Quorum OnQ Valuable Features
Director of IT at City of Gainesville Texas
By far, one of the biggest features is that, even on the absolutely run-of-the-mill box, if I lose any one of my servers I can automatically bring it up virtually on the physical onQ Quorum device.
Another feature I really like about it is the fact that, after every backup, it automatically spins up every one of the hosts and confirms that it is actually a good backup and running. I know that if I ever have to rely on them, they are available for me. That is another of the biggest features. I've got 30 or so servers here and the vast majority are pretty critical for police, fire, water distribution, etc. I can't just pick and choose and say "Okay, I know I lost everything but let me just concentrate on this one," because, in reality, a lot of them are awfully important and really cannot be down for any length of time. That's why I really like the checking aspect of every backup, and I know that Windows will start up every time for me.
When it comes to recovering what you need from a backup, they've got a handful of different approaches for gaining access to the files. I can spin up the entire VM and go find the files, or I can go off a specific application at any one of my snapshot points in time. Or I can open them up as a Windows share, and drill out from there for everything, using Windows Explorer. Or, I could just say, "I just want you to list entire directories." There are many options, depending on what your needs are for recovering the files. It's on a needs basis. If somebody comes to me and says "Hey, I just need this one file," I'll go grab just the one file. If I'm restoring a handful of directories, it's natural for me to check the user and hit "restore," refer them back to the original location, and I'm good to go. There are multiple options available, which is nice.
I use the solution's automated testing functionality. It happens every time the backup runs. In my instance, I run backups twice a day, at noon and midnight. It tests automatically after every backup. I get an email notification every morning and I scroll through it and I look for how many good backups I had and, at the very bottom, how many successful tests it was able to do with the automated features. It's an incredibly important aspect of the solution. There are a lot of people out there who will run backups all day, blindly trusting that everything is working and that, if they have to restore they can do so or can spin it up in the cloud. If they never had it perform the task, or they do it so incredibly rarely that they only then realize "Oh crap, Windows won't even start," or "some applications within it don't start," they're now scrambling. Luckily, since I know that it's spinning them up automatically for me, I know at the very least that Windows is going to be coming up and give me a good starting spot. I find it to be an incredibly important feature. It definitely sets my mind at ease knowing that it's doing that after every backup.View full review »
In terms of recovering a file or data that somebody has overwritten or deleted, we usually get an email or somebody comes by and says, "Oops, I accidentally deleted something from my user folder or out of a directory. Can you get it back?" Generally, we prefer to use the Quorums if we can because they're a lot quicker than the tape backup system. We can drill through a directory pretty quickly and select the location. Backup Exec does very similar things but it's a little bit slower. And we have two different sets of tape. So if it's on another set of tapes, then we might have to physically switch the tapes out, which takes even longer. We don't have that issue with the onQ's, because we keep roughly 40 days of backups for our entire company on there.
When it comes to recovering what you need from a backup, it's really easy. You just drill through the directory, find the file and the date that you want, and click to recover. You then pick the directory you want to save it in. Usually, it takes a minute or two and it's done. It's quick and easy.
One of the other capabilities of these systems, which is really a huge thing to us, is that it does bare-metal restores if you need to. If you had to completely recover a system from tape, if it did work — which I'd be somewhat skeptical about — it would take a long time.
onQ is also pretty good at notifications. We get a report every day, and weekly, regarding the backups and the status of the backups.
It does automated tests to the systems to make sure that you can spin them up if you need to. And if something doesn't come back up in those tests, we get a notification saying the system didn't come back up. You can go in and find out why it didn't. In most cases, it's a timeout issue where the system just didn't give it long enough to actually come up. If we go in ourselves and test it and watch it for a little while, it will do it. Sometimes there's a driver issue because the onQ's may not have every hardware driver on the onQ system itself, to spin the box up. So it will spin up and say it's got a driver issue. You can go online, it'll download the driver, and then you can reboot it.
We've worked with Quorum a couple of times to go in and look at why a system didn't pass the test successfully and they've had to go in and modify a couple of the settings for some of the drivers that it copies. It's happened maybe twice and they're very responsive to doing that kind of stuff.
It does everything automatically by itself. We just sit back and watch the emails for the most part.
