Dell EMC Networker Reviews

19 Ratings
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Score 4.7 out of 101

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Reviews (1-4 of 4)

Josh Dix profile photo
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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At Provident Funding, we use Networker for backing up virtual machine images, a few physical Windows systems, and some of our Cellera NAS. We push it all to a data domain. It is being used only by IT directly and users make requests to us as needed for recoveries. Networker gives us reduced risk of data loss.
  • Networker has proven to be really reliable in restores. If it says it was backed up successfully we have never had a restore failure which is great. Some backup software fails at this most important task, but Networker has been reliable.
  • Networker is efficient on system resources. It takes a lot of backing up in order to put our Networker (VM) under any meaningful load. We back up about 60 VMs at a time while backing up other resources (such as the NAS) and it is a breeze for the system.
  • Networker is flexible. It takes a little bit to understand how everything is linked together in the interface, but you can customize just about anything about your backup jobs from speeds, threads, backend targets, schedules, and level all very easily.
  • We backup to a data domain, which I think does most of the magic, but it is a very compressed/deduped/small backup size relative to the whole sum of the data which is great. Essentially it is very efficient on the storage side, at least when coupled with a data domain.
  • Networker terminology is awful. My favorite example is that many required-to-function configuration changes need to occur with the advanced configuration enabled. To make this worse, the 'advanced configuration' I am speaking of is actually called 'Debug Mode'. That's right, you must use debug mode in order to have a functional administrator interface.
  • Errors are common and to resolve you often must go to support. You really need to be an expert to fix many errors, the steps usually involve being really knowledgeable in the CLI tools, which I am getting good at, but the public documentation is seriously lacking for troubleshooting these issues. That said, support (through emc) is really good at handling the common issues, friendly, generally knowledgeable, and quick to respond.
  • It runs on Java, and sometimes I need to clear java cache to fix interface bugs. Generally this isn't an issue, but it is additional software you must worry about.
Networker is really good at backing up a lot of data and it might be the right tool for the job if you have a title like 'backup administrator'. I say this because I think to really master and benefit from Networker it requires an immense amount of time playing with the CLI tools before you could comfortably solve many issues on your own. Due to the need I have (and I generally don't have to do this for similar type/complexity products) to reach out to support so often I wouldn't generally recommend it as I work in many systems and my job requires me to administer multiple back end systems of comparable size and importance. However, it is incredibly efficient and reliable, so if you have a large infrastructure and have plenty of time to get really intimate with the software, it can be a good friend. I didn't chose Networker, at first I didn't like it, and now I think it is an OK or even good solution, but it took a lot of experience to feel that way.
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Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Networker is being used as the primary backup software for our organization.
  • Networker has a UI and set that is relatively easy to use. It has a policy-based backup system that is straightforward as far as configuration.
  • Networker has fairly robust reporting on current save sets and easily exportable pdfs and spreadsheets of statistics and metrics
  • Networker has a monitoring dialogue which allows you to find out quickly what has succeeded or failed.
  • Networker's customer service could use a bit of improvement. While some problems are handled quickly, complex issues sometimes have limited responses with difficulty to escalate up the chain.
  • Networker prior to version 9 is using outdated policy configuration which tends to make some backup windows and obligations awkward.
  • Networker needs a bit better method for accommodating plugin integration with other applications, and better documentation on implementation of those modules.
Networker is well suited for small to medium environments where additional features aren't needed. Dealing with additional devices and light disk to disk backup works fairly well. Where it may be less appropriate, at least before version 9, would be in environments where complex enterprise level schedules might be required or which have applications which need specific backup needs.
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Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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We have been using NetWorker for the past three years for all Open Systems (Windows and Linux) backups. It has been the worst nightmare of my 40+ years in IT. We never had even one day when all of our backups completed successfully. Support was horrible. We are now in the process of completely replacing it with a different solution.
  • When used with a Data Domain appliance, using either DDBOOST or a VTL, it is quick and does a wonderful job of deduplication. We have 2.3 PB stored on a 140 TB DD 4500. While this is expensive storage, the cost for 2+ PB would be even higher.
  • It does a good job of brick-level backups of Exchange mailboxes, and does so in very good time. A few hours backs up our entire organizations mailbox stores in a way that provides object level restore.
  • Used in combination with DPA (Data Protection Advisor), it has a very good reporting capability. DPA, however, requires more than just surface knowledge in order to get really good reports, and the DDOS changes can wreck havoc with customized reports.
  • NetWorker has a number of glaring flaws. For starters, it does not have any built-in vaulting capability. I simply cannot believe that EMC thinks nobody takes tapes out of their libraries. Their response to our inquiry about it? "We can write a program for you that will cost x-thousands of dollars, or you can develop one yourself." We wrote our own customized program to vault tapes.
  • NetWorker does not posses any Disaster Recovery reporting capability. Again, we had to custom code reporting for this so that tape librarians would know what tapes to recall from offsite storage for entire groups of servers. During a crisis there isn't time to be doing that on a one at a time basis for hundred or thousands of servers.
  • NetWorker is extremely sensitive to DNS changes, and appears to cache DNS data in hidden locations. We have servers being reported by NetWorker as not connected when they were decommissioned years ago, removed from AD and DNS, yet we still cannot get NetWorker to stop complaining about them.
  • NetWorker does not play well at all with multi-homed clients (more than one network interface). In environments where it is not conducive to backup servers of a production network, it becomes crucial to do so over a dedicated or secondary LAN. This causes huge issues with NetWorker.
  • If a group contains a number of clients, and one of those gets hung up during a backup, the entire group fails. That is a very wasteful approach for both time and infrastructure resources. Instead, it should fail the one client and allow the remainder in the group to complete successfully. It should also allow the group run to be canceled and still keep the good clients backups rather than registering the entire group as failed.
  • There is no way in NetWorker to identify specific file/directories that fail to backup successfully. It will report on savesets, but I need to know that file abc.dat or directory F:\Program Data\ failed and why. It does me no good to get a warning that the saveset for the F drive failed. What failed and why? It may have been a critical problem, or it may have been of no importance.
  • We endured three years of NetWorker experiencing problems, enduring a grueling process of trying to get knowledgeable and rapid support -- sometimes taking days and weeks, and only after getting really pushy with support managers -- only to have the problems return over and over. For example, it has been a regular issue for the peer information to get clobbered for no apparent reason. The result is the backup fails for that client, and then I have to go in and remove the peer information on the NetWorker Server, all affected Storage Nodes, and the client. I can now run nsradmin -p nsrexec and then the print and delete statements for nsr peer information in my sleep.
I would not recommend NetWorker to anyone for any reasons. It is huge, cumbersome, extremely problematic and EMC's support organization with rare exceptions is the worst in the industry. We have had nothing other than serious problems with it for three years, despite consistent attempts to get it working correctly. Every time an EMC engineer came on site (always someone different) that person would ask "Why did you do it this way? That's not the best way to do it." He/she would then change things to how they thought it should be set up (in direct contrast to what the previous EMC person had done and said). In other words, there are no consistent best practices across their support organization. This caused major issues for us, and left me extremely stressed knowing that there was no way in hell we could ever recover from a true disaster.
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Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Reseller
Review Source
Networker is used to back up VM, SQL, Exchange and other applications.
It's a single application to manage all different backup datasets
  • One application to do all
  • Multiple device integration and support, like DD, Tape, AFTD etc
  • Easy-to-manage portal (Networker Management Console)
  • Set-it, forget-it setup
  • Price sometimes tends to be higher for mid-size companies
  • Support sometimes a little delayed
  • DR recovery can be a little lengthy & time consuming
Best suited for VM (Image based backup), Exchange, SQL
Not too good with Oracle DB backup
DR recovery process is not too straight forward, makes it tough to run DR recovery test
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Feature Scorecard Summary

Universal recovery (3)
7.0
Live recovery (4)
6.4
Recovery verification (4)
8.4
Business application protection (3)
6.0
Multiple backup destinations (4)
8.9
Incremental backup identification (4)
8.4
Backup to the cloud (1)
6.4
Deduplication and file compression (3)
10.0
Snapshots (3)
10.0
Flexible deployment (2)
8.4
Management dashboard (2)
6.6
Platform support (2)
7.3
Retention options (2)
7.8
Encryption (1)
7

About Dell EMC Networker

Dell EMC NetWorker is an enterprise-level data protection software product that unifies and automates backup to tape, disk-based, and flash-based storage media across physical and virtual environments for granular and disaster recovery.

Available Modules

Dell EMC NetWorker Module for Databases and Applications – Protection for business-critical databases and applications including IBM DB2, Informix, Domino (Lotus), MySQL, Oracle, and Sybase

Dell EMC NetWorker Module for MEDITECH – Integration with certified MEDITECH Backup Facility (MBF) disaster recovery capabilities for backup and application-consistent local and remote replication

Dell EMC NetWorker Module for Microsoft – VSS-based online protection for Microsoft applications including Exchange, Hyper-V, SQL Server, and SharePoint

Dell EMC NetWorker Module for SAP – Availability of mission-critical enterprise resource planning (ERP), business warehousing, and high-performance, in-memory analytics by delivering fast, online backup and recovery for SAP and SAP HANA.



Categories:  Data Center Backup

Dell EMC Networker Technical Details

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