Quality Awards IV: On top again: CommVault Galaxy, EMC Retrospect


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Product features
Given the maturity of the backup and recovery market, most products are packed with features. The most common complaint we've observed is product complexity. Perhaps because Galaxy is one of the newest enterprise products in our survey is why it received the highest score for product features (6.50), which is also the highest section score. ("CommVault rocks!" noted one particularly enthusiastic respondent). Even so, we did note several user comments that took issue with Galaxy's complexity. Galaxy received its highest section score for the statement "This product's file-system backup features meet my needs." Its database backup is almost equally well regarded, garnering a 6.62 for "This product's database backup meets my needs." Coincidentally, those were also the highest rated statements for Data Protector.

"Very robust" is how Performance Food's Wible describes NetBackup's management interface. He also likes the product's ability to scale. "It's infinite," he says. "If you need to, you can always throw another media server [at it] to handle load and stuff like that."

Because backup to disk has become such an important part of many data protection strategies, respondents were asked how well their product met their backup to disk needs. Perhaps not surprisingly, Tivoli Storage Manager scored very well with a 6.62 for this issue. Even so, Galaxy

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bested the field with a 6.75. Data Protector was third with a still-strong 6.45. But these results didn't correlate to the degree that respondents say they use these products for backup to disk. Tivoli has the highest percentage of users backing up to disk (88.4%), while 83.3% of Galaxy users do so. HP had the lowest percentage of users backing up to disk (46.7%). Interestingly, 81% of Retrospect users use the product to back up to disk.

Retrospect received a 5.68 for its product features vs. Backup Exec's 5.50 and ARCserve's 4.58. Retrospect topped the section with a 6.15 for the statement "This product's features meet my needs." However, it had a relatively disappointing 4.67 for "This product is interoperable with other vendor's products." Kane says Retrospect's "interface to configure multiple, simultaneous jobs is wonderful and really intuitive. Once you have the system up and running, it's real easy to tweak and tune."

Backup Exec didn't have any scores over 6.0 in this section, but came very close with a 5.98 for the statement "This product's file-system backup meets my needs." All of its other section scores were above 5.0. ARCserve had its highest section score (5.21) for its file-system backup features.

"[Backup Exec] is centrally manageable and user friendly, so even if you're someone who's not real familiar with backups, it's pretty explanatory," says Louis Lawson, server operations supervisor at Truckee Meadows Community College (TMCC) in Reno, NV. "When we hire our new server guys, they can catch on pretty quick. It's pretty intuitive."

This was first published in September 2008

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