days for a small company.

In terms of staff for deployment and maintenance, it could be just one person involved, depending on the roles of the people in the company. This person has to be able to do a lot of things, so it depends on whether he has these responsibilities and the capabilities.

We have about 100 users of the solution because we have a lot of operations.

What was our ROI?

The ROI is there, but I don't have figures on it.

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

Our deployment is primarily on-prem. We are trying to assess the cloud capabilities but it looks like the cloud is more expensive if you want to have the whole infrastructure.

What other advice do I have?

Commvault is more administrator-friendly than other backup tools.

We are using Commvault for cloud support, but that part is at the PoC stage. But it's the same as the on-prem solution. Whether the library is on physical disk or in the cloud, it looks the same in Commvault, so that's not an issue in terms of configuration or use. There are even more cloud vendors than I had heard of and it looks like Commvault supports all of them.

We don't use it, but there is an archive function in Commvault which allows you to move data from primary storage to another type which is much cheaper.

Version 11 of Commvault has been on the market for something like seven years now. They have changed the naming so what they called service packs are now called feature packs. That means they are no longer changing the version number and they do what they call a "platform release." That was changed in SP19. In each new pack they add new features every three months. They also have hotfix releases every week or so.

I'm still surprised that they continue to come out with features that are really nice and that you didn't even think were possible.

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.
MatthewMagbee
Datacenter Manager at a healthcare company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
The single pane of glass allows my engineers to quickly find and resolve an issue, and reporting is very customizable

Pros and Cons

  • "I'm a big fan of the reporting. You can build your own reports; it's very customizable. You can have individual reports going to groups of people or individuals. You can have them go out multiple times a day. It's basically a free-for-all as far as reporting goes. If anybody wants a specific job report every day, you can build it, schedule it, and have it go out and never touched it again. It's pretty nice."
  • "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."

What is our primary use case?

Commvault is our primary solution for all backup and recovery; for index, for analytics, for everything.

How has it helped my organization?

When it comes to the storage that we use for backup and data aging, we were limited, at first, by the amount of storage that we could provide for onsite storage and archiving. Commvault's compression and deduplication within the application is allowing us to almost triple the amount of storage. For example, at one of our primary sites we're only able to store about 60 terabytes of capacity, but we actually back up 1.5 petabytes. We're able to squeeze that into the 66-terabyte license capacity. That is huge and saves us quite a bit of money in storage, and even more money on license capacity.

The solution also helps our admins to minimize the time they spend on backup tasks and to spend time on other projects. Throughout the corporation, we only have a handful of people who deal with the backup and recovery portion of our operations. With the number of requests that come in from time to time, it's nice to know that the single pane of glass, and the application as a whole, allow my engineers to quickly find an issue or resolve an issue that our users are having.

What is most valuable?

All its features are useful and beneficial, but if I had to pick two it would be the reporting and the support that they offer.

I'm a big fan of the reporting. You can build your own reports; it's very customizable. You can have individual reports going to groups of people or individuals. You can have them go out multiple times a day. It's basically a free-for-all as far as reporting goes. If anybody wants a specific job report every day, you can build it, schedule it, and have it go out and never touched it again. It's pretty nice.

Commvault also provides us with a single platform to move, manage, and recover our data across on-premise locations. I've done it multiple times. I've restored files, virtual machines, databases; everything from one location to another location within the United States. I've moved virtual machines, databases, and files between the two. An easier solution than the normal way of moving a server or application is to run a restore to another location. It runs faster and it's encrypted. It provides us with ease of use, instead of using a third-party tool. And I know that everything, all the permissions, all the user access, remains the same no matter where I restore to.

What needs improvement?

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.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Commvault for five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable. To be completely frank, I beat the heck out of it, 24/7 and 365. We're a healthcare laboratory company that never closes. We're an around-the-clock operation in all of our locations. The backup jobs are running, and the reports are running, around the clock. Everything runs constantly but we have had zero downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales out pretty easily. There's not much on the Commvault side that scales out; it's more the storage repository that's required. There's not much it can't do. 

One thing that I have been requesting is a Linux-based virtual server agent. You have to stick with Windows for the actual CommServe. We'd like to move to a Linux-based OS to release some licensing. I'm sure, eventually, that will come. We have a few Macs in our environment with Commvault on them. We don't often use the Edge client that they provide because the laptops and desktops we have use what is called DFS or file redirection. The files that they have saved are saved on the server instead of their laptop. Since we deal with PI and PHI, we can't have any of that stuff on a laptop. We have 10 Edge backup licenses and we have it on four or five of them, and one of them is a Mac.

Everybody in our company is affected by Commvault. We have about 7,500 employees and everybody uses a product or an application or a database or a server that is involved with Commvault.

For deployment and maintenance of Commvault we have just five people. That includes me as a data center manager and the other four are server engineers.

How are customer service and technical support?

Commvault's support is a 10 out of 10. I've learned so much from the support. They're very fast and they're very flexible. If they can't figure out a solution right away, they offer a work-around pretty quickly and they always want you involved with the solution. They even offer custom solutions for things that their applications don't do. If you run into a service pack limitation or a limitation with the product itself, they'll actually add the solution they come up with as a feature in their application.

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

We needed to pick a global solution. I had been reading about Simpana, which is Commvault now, for a while and I had the opportunity to jump right into it and learn about it while deploying it. I had never used it. Everything, on paper, was exactly what we needed as far as it enabling a very granular setup goes, without it being a one-size-fits-all-application. That's what I liked about it: being able to customize and mold each location to use Commvault.

I had other requirements but they were requirements that I didn't know that I had until after I had found that I could do them in Commvault.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is extremely easy. The first time I did it I was a little worried that I didn't do it properly because it was so easy. The overall configuration is a little bit more difficult, but that's roadmap-based configuration, so you have to think very far down the road when putting this together. You can't be thinking, "Oh, I only need this for a couple of months." It's a 10-year plan.

The setup itself took a couple of hours.

What about the implementation team?

Since I had never used Commvault before, we had implementation support from Commvault. They walked me through it. They asked questions and I gave them answers and then they showed me what they were doing. What they showed me made sense. From there, the configuration started, which was mostly on my part. A lot of it was pretty straightforward. There are things that are difficult in a domain environment, things that take a little bit of configuration, such as setting up additional users and passwords for service accounts. But overall, it's a very streamlined process.

What was our ROI?

I think Commvault's model is now cost-efficient. When we first started with Commvault, I thought it was overpriced. I thought, "That's a lot of money for a piece of software." But as I used it, and developed a trust in and knowledge of the application, I definitely was made aware, very quickly, of how it was worth every penny. Over the years, it has actually become cheaper, due to the fact that I've become smarter about how to use it better. With that knowledge, you learn how to save money with the application.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I've used other solutions in the past, such as vRanger, Symantec Endpoint Protection, Metalogix for Exchange, as well as Data Domain. For data recovery, the others are definitely not as streamlined. I've had quite a few situations where I've had to recover large amounts of data but I don't have a comparison of the recovery times of Commvault versus the others because, in the last five years, all I've used is Commvault. All my large or business-critical restorations have been with Commvault. But judging by what I've done in the past, Commvault is far easier and far more consistent than any other application I've used.

What other advice do I have?

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.

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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