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Backup Exec

Symantec’s response to the “DCIG 2013 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer’s Guide”

Created: 05 Mar 2013 • Updated: 28 May 2014 • 5 comments
Kate Lewis's picture
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Last week DCIG published their annual Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer’s Guide, which featured a short write up of over 20 Backup and Recovery solutions and point products. In this guide, CommVault achieved the "Best-in-Class" ranking, NetBackup achieved “Recommended” ranking while Backup Exec 2012 received an “Excellent” ranking for Virtual Server Backup Software.

It is important to note some facts:

  1. This “Guide” is created by an analyst firm DCIG and technology advisory firm, SMB Research. But, it is distributed EXCLUSIVELY by CommVault, not DCIG.
  2. When you visit DCIG’s website (http://www.dcig.com/free-dcig-downloads.html) and click on the title “DCIG 2011 Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer's Guide” it takes you to a CommVault webpage!

As a marketer, I find impartial vendor neutral reports, guides, performance testing reviews etc to be an invaluable component of any marketing strategy. To have your product featured in a favorable position in a credible publication, such as the Gartner Magic Quadrant is an honor that we (marketing professionals) aspire to attaining. However, what happens when a third party publishes a report that's not unbiased and is actually "licensed" by the vendor which came out on top? To put it simply, it's frustrating, but it's the world we live in. The more I think about 3rd party product write ups, the more I realize that no report can truly be vendor independent as the author normally has an alliance to one product over another. The alliance or favoritism as we call it, is natural. We all have favorites for one reason or another.  

Having said that, I am excited that Symantec Backup Solutions, both NetBackup and Backup Exec received excellent ratings based on the features and functionality of the respective product sets. What’s more, Symantec did not sponsor or pay a fee to DCIG for featuring or giving us a glowing rating in their guide. We think our products are leaps and bounds ahead of CommVault, so here are a few reasons why you should choose NetBackup or Backup Exec over CommVault each and every time:

  1. Superior deduplication. CVLT makes customers manually configure block sizes (it’s content aligned dedupe) for different types of data to achieve “best results”. If they leave all their data fragments defaulted to 128k, then they have shown poor deduplication results. Symantec has true efficient global dedupe by default, where we can have 128k block size for all data segments, and not lose deduplication efficiency in the process.  It's easier and the results are better with Symantec. Why should you have to manually set and manage different sizes for different data?
  2. Symantec not only provides on-premise software, but we also offer all-in-one Backup Appliances that greatly reduce CapEx and OpEx
  3. Patented V-Ray technology understands what resides in VMs - the visibility into file and applications content of a virtual machine provides superior backup and recovery. Learn more here - http://www.symantec.com/content/en/us/enterprise/other_resources/b-idc_insight_vray_230790.en-us.pdf
  4. VADP and VSS integration for fast image based snapshots of vms.  
  5. Symantec doesn't reply on proxy servers like CommVault. CVLT requires more physical infrastructure with proxy servers and extra storage, while we backup directly to target using VADP. We broke free of the proxy method when VCB became obsolete. This is another example of hidden costs in a CVLT environment. 
  6. Symantec’s is the #1 backup and recovery market share leader. We have more customers than any other vendor and our customer base is continually growing.
  7. Fully scalable solutions that grow with your environment
  8. Protect an unlimited number of guest machines per host

So, if you are looking for true impartial advice, here are my top three things you can do:

  1. Read reports published by credible authors and organizations that have not been sponsored by a vendor. In particular, stay clear of reports sponsored by the winning vendor’s solution. Here are some reports I recommend: Gartner Magic Quadrant, reports from ESG and Info Tech’s Vendor Landscape: Virtual Backup Software http://www.infotech.com/research/ss/it-vendor-landscape-virtual-backup-software
  2. Download and try the product in your environment. Get a feel for the product and see what you like and don’t like. Most vendors provide free trialware for a period of anything from 15 days to 60 days. Backup Exec offers the industry's best trialware download - it's FREE for 60 DAYS!
  3. Speak to your peers that you know and trust. However, before they provide you with feedback make sure you know they have the product setup and working correctly. I see a lot of IT professionals having issues with x, y and z product simply because it wasn’t set up correctly.

As always, please contact me anytime if you have any questions or need any help.

Thanks, Kate

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ColectiveGrooves's picture

 

Nice comment. You are adding real value to the conversation.

