Commvault Simpana Express

Description

Simpana Express supports the key applications (Microsoft) and features (deduplication and virtualization) your business demands, while being simple to download, install, and order. And while other solutions require you to replace your backup solution once you reach a certain size (effectively penalizing you for being successful!), Simpana Express allows you to seamlessly upgrade to our enterprise version without touching your data, all while being backed by our industry-leading customer satisfaction for support. To reduce risk, customers can try it for free for 30 days, including free support during the trial period.

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Specifications

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Product Reviews

  • Overall
    Last fall I used the trial version of Simpana Express 10 SP4 because I wanted to test out if Simpana 10 could read tapes from our existing backup solution and to see the CommCell console first hand since it is the same as higher license versions. I was working with CDW and Commvault on a possible Simpana solution at the time. It was very difficult to get the trial it took multiple phone calls and emails before the Comvault rep sent over a link CDW for a page on CDW to download the trial off a Comvault site. The trial email said it included 30 days of support. Most of the links in the email did not work. The setup was wizard driven and easier to use than many backup solutions. The interface seamed logical. I could have gotten used to it but it would have been a lot of training for some of my staff. Some of the parts reminded me somewhat of Dantz Retrospect which I liked before EMC took control. In use the server was rebooted while Simpana was running a backup. It kept emailing me about a failure but I could not get into the console to make any changes. I was locked out because the admin password I set did not work. The server had spent a couple hours downloading the agents and updates and did not want to lose everything. I called support using the number in the trial email and the Commvault tech said, "Never heard of Simpana Express. What is your CommCell ID." I said, "I do not have a CommCell ID. I am using a trial." He said, " Sorry contact sales." Sales was shocked but said the product is so new they were still training everyone. I ended up reinstalling Simpana Express and setting up AD authentication as the first step. Over a week of the trial was lost to this issue. Commvault sales was wishy washy on whether or not my existing tapes could be restored via Simpana or not. One day they said it would work and the next they said it would not. I had to test for myself to get to the bottom of it. I could catalog my existing LTO5 test tapes and the Console showed that their was data on the tapes but I could not browse or restore the data. I tried to backup my vSphere 5.1 cluster to a 10 TB local disk on the backup server and the initial setup was easy but the actual backup kept failing after hitting a few VMs. Without support or up to date documentation I removed the backup policy and gave up on it because the trial was about to expire. I wanted a trial of the full version so I could test NDMP on a 35 TB volume. Commvault does not do trials and would not give me a video demo of the NDMP backup. Their sales is not technical and gives different answer to questions each time they are asked. I never got the answers I needed or an accurate quote. I walked away from the whole solution. I was going to see a demo of Simpana at a NetApp user group meeting but had to miss it because of another meeting. It has been a few months and I am considering trying this again since I am running out of possibilities that support NDMP. I see that the documentation on the web site has been updated and a few service packs have been added.
  • Overall
    One of the most complicated backup systems I've ever mastered! The console is needlessly complex, so much so that even the official support guys struggle to understand it! Avoid, Avoid, Avoid!!! -- Greg this is not in error as I have moved to another company since using your software. The product was purchased through Dell some time close to April 2012. Discontinued it's use after 6 months.
    replied to this review
    Commvault is a Spiceworks partner

    Thank you for your feedback, Mr. Herbert. At CommVault, we take all feedback seriously and use it to constantly improve our product. In this instance, however, it appears that this review was posted in error because our records indicate that your company has not used our Simpana Express product and did not log a call with our support organization for it. Simpana Express is a NEW product (released in Nov '13 exclusively through CDW) specifically designed for deployments with a maximum of 5TBs of data. It is designed to simplify the download, installation, and purchase process of the solution and includes a 30-day free trial that comes with free technical and configuration support.

  • Overall
    Very capable backup software with serious enterprise roots, without the enterprise requirements. It's perhaps a bit too complicated for a company with zero IT support, but I should think any IT professional can figure it out quickly enough. If you feel overwhelmed starting out, schedule a review session with one of their support engineers; I did, and an hour later I had a pretty clear understanding of the product. Unless you have really unique requirements, it will backup everything you have, and would be able to backup a lot that you don't have. VMware, Hyper-V, SQL, Exchange, Active Directory, and your basic file server and workstation backups are all there plus more. In my trial I also felt it was very fast at performing backups and restores. Multiple backup devices (including tape and cloud) are supported, making offsite a snap. I do feel a bit unsure of the pricing, but it appears to be competitive with several other products. If you're above 5TB data to backup, you'll need to step up to the next level of the Simpana line. I would definitely advise installing on a dedicated server as the install is pretty big. There are also Java requirements on the server as well as the remote console which may bring various levels of pain and frustration, depending on your browser.

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