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In four of the five evaluation categories for enterprise applications, HP nipped at CommVault's heels but ended up in second place. But in the initial product quality category, HP turned the tables to outdistance CommVault, 6.13 to 5.93, coming out on top for four of the seven statements in the process.
With software products, the key to long-term satisfaction is getting out of the gate fast with a quick and relatively pain-free installation. HP is apparently doing a good job of setting the tone early with its users by having a product that installs easily without customers requiring a lot of help from HP's professional services team. HP received its highest score in this category for the statement "This product was easy to install," and was the only vendor in the group to rise above a score of 5.00 for "This product did not require professional services."
Although it finished second to HP, CommVault was no slouch in the initial product quality category, with especially high ratings for "This product uses tape efficiently" (6.55) and "This product delivers good value for the money" (6.48). Its overall score was dragged down by a 4.52 for the statement about requiring professional services.
Arguably, midrange backup products should be easy to install and get up and running simply because the users of these products are likely to have fewer resources available to get through the initial stages of implementation. All three products showed their mettle in the initial product quality category, with Acronis (5.99) coming out on top, followed by Symantec (5.82) and CA (5.76); in addition, all three had 6.00-plus scores for the critical "easy to install" statement. Acronis scored very well for all seven statements in the category with one glaring exception -- a 4.00 for "This product uses tape efficiently," which, ironically, was where Symantec racked up one of its highest marks on the way to a very respectable performance.
Function follows form
A no-sweat implementation may indeed set the tone for a user's overall experience, but a backup application still has to deliver the goods with the required features and functionality. With the highest score recorded for the product features category (6.70), CommVault proves that there's plenty of substance behind the style of its backup suite. Its victory in this category is a tour de force, as it scored the highest for every statement, highlighted by the only over-7.00 score in the survey, a 7.02 for "This product's file system backup features meet my needs." CommVault also scored impressively for database backups (6.88), for being a "complete solution" (6.81) and for its disk backup functionality (6.80).
Second place HP also did well for features, with its overall 6.14 score bolstered by strong showings for database backup (6.45) and file system backup (6.38). IBM's Tivoli Storage Manager was hard on HP's heels with a category average rating of 6.12, highlighted by a 6.52 for its disk-based backup features. Symantec's NetBackup made a strong showing with an overall 5.89 built on three 6.00-plus statement scores.
Once again, survey respondents were a little tougher with their ratings for midrange backup apps, with the products earning scores lower than their enterprise counterparts. Symantec's Backup Exec showed why it's one of the most widely installed midtier backup applications by topping its competition on seven of the eight statements in the product features category for an average winning score of 5.68. Backup Exec did particularly well for file system backup features (6.05), backup to disk (5.99) and database backup (5.85); its lowest score -- a 5.27 for archiving features -- was just a hair shy of Acronis' score of 5.31. Acronis' Achilles' heels in this category were database backup (5.17) and scalability (5.17).
Click here to get a PDF of the Quality Awards V: Midrange Backup and Recovery standings.
This was first published in June 2010