When it comes to recovering what you need from a backup, it's super-easy. I give their dev team credit for making it super-simple. When we first started with them, it was a little on the clunky side. We were an early customer for them but they have upgraded it over time. I can open up a window share within three minutes and copy the files I need, if I just need specific files. In five minutes, I can have all the files I need for a specific day and go back as many days as I want. We store for 30 days so I can pull 30 days' worth of data. Six years ago that would have taken me about 10 to 15 minutes. It wasn't terrible.
Now, if it was a restore of servers, that's a different story. If I had to take a server and completely do a bare-metal restore before, it was down a good 4 hours, maybe a little bit less. Now, it's 30 minutes. They really changed the way things go.
From a disaster-recovery point of view, one of the things I really like is that I can test the virtual copy of the physical server on a test network and compare the servers side-by-side, without interfering with the production network. So I can see and make sure that the latest copy of the server is the physical copy of the server, without interfering with production.
Also, it automatically tests the copies of the servers for me. Whenever there's a copy of a server — bringing it over to the Quorum device to make a copy — it tests it and makes sure it will boot, that everything works fine, and then shuts it down. It sends me a notification saying "backup successful, test successful." I can choose a date that I want within the last 30 days, boot that server up on that specific day, and it will show me every file that was on there. So it does versioning. It will make the changes incrementally, so I can go through them by days. If there are any errors with a snapshot that has been created, I will get a notification and I can test it manually if I need to, or I can look into it why it failed. Maybe the server was in the middle of a reboot when it was trying to create it and created some errors. I can just create a new backup with one click. It sends it over to DR site and it's done.
We're protecting the data we currently have against failures, malware, or ransomware. We can do a one-click restore of files without losing them, so we don't have to pay ransom.
Also, all of the data is significantly compressed, so it does reduce data usage, but it's not something that we use to reduce our data usage.
One nice thing that they added is a single pane of glass to see all of your servers. You can see whether up, down, or transferring. That was a nice addition in version 5.View full review »
VP Director of Information Technology at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
It's easy to manage. We're a smaller team. It's easy to implement, easy to spin up, easily configurable, to drop-in appliances and network. There wasn't a lot of time needed to spin it up.
From a day-to-day management perspective, it's very easy to use as well.
And I get reporting on the latest backup every day, whether or not it was successful, and whether or not the test of the VM was successful. It comes to me by email and gives me the status of each of the VMs: When it was last backed up, whether or not the backup was successful, and whether or not the test was successful.
The change in the way that Quorum processes data has made a tremendous improvement in backup and replication times. While the familiar interface remains, the underpinnings have been finely tuned and the speed is incredible. My large Exchange Server went from 5- to 6-hour backups down to 22 minutes.
The instant file recovery is a great time saver, enabling us to pull up a version of a file instantly and restore. Typical restore times are about two minutes, start to finish.
The guarantee that my data is available and that my servers are recoverable is the best feature. The OnQ technology tests each VM after backups and I always have a dashboard view of the accuracy of my backups and the viability of my DR solution. Replication between units is flawless and I never have to worry about where my data is sitting if a disaster occurs.View full review »
Senior Vice President at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Quorum offers a very high level security environment for secondary data. Once data is in Quorum it is highly secured because the appliance is Linux-based. It does 256-bit AES encryption at rest and in motion. The replication agent and everything is all Linux-based including the hypervisor. And it is a ZFS, Zeta File System, which makes the environment highly secure. The dashboard is also quite new and elegant.View full review »
Quorum OnQ has a good ransomware protection feature, and customer service and support were very good. Quorum is simple. They don't promise to do what they can't and always do what they say, and they are very good at that.View full review »
Service Delivery Director at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
The most useful feature is the one-click recovery. It instantly boots up the protected VM.
This product is easy to use.View full review »
Team Lead ESS - Sr. Customer Support Engineer, Linux / Storage at a comms service provider with 51-200 employees
The most valuable feature is the ease of installation. It doesn't take long and we can set this product up to demonstrate for customers in a couple of hours. Also, any customer can easily install and configure it.
This solution is based on the Linux platform, which is more stable than Windows backup software. This also means that it is better than any other product when it comes to recovering from a ransomware attack.
I like this product because it is easy to use.View full review »