I wonder if you are the Damian Andre that works for CommVault? It seems like such a coincidence.

If you are, didn't you work for Symantec prior to working at CommVault?

Its funny how the majority of CommVault staff are ex Symantec staff (Just look at LinkedIn)

One week they are telling people how great Symantec is and then the next week they are telling people how bad Symantec is and that CommVault is so much better. Let make it clear that it is the pay check talking rather than what is true and accurate.

Getting back on topic. As a customer, we see these companies like DCIG perform these comparison tests to determine which product is the best, but most companies make it perfectly clear if their tests and company are paid or sponsored by a vendor or not. This is called transparency and if the reader has full knowledge of this then it is up to them to use the information in the report or discard it.

Tolly is one of those companies that make it perfectly clear if they have been engaged by a vendor to perform any tests.

What DCIG has always failed to do is highlight to its readers that they are paid by CommVault. They hide it at the bottom of their "about" section on thier website. This is not the first time they have produced this type of report and failed to disclose that their company is paid by CommVault. Why dont they put it in the actual report they are producing? What are they trying to hide?

Does DCIG hide it to make themselves sound more credible? I have raised my concerns with DCIG before but they obviously have failed to do anything about it. If they were open and transparent about it, then there wouldn't be a problem.

At the end of the day those who pay the bills makes the rules, so the outcome will always be biased, which I get, but just make it clear to the end user so they can make an informed decision.

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ConcordICT's picture

All credible points.

"However before they provide you with feedback make sure you know they have the product setup and working correctly"

Having previously been a VAR for many years and selling installing and configuring Backup Exec since version 8, and having paid over 2K to go on an official 1 week symantec Backup Exec 2012 training course before buying and implementing it at our college, I can tell you that you need to purchased full support with the product to have a chance of getting it to run stable fashion in a Hyper-V / VMware / Physical environment, especially backing up to the much praised dedupe volume !!

The forums are full of gripes and there are many many known issues on the knowledge base.

There are parts of the product that are brilliant - the new UI is a matter of taste and will blow your mind (in a bad way) if you upgrade  from an older version and were previously a big user of policies

Symantec will be bringing back monitor view with the next release to try and calm some very upset punters.

So hold back that trumpet blowing until your product really does what it says on the tin - only then it will be worthy such praise.

Of your top 3 tips only tip 2 is of value:

Download and try the product in your environment. Get a feel for the product and see what you like and don’t like. Most vendors provide free trialware for a period of anything from 15 days to 60 days. Backup Exec offers the industry's best trialware download - it's FREE for 60 DAYS!

Regards a disillusioned long term supporter of Backup Exec.

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ColectiveGrooves's picture

Hello,

I share your frustrations that you are experiencing. I thought i would get off my high horse from the above comment to hopefully add some value to this part fo the conversation.

I had similar issues and was disillusioned but what I did was contact my local Symantec rep and I ended up speaking to one of their pre-sales Systems Engineers.

He helped me through some of the issues and we simplified the process and have turned the entire environment around. He was able to direct me to the relevent documentation and helped me to use technical support to achieve a desired outcome.

The best link he sent through to me was: http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO74626

It had all the best practices. I figured that, if I followed the best practices and it doesnt work, then I can say hand on heart that the prodcut doesnt do what it says on the box.

I am backing up a large number of virtual servers with lots of different applications, and still have a heap of physical servers all to my deduplication pool which I then replicate to my other backup exec server at my DR site.

It doesnt miss a beat. I do get a couple of failures everynow and again, but I can live with that.

At the end of the day no matter what backup product I use (I have tried them all) there will always be a few issues and quirks.

After all of that I have learnt that there is a lot more to Backup Exec than I first anticipated.

Get in contact with your local Symantec rep and have a chat with the pre-sales engineer to get some advice, in my expeience they have always been willing and happy to help.

I hope this helps.

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PackMatt73's picture

Thanks for the feedback everyone!

I encourage all of you to contatct me directly via PM.  I would love to have Twitter/LinkedIN for any who are socially active.  We have a lot of great things going on via Social Media right now, including 3 support engineers who work exclusively via social channels.

You can find me

on the Twitters at @PackMatt73

Google+ at PackMatt73

Spiceworks at Backup Exec Matt

Thanks everyone!

Matt